For almost two decades, Florida-based pop punk heroes New Found Glory have been regarded as one of the most popular and highly established names in the underground scene to this day. Defining their nostalgic sound with catchy melodies while belting out simplistic hits like “My Friends Over You,” “All Down Hill From Here” and “Hit Or Miss,” the band has proven themselves as a timeless entity for a fanbase who still find themselves vicariously reliving their youth through these classic singles after all of these years.
However, within recent years, the band has gone through some dramatic transitional changes that made a huge impact on the band’s lineup. After their co-headlining tour with Alkaline Trio last fall, New Found Glory parted ways with longtime lyricist and guitarist Steve Klein in December, due to conflicting personal differences. Continuing forward into the new year without Kline, they persevered onward as a four-piece outlet and still remain stronger than ever.
This month, New Found Glory are back on the road for the Glamour Kills tour with the support of Fireworks and We Are The In Crowd, just in time for the release of their eighth studio effort, Resurrection. With a newly revived attitude surrounding everyone in the band, this follow up to their 2011 release, Radiosurgery, is their first studio full-length as a four-piece entity.
Just days before New Found Glory went out on the road for this upcoming month-long tour, I spoke with lead vocalist Jordan Pundik on the writing and recording process of Resurrection and how they’ve adjusted to the lineup change since the new year began.
The Glamour Kills tour starts this week. What are you looking forward to about this tour the most?
I mean honestly, it’s been a while since we’ve been on a long tour, probably since last November. So I’m pretty stoked to get back out again, play new songs and be out on the road with the bands that are opening, you know, because they’re all fun people to hang out with. That’s what we love the most, you know? To hang.
Around this time last year, you did a co-headlining tour with Alkaline Trio. How do you think the Glamour Kills tour will be different in comparison?
How has New Found Glory’s live performance changed since making the transition as four-piece?
We’ll definitely be playing a lot more songs. With the Alkaline Trio co-headlining thing, we both only had to play a certain amount of time because we both had to split it up, so we’re going to be playing a lot more songs, a lot more fan favorites and you know… just a lot more… surprises I guess (laughs). We spend rehearsal for the tour tomorrow, so I’m pretty excited to figure out the setlist.
The last time New Found Glory played New Jersey, you headlined the second day of Skate And Surf Festival. How does it feel to come back and play in New Jersey again?
New Jersey has always been… and I’ve said this before and we mention it on stage and everything, but honestly, Jersey was one of the first places where we actually had fans when first started this band outside of Florida. Jersey has been always welcoming and awesome whenever we play there and it’s one of our bigger places that we play, so it’s pretty awesome to go there. I have family there, so that’s always a plus. I was born in Jersey, so… (laughs) it’s kind of like a home away from home, you know?
When you guys played Skate And Surf, you announced that New Found Glory were going to be releasing a new record. Now that Resurrection will be officially out soon, how does it feel to finally have this record see the light of day?
It feels really… well, I always get a little bit nervous before a record to come out because we haven’t put something out in so long. And waiting for it to come out is like waiting for a baby to be born or something. It’s like, you don’t know how it’s going to turn out or what it’s going to look like as far as what the fans are going to think.
I’m really excited to get that kind of feedback from people and actually hear what people think about the record and for people to hear all of the songs instead of just hearing the three or four songs we’ve released, you know? So I’m excited and I’m a little nervous (laughs), but I always get nervous before a record comes out.
Putting together a record for the first time as a four-piece, what was the writing process for Resurrection like? Were there a lot of equal opportunities amongst everyone else in the band to be as creative as possible as far as making their own unique contributions in the studio?
Yeah, I mean, it was probably one of the easiest records that we’ve done as a band. With just the four of us now, we’re a stronger unit, especially going through everything that happened last year. We’ve all always wrote the songs together. I mean, the songs always have to spark from somewhere, you know? Whether it would be the lyrics or the music, we’ve always written together.
Back then it was kind of like, someone would have an idea and someone else would disagree to that idea, or like, you know, it’s just like any kind of relationship, you kind of battle about things. And this time around it was like, we were all on the same page and all had that same sort of… the record was very cathartic for us. Writing together was a really easy thing and we had everything done before we went into the studio, which has never happened.
Was Resurrection a record that you wanted to put together as a five-piece? Or did the idea of this record come about after guitarist Steve Kline left the band?
Well, we always had planned on doing the record at the same time, but with things happening and the way they did and what we were going through, that was kind of the catalyst, or the theme, behind the record. But if there was still five of us, who knows how the record would have turned out. It could have been more of the same, but it’s one of those things where it takes something like that to really kind of spark something, you know what I mean?
Now that you’ve released this record as a four-piece, would you say to some extent Resurrection represents a new chapter in the life of New Found Glory? Or even a revival of the band for a lack of a better word?
Yeah, I definitely feel like it’s sort of a new chapter. You know, going through everything, it feels new and it feels revived in a way.
Would you also say that this revival of the band was the main inspiration behind the title of the album, Resurrection?
Yeah, I definitely think that it kind of encompasses what the record is all about. When you’re dealing with things in your life that are really shitty and you’re going through a lot, there’s always going to be ups or downs. It’s almost like taking those things and holding onto them as if they’re only going to make you stronger. And that’s been kind of the theme on the whole record.
And I feel like naming it Resurrection for us, we never really went anywhere. I think it’s more like how we were feeling internally and overcoming a lot of the things that were happening and it just kind of encompasses everything that we’re singing about on the record.
Having to persevere and to move forward by addressing the circumstances of Steve’s situation and letting him go from the band, would you say that New Found Glory have grown a lot closer and stronger than ever throughout this past year not only as bandmates, but as friends?
Yeah, I definitely think so. It’s a little bit like family, you know? You fight each other, then you disagree on things and you make up and that sort of thing and it’s like, realizing that a lot of those problems were stemming from one place. And then realizing that and with that in mind, there’s almost this sort of chain that has been unlocked or something, for all of us. Just like the vibes when we hang out together, it’s totally different. Everyone’s in a better place, I feel.
New Found Glory will be playing at the Theatre Of Living Arts in Philadelphia on Oct. 15, Starland Ballroom in Sayreville on Oct. 18 and the Best Buy Theater in Manhattan on Oct. 19. They will also be stopping by Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ on Oct. 18. Resurrection is out now on Hopeless Records. For more information, go to newfoundglory.com.