If you’re a fan of punk music (or just good music in general), then for over 15 years you’ve been hearing hits from the Florida-based quintet New Found Glory. With countless amounts of sold-out tours, records and a strong passion to keep fans satisfied, it almost seems as if they have left no stone unturned. However, there was one thing they hadn’t done yet in their careers: a live album. They recently released Kill It Live, compacted with a perfect blend of our favorite hits, and it includes three new tracks as well.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with guitarist Steve Klein about the new record, their current tour, and what the future holds. I think it’s safe to say their fanbase remains dominant while they also pick up a younger demographic of listeners along the way. The transcription is below:
Steve, thanks for taking the time to chat with us! I have to start off by letting you know that Kill It Live is amazing. I also love the new tunes! With all of the hits you guys have had throughout the years, how hard was the process of choosing the tracks that made the record?
No sweat, thanks for having me. Glad you like the record, too! We recorded the live album at Chain Reaction earlier this year at two different shows. However, the first night was crazy, because during the second song, Chad [Gilbert], our guitar player, actually got electrocuted. He’s okay, thank God, but we had to finish the rest of the show as a four-piece, which was crazy.
Anyway, we have like, seven records out, so it was hard to pick which songs, but by now we have an idea of which ones are fan favorites, especially live. Then, of course, there are some new ones for everyone, too.
I must say, I think it is a perfect blend that mixes all of the styles you have. I have always had respect for the band in so many ways, but mainly because New Found Glory are constantly putting out something to keep the fans satisfied. What would you say made you decide to go in that direction of a live release?
Well, like you said, it’s something new; we never did one. And, you know, it was all about the timing. The timing was right. We are in between records and labels. We wanted to show people where we are musically with these new songs, too.
On that note, we have to talk about one of the new songs, specifically, “Connect The Dots,” along with the video. It’s so hilarious, fun, and extremely lighthearted. Overall, I feel like it sums the band up in a nutshell. I want to know, where did the concept come from?
Well, our guitar player came up with the concept. Ian [Grushka] and I are super into sports like football. Chad is into more of wrestling and MMA, so when he wanted to do football, we were like, “Oh yeah!”
We added our quirkiness. It’s like helping someone get through a relationship, metaphorically. It was just really fun.
I saw you guys last year for the 10-year anniversary tour of Sticks & Stones, and I still cannot believe it has been that long since it came out. And in regards to your careers, it’s even longer! Does it ever really seem like NFG have been in the game for this long?
Oh yeah, it’s definitely surreal that we have been around so long. We don’t take it for granted, at all. A lot of bands have come and gone with fads and their music has changed. We are able to stay relevant and still have our fanbase support us and continue to come out and see us. It’s even cooler and inspiring also to see young fans at the shows, which shows we are still gaining fans, that our music is somewhat new to them, and that is really cool.
What would you say, in your opinion, has changed the most in the music industry since you first started out? I am sure the answer is pretty much everything…
Ha, yeah, you said it. I mean, everything has changed, with the internet especially—Twitter, Instagram, all of that social media stuff. I mean, for us, the business has changed a lot.
When we started out, we recorded music and just kept playing show after show. Nowadays, you don’t even have to tour to get signed; it’s crazy. However, we have adapted, because you have to. We keep our ears to the ground and check out new music.
Speaking of new music, anything in particular you are feeling?
Yeah, most definitely. The question is always hard because there is a lot (laughs). I love Man Overboard and State Champs, and also worked on the new Story So Far record. They’re all really cool.
NFG are about to embark on a tour with Alkaline Trio, and I will be in attendance at Starland Ballroom on Friday, Nov. 8. How did you all hook up?
Awesome, glad you are coming! We’ve known them forever. We toured with them so long ago. We’ve also done Warped Tour with them and are on the same label. All again, the timing all worked out, and it’s a cool, diverse lineup.
Will you be playing all of the hits on this tour?
Yes, for sure. We are starting to look at setlists from way back when and look at what we did on our previous tours so we can freshen it up!
With sold-out tours and tons of albums, in addition to being a very respected band, you guys have essentially done it all. Is there honestly anything musically that you have yet to do that you want to accomplish?
Well, thank you. Honestly, for us, we never thought we’d even get out of South Florida. We’ve accomplished more than we could have ever imagined. Our goal is to stay relevant and keep ourselves together. I mean, we still have fun while taking it seriously. We push ourselves and won’t make the same record twice.
It’s crazy when people come up to us and say, “I’ve seen you guys 30 times, and every time I see you it’s a different show.” That right there is what we have always wanted, and will continue to accomplish.
Great point, and it’s so true! Thanks again for your time, Steve, and good luck with the new record, tour, and the future of NFG! Here’s to 20 more years!
See New Found Glory at the Starland Ballroom Nov. 8, The Paramount Nov. 9, Terminal 5 Nov. 10 and the Electric Factory Nov. 14. Their new live album, Kill It Live, is available now. For more information, go to newfoundglory.com.