Eight records down and only part way to world domination, pop punk pioneers New Found Glory may have been at this for almost two decades, but they still play with the fervour of fresh-faced teens. Disguising their punk-rock-uncle status isn’t the reason for their success, however – consistently producing excellent albums is. When we think of pop punk as a genre, New Found Glory are likely to pop into our heads straight away, in no small part because every album is better, catchier and more nostalgic than the last.
With their eighth studio album, Resurrection, due for release October 10th, vocalist Jordan Pundik sat down to talk us through writing records as a well-oiled machine of musical magnitude.
Starting off strong, Pundik emphasises the positive tone of this release,
“The whole message is really to, whatever you’re doing with your life, to know that no matter what you can rise above those shitty situations and come out of it stronger.
We [as a band] have been through a lot this past year, so this is really just a call to action to our fans to rise above these things; you can be down in the deepest parts of something in your life, but you can come through.”
Resurrection itself is exactly what you’d expect from New Found Glory, but better. It’s bigger, it’s bolder, it’s “full of bangers” as Jordan puts it, and it’s a step in a completely new direction for the band. For those who’ve stepped out of the pop-punk loop for a while, the band will be continuing as a four-piece and this is the first album they’ve ever written as such. In fact, Pundik and co. have it so down pat, they went into the studio with the entire album pre-written.
“It’s no stress! Not having to worry about melodies or lyrics – it’s having a goal in mind, and knowing that we were committing to being a four-piece, that was the biggest accomplishment so once we got to the studio everything was pretty much ready to go. It’s a great feeling!”
New Found Glory know they’ve got something pretty special going on… They’re a pop punk band who’ve released eight studio albums and don’t see why they can’t release eight more. For a genre often dismissed as catering exclusively to teens, having such an impressive discography behind them is huge. Pundik attributes the band’s continued enthusiasm and success to starting when they were teenagers themselves.
“I was sixteen when we started the band, so every time we’re on a tour or a new record comes out it’s like a refresh. Especially with this new record, it’s a new beginning for us and it’s exciting!
The main reason we are the band we are is because of our live shows and that’s what gives me the spark to have the energy.”
As an album, when you scratch the surface Resurrection may sound slightly darker than a typical New Found Glory release, but old-school fans shouldn’t judge on their first impressions, nor should they forget that they’re dealing with musical genius – the vibe may not be what it first appears.
Talking about Stories of a Different Kind, one of Resurrection’s most powerful songs, Jordan quashes the notion of negativity within the lyrics;
“Jaded is the furthest thing I wanna be! For me, when I was writing that song, it’s like ‘We’ve been a band for a long time and been through ups and downs’, I was saying, ‘Hey, you could be a popular band now but there could be a chance that no-one will care next year so enjoy it now!’”
Positive as always, the band know that this new release is their most different, “especially lyrically” explains Pundik.
“But whatever people like about our band, whether it’s the fun factor of singing along to the songs live, or the lyrical content… Whatever it is, our fans will really like this record.”
Having to listen a couple of times to understand the similarities between releases and their relation to the band’s growth alongside their fans isn’t a negative thing – in fact, in a genre as simultaneously diverse yet easily misrepresented as pop punk, it could be the best possible thing.
“Pop punk has been around for a long time, it’s like, look at the Ramones and then the Descendants, from the Descendants to Green Day – it keeps happening every generation,” Jordan enthuses, “I definitely think [the genre] is going to keep evolving, there’s like, different styles of pop punk but it’s all still pop punk!
I think bands are gonna keep influencing kids to start bands and then those bands will maybe become popular bands, it’ll keep going.”
In terms of what Australian audiences can expect from New Found Glory in 2015 and beyond, Pundik promises not only to continue being “a voice to write about life experience and human experience”, but to hit our stages with the best live show we’ve seen in years. Songs to watch out for from our iPods to the pit at Soundwave include The Worst Person, Selfless and Ready and Willing. Don’t worry though, they’re never gonna tire of playing the classics –
“Hell yeah we’ll do My Friends Over You when we’re forty! Like, does Tom DeLonge feel weird singing First Date? It’s still a great song!”
New Found Glory will be hitting Australian shores for Soundwave 2015.
Saturday Feb 21 - Soundwave Festival @ Bonython Park, Adelaide
Sunday Feb 22 - Soundwave Festival @ Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
Saturday Feb 28 - Soundwave Festival @ Olympic Park, Sydney
Sunday March 1 - Soundwave Festival @ Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane