In the middle of their intimate run of UK shows, New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert (guitar) and Cyrus Bolooki (drums) sat down with CtrlAltRock to talk their new album, festival survival…and Grease.
So you’re back in the UK once again, how’s the tour going for you?
Chad: It’s going great so far. It’s not a very long tour, it’s just the Reading and Leeds festivals and about six or seven other shows. But it’s been awesome, because of the festivals we’re having to play more intimate venues, which is really fun for us – we love those just as much if not more than really big shows because there’s a lot of crowd interaction and the fans that bought tickets really, really want to see you.
Cyrus: And they know everything. I think it’s awesome how it seems every night that within the first six songs, we’ve played songs from every one of our records already and kids know every word. It’s so sweet.
That’s awesome! Since you’ve been here I’m guessing there’s been lots of Nandos?
Chad: Oh yeah!
Cyrus: I’ve already found today’s Nandos!
Chad: I’ve had it five times so far.
And, like you said, you have a trip to Reading and Leeds this time around. Looking forward to it?
Chad: Oh yeah, of course! We’re really excited, we’re lucky because we have that die-hard fanbase and we’re on the mainstage again. It’s really cool to, after all these years to still be asked to play on the mainstage, you know? So we definitely thank our fans for that, we definitely wouldn’t be up there if it wasn’t for them.
Cyrus: I think the line-up this year is great, there’s a lot of bands that are kind of coming from our genre. There’s like The Offspring, My Chem, Rise Against, Deftones.
This is your…fourth time now, is it?
Cyrus: At least four because we did two tents and two mainstages, right?
Chad: I thought we did three tents…the first tent years ago, then we did the Lock-Up headline, didn’t we do another tent around Coming Home?
Cyrus: I thought so…
Chad: Or around Kiss Me, when we released that. Maybe not. I think it’s the fifth, it could be four, I can’t remember.
Cyrus: It’s a good problem to have, right?
Yeah, of course! You’re festival veterans now, do you have any festival survival tips?
Cyrus: I would say always have dry socks. Luckily for us we have buses to come back to but if you don’t have dry socks and shoes to come back to, especially in weather like this, it’s horrible.
So what would your dream festival line up be?
Chad: That’s really hard because we all listen to so many different styles of bands and music. My dream festival line-up wouldn’t make sense to people, but for mine it would be; Madball, Bjork, They Might Be Giants…us!…Tegan and Sara, Green Day, Minor Threat reunion, Operation Ivy reunion…
Cyrus: I have some weird bands to show you how different our tastes are. I would be the one who wants to bring bands back. So, I want Silverchair to get back together and play a show with us real quick, Pantera of course.
Chad: Yes! Pantera would be awesome.
Cyrus: Metallica, because we’ve all seen them but we haven’t shared a stage with them. Everybody else in the band would give you random answers.
Chad: Ian would want Taylor Swift.
Cyrus: And he’d say Lionel Richie and Phil Collins. This would be an awesome festival.
Phil Collins? I’d go to that! You have a new album coming out soon, can you tell me a bit about that?
Cyrus: Radiosurgery, it comes out at the beginning of October. We’ve been playing ‘Radiosurgery’, the single, on this tour and it’s a fun record. That’s the word that always comes out when we talk about it. It goes along with this whole thing that ‘pop-punk’s not dead’ and ‘Radiosurgery’ itself could kind of reference some of the stuff that’s going on on the record. There’s a lot of songs, not just about break-ups, but surrounding break-ups and what goes through your mind. There’s different stages of it all, where you can feel bitter about it, and then when you just want to go out and do something about it, or maybe then you start questioning yourself. Chad was looking up brain surgeries and that’s how the title ‘Radiosurgery’ came to be.
Chad: Radiosurgery is like a real surgery but we kind of made it our own. When you get the actual physical CD there’s our version of the clinical definition. We fit it to fit us, where it’s just about needing radiosurgery to get something out of your mind. And the cool thing about the record, at least to talk about the single ‘Radiosurgery’, in that lyrically it’s the most broad on the record and there’s a reason for that. ‘Radiosurgery’ could have been the first or last song on this CD, where every other song on the record has a story, and that story leads you to Radiosurgery. Does that make sense? It’s almost like its own thing on the record. Like, if Grease was a musical, the song ‘Grease’ isn’t the best song on the record, but it’s Grease! It’s saying “this is Grease, this is what it is”.
Cyrus: And you wouldn’t have the song ‘Grease’ without the rest of everything else that tells the full story.
Chad: Yes! And that’s how it is to me, that’s how I see it.
Especially with Radiosurgery about to drop, what’s your take on the whole illegal downloading culture?
Chad: There’s really nothing you can do about it. I don’t mind because I download music illegally, so I can’t point the finger. I think it’s great that when we started our band, what got us popular was Napster. We were doing Warped Tour and we were only on a small local Miami label but we’d go on Warped tour, I remember playing Minneapolis and a kid came up to me and was like, “you’re my favourite band!”. How?! We’re on a small label from Miami, there isn’t the internet the same way there is now. He was like, “oh, I downloaded your album from Napster”. That really helped us grow. So I have to thank the internet for helping our band grow. The only thing about illegal downloading that I don’t like is that I wish there was more of a balance where kids could still go out and buy records and get that experience. So I’m not against illegal downloading, but I still think that part of being a music fan is to physically go to a store, and look through the metal, punk and alternative sections, find a record you’ve never heard and try it out. I feel record stores are just getting lost in the shuffle.
Aside from Radiosurgery, what’s next for New Found Glory?
Cyrus: We have a headlining tour in support of the album in the US after this, and for next year, we just keep saying “international”. So we’re trying to come back!
I’m sure all our readers will be very excited to hear that! Thanks for chatting guys, it’s been lovely to speak to you, is there anything you’d like to add?
Cyrus: Come see us at Reading and Leeds!
Radiosurgery is released October 4th through Epitaph Records.