From their origins in the garages of Florida’s Coral Springs, to some of the world’s biggest stages, to pressing their own albums to releases on Epitaph and (most recently) Hopeless Records, New Found Glory are the classic punk rock story. Their new album Resurrection (out October 7th via Hopeless Records) represents a return to a heavier sound, which will feel perfectly at home at this weekend’s Riot Fest in Toronto. Frontman Jordan Pundik took the time to discuss the band’s process and evolution, adult life and how they keep their inner child alive. Spoiler: it’s farts.
Would you describe Resurrection as a new direction for the band, or is it part of an ongoing evolution?
It’s a little bit of both. It’s kind of a rebirth for the band, especially going back to a four-piece, with one guitar player, one bass player, one drummer, one singer and we really wanted to showcase that.
When you sat down to write songs for Resurrection, which subjects and themes did you find yourself most drawn to?
We really wanted a feel of “coming out on top” on the record. On some of our previous albums, a lot of the songs were about relationships, but on this one it was more about coming out on top of the more tragic things that we’d experienced. We also hoped our fans could connect with that, you know? Whatever cards they’re dealt, we hope they could identify.
How was your creative process on this album different from when you started?
I think this was the best process we’ve ever had. I was going to Chad’s (Gilbert) house – I live in San Diego and he lives in LA – once a week to write demos. Cyrus (Bolooki) would also join us there and we’d sit and come up with ideas, describe the sound and discuss what we wanted to say. So by the time we hit the studio, the album was pretty much ready to fully record.
Is there anything from your early days that you still do when recording a new album?
A lot of fart jokes (laughs).
What would an album be without fart jokes, though?
I know. I remember when we were recording before we had a mic rigged up just in case someone had to fart. By the end of it, we just had a collection of thousands upon thousands of audio farts.
Have you considered doing an album entirely fart-based album?
Ha! No, but Ian used to have this old band called ‘Phart’.
What excites you most about being part of Hopeless records?
For starters, everyone there is awesome. The whole crew has been doing this for so long – they just know what we want to accomplish there. Louis (Posen) is an incredible label owner, which is not something you find that often. He’s really involved – in a good way – plus all the guys and girls that work with him are really engaged. I’m just a huge fan of Hopeless. I remember buying albums from them when I was a kid.
They’ve got a hell of a roster.
Yeah, I used to love bands like Sam I Am and Funeral Arrangement. They made music that was super catchy and melodic and I thought they released best records on Hopeless.
What were your fondest memories from Epitaph?
Being associated with Epitaph – having their logo on our albums was such a trip. I grew up listening to their most iconic bands like Pennywise, NOFX and Bad Religion. When Epitaph signed us, half our friends were there, which was really cool.
Are you guys looking forward to playing Riot Fest?
Absolutely. You hear about Riot Fest every year, how awesome it is. We always look forward to what the lineup’s going to be, so we were excited that they asked us to be part of it this year.
There’s a pretty eclectic mix of acts at Riot Fest. When you’re playing festival shows like these, do you prefer that kind of mix, or a more streamlined feel?
For me personally, I like a more eclectic mix. We always play the Reading and Leeds festivals, but we’ve also played more streamlined festivals like Slam Dunk in the UK, and the Warped Tour. I love having an opportunity to see bands that sound nothing like us and to see the cross-section of fans at places like that. For Riot Fest, I love that you have bands like us and Bring Me the Horizon but at the same time you get to see Afghan Wigs and Thurston Moore. I constantly listened to them as a teenager.
What other acts are you most looking forward to catching that day?
Well, of course the bands I already mentioned but oh man I can’t wait to see Die Antwoord. That shit is NUTS. Love that AWOLnation record so I’m curious to see what that’s all about live. Oh, and that new track “Brill Bruisers” by the New Pornographers? So good! Love Neko’s voice.
I’ve read that on the Glamour Kills tour, you’ve been doing a Green Day cover. Do you find there’s still any animosity from the Punk community for that sort of thing? Do you care?
People don’t care, honestly. They want to sing along and it’s kind of a communal thing at this point. Nobody’s been negative about them at all.
In your experience, how does touring the world affect the punk outlook and aesthetic? How did it affect you creatively?
I didn’t go to college when I was younger, so travelling the world was really a form of education for me. When we’re travelling to places like Russia and Korea, we’re trying new places to eat or visiting the local sketchy spots, we get to talking to people and learning what they’re about. It’s really eye-opening.
There’s a story about you guys coming up with the band’s name while working at Red Lobster. Is there anything about those days that you miss?
I definitely miss not having responsibilities. Being able to go out on tour and having to worry about bills and adult shit. More than any of that, I miss the newness of everything, if that makes sense.
How everything is a novelty for the first little while?
Yeah, just experiencing things for the first time, like the first time we ever went to the UK – back then it was this whole new world but now it’s like, we have friends there. It’s just part of the touring schedule. It’s an amazing place to play shows in and visit now, but I get a bit of nostalgia for the first few times we were there, how everything was new and exciting.
To that point, what’s one thing you’ve learned in your 17 years in the band that you’d want your younger self to know?
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I know that’s a cliché and everything, but it’s true. If you have opportunities, take advantage. I’d say if you want to design t-shirts or other art forms or a different musical process, do it while you still have the time and the energy. Now that I’m in my thirties, I have all these ideas for little side projects, but I have no idea where I’m going to find the time.
New Found Glory plays Riot Fest Toronto on Saturday September 6th at 2:30pm on the Riot Stage.