NEW FOUND GLORY
Jordan Pundik - Vocals
Ian Grushka - Bass
Steve Klein - Guitar
Chad Gilbert - Guitar
Cyrus Bolooki - Drums
For New Found Glory, it's not just a matter of having a chance banner year or fluke popular album that has kept the act at the forefront of the pop-rock scene. It's more like a banner career - built through the efforts, determination and talent within the band.
Two years ago, the quintet released their most successful album to date, the Gold-awarded (now with sales approaching Platinum) Sticks And Stones. That album was the follow-up to the band's self-titled, major-label, debut - which sold in excess of 500,000, generating their first Gold record.
But not great bands are not made based on their impressive sales figures. Fortunately, New Found Glory understand, and perhaps more importantly, practice the concept of success via a strong dedication to the material they've penned and a commitment to the enthusiastic audience that's supported them throughout the years.
From their humble beginnings as a garage band in Coral Springs, Fla. back in 1997, to the international acclaim the act has received in recent years, New Found Glory has never lost sight of their original goal of delivering their absolute best, whether it be on stage or on recording. In fact, most of the group's recordings were produced by studio veteran Neal Avron (Everclear, The Wallflowers), a longtime collaborator of the band.
This fourth album, Catalyst, finds New Found Glory composing their classic fare of aggressive, melodic gems with Avron at the helm once again. However, Catalyst lives up to its moniker, with a number of elements falling outside of the New Found Glory modus operandi.
"The word 'catalyst' means something that brings change," says vocalist Jordan Pundik. "Its meaning is something that's new and different."
Klein says one of the differences is sonically - for example, the band experimented with new guitar tones on Catalyst. "We used different amps and guitars," he notes. "We even used four different tunings. We've never even done that on any other record before."
"Failure's Not Flattering" nods to the songwriting and production of the '80s. Complete with four-on-the-floor drum beats courtesy of New Found Glory drummer Cyrus Bolooki, the track instantly jots memories of some of rock's best history. In fact, the working title of the song was dubbed "Belinda Carlisle."
"We recorded it all '80s style," Klein says. "We recorded the drums in a small room, without the bottom drum heads, so they'd sound tighter. Guitar-wise, we used '70s vintage guitars. Even the harmonies - they sound like they're Cars harmonies - we really tried to get that '80s feel. James [Dewees] from the band Reggie And The Full Effect, who also plays keyboards in The Get Up Kids, came in and played keyboards over it."
New Found Glory also implemented a new array of instrumentation. Spin the ballad "I Don't Wanna Know," and you'll notice more than just the rudimentary guitar, bass and drums of the quintet - with a bit of help.
"We had Beck's dad write all the string arrangements to that song," says Klein. "Then we had a four-piece orchestra come and play this amazing ballad. And we also had this girl Kendall Payne sing back-ups, who was one of Neal's friends."
But don't dismiss the classic New Found Glory mainstays - the inspiring, memorable melodies and the vocals of Pundik. One of the album's standout tracks, "All Downhill From Here" (the CD's debut single) embraces the best of the old and brings in dynamic new elements.
"Jordan's voice makes us sound like New Found Glory," says Klein. "It could be the craziest music in the world, but once Jordan starts putting his vocals over it, it's our band. That's what's cool about our band - we can evolve and change musically, but our fans I think will alwaysssssss be into us because of our lyrical content and the way Jordan sings."
One of the tracks with such finger-pointing lyrics is "Your Biggest Mistake." "That one's addressed to a close friend who is stuck in a relationship and they wouldn't leave the person because they were scared of what the person would do," explains Pundik. "I've been in that situation as well, so it could also be someone talking to me too."
And it's these years of blatant, life experiences that have allowed New Found Glory more than merely attractive lyrical fodder - it's the chance to grow together as a unit through their music, which they've shared with hundreds of thousands of listeners for seven years now.
"We've been working our butts off," Klein says. "We're the real deal - we started our band in a garage and built it up, managed our own band, toured in a van and slept on people's floors. There are a lot of bands that haven't gone through that."
--- from the official New Found Glory website