New Found Glory
American punk-rock five-piece New Found Glory are about to unleash their latest release, Tip of the Iceberg, an explosive testament to hardcore punk, and reminiscent of their early work.
The band members are Jordan Pundik (vocals), Chad Gilbert (guitar), Steve Klein (guitar), Ian Grushka (bass), and Cyrus Bolooki (drums). Born in 1997 out of the local music scene in Coral Springs, South Florida, New Found Glory immediately began performing and working on their debut EP, It’s All About the Girls. The original drummer, Joe Moreno, soon left to pursue his career and was replaced by current drummer, Cyrus Bolooki.
The band played their first gig with Cyrus that December, in a South Florida billiard hall called Club Q. “It was actually our CD release party for our first release ever...it was really fun,” Cyrus reminisces. “I think the thing I’ll always remember was right when we started, I looked out in the crowd, and the person in the very front, centre, singing every word, was the old drummer of this band. He had just left the band, and I thought he was going to be mad at me or that there was going to be bad blood between us, [but] he was right up there having a great time singing along. It was pretty funny.”
New Found Glory has a variety of musical influences. The members grew up listening to a wide range of styles but share a love of punk rock. “Everybody grew up listening to completely different stuff,” Cyrus said. “There was a lot of hardcore influences coming from Gorilla Biscuits, all the way through to Lifetime and *CIV*...but we all grew up in the age of Green Day ...I think it’s the scene that influenced us most.”
Harking back to their original influences, Tip of the Iceberg boasts three hard-rocking covers from Gorilla Biscuits, Shelter and Lifetime, and three in your face originals. “It definitely takes us back to the first couple of releases that we did, where it was extremely fast, and energetic.”
Since releasing It’s All About the Girls in 1997, they have released six full-length albums, an EP and a greatest hits compilation. Three of their albums – New Found Glory, Sticks and Stones and Catalyst – have gone gold.
“I remember the day that I found out we [received] our first gold record in America,” he says. “When we played that CD release show way back in 1997, we had made a thousand CDs, and it took us almost a full year to sell them. Fast forward about five years later, and we find out that our record went gold in America – which means we sold 500,000 CDs, so it’s such a huge difference.”
The band have travelled the world and collaborated with Lisa Loeb, Ozzy Osbourne’s producer Thom Panunzio, Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy and other famous artists, but the most defining moments of their career for Cyrus are touring with Blink 182 and Green Day, and the announcement of their first gold album.
“When we were growing up as kids, those were the concerts that we went to,” he explains. “So for us to look back now and to know that we’ve toured with Blink, we’ve done the Warped Tour eight times and on top of that we also toured with Green Day. It’s like getting to do things you always dreamed of as a little kid, things you never think will come true, so it’s such an honour for us to be able to know we’ve done that.”
New Found Glory has played thousands of gigs, but Cyrus recalls a particularly “crazy” one where he ended up with broken bones.
“I think it was only about a month after we got off of the Blink 182 tour. Everything was going so great in our band, we went out on a US tour with our friends in H2O, and I think it was six days into the tour, at a show in New York, I was walking off the stage, and I actually fell off the back of the stage and I broke my arm, and I also broke a bone in my back,” Cyrus recalled. “It was like going from one extreme to the other. I went from being on top of the world...to two seconds later I didn’t think I was ever gonna play drums again.”
In the future, New Found Glory plan to continue writing, recording and touring for as long as possible. “We want to try to make this last as long as we can. We’re having so much fun now, 11 years after we started this. I hope it can last another 11 or 20 or whatever,” Cyrus says. “I wanna continue to travel the world, and I wanna go back to places like Australia and Japan and Europe. We have so much fun when we travel.”
We can look forward to seeing the band down under again soon, as they loved it here on previous visits. “Australia’s been one of those places that we’ve been to like four times, five times, and I can’t wait till the next time that we get to go back out there,” Cyrus enthuses. “We’re pushing hard to get out there, and whenever we go out there, it’s absolutely amazing for us.”
Cyrus’s advice to emerging artists is simple. “You have to get out there and you have to promote yourself. If you want to be in a band, you can’t just wake up one day and it all works,” he proffers. “It takes a lot of hard work: tell your friends about yourself, and play shows for people. If you have a dream, your dream can come true – but there’s always hard work involved in that.”
It’s rootsy, it’s hardcore, it’s honest and raw – so watch out for Tip of the Iceberg on April 29.