"Don't Let Her Pull You Down"

Pop-punk acts aren’t generally known for their longevity, but for the past twelve years South Florida’s own New Found Glory have constantly blurred the line between punk rock and hardcore via their unique brand of melodic music. Earlier this year the band released their sixth full-length Not Without A Fight, which is a return to the group’s hardcore roots yet still contains enough sugary hooks to give listeners a toothache. We caught up with the band’s Les Paul-toting guitarist Chad Gilbert to discuss the band’s latest album, New Found Glory’s longevity and the current state of pop-punk. 

How do you feel like Not Without A Fight compares to New Found Glory’s early recordings?

I feel like the new album has the energy of a lot of our older stuff and it’s also similar to our early stuff in the way we made it. When we made [1999’s] Nothing Gold Can Stay we paid for it ourselves—and that’s what we did with this album on a different scale. We went into the studio and made the record on our own; we wanted to make a record that we thought we’d have fun playing live, so we went in and made a record ourselves and then we found a label to put it out. I think that’s why it has the same kind of feel.

How would you say this record is the next step for the band? 

I think more than any other record this record has a lot of guitar riffs and the guitar parts equally catchy or even catchier than the vocal melodies, you know? I think [2006’s] Coming Home had more simple guitars because it was more of a vocal-driven record; this album also has a lot of melodic vocals, but I think we showed people that we can do more than just what we’re expected to do. There are some bigger, more intricate riffs and that’s something I’m really proud of as a musician.

Do you think this album has more hardcore parts than your last few albums?

Yeah, definitely. I think this album came out heavier than a lot of the other ones because of what’s been going on with all of our lives. Unfortunately there’s a business to music and we had other people doing stuff for us—and then it came to a point where everything kind of fell back into our laps. It was awesome and I think we made something super driven and super aggressive because of all the personal stuff that happened. I think that’s why there’s screaming and heavier breakdowns; when you’re mad about something, it’s not fun to be nice about it. It’s more cathartic to yell about it, you know what I mean?

You’ve outlasted so many of your peers in the pop-punk world. Why do you think that is?

I think it’s because New Found Glory has never been a fad. Certain bands come out and have a huge song and look a certain way and they want their fans to look a certain way, but that isn’t us. New Found Glory has never had a gimmick; we’ve never had that “one” song, we have the kind of fans who get mad when we just play our singles because they want us to play other songs, which is vice versa from most bands. I feel like whenever a kid is going through a phase by the time he’s done going through that phase he comes back to New Found Glory because we’re always writing sincere music that you can relate to.

Speaking of relating, do you feel anything in common with younger bands?

It can be hard to relate to younger bands because there’s a lot of business involved these days. I meet younger bands and they immediately talk to me about record and ticket sales and management deals; it’s like they barely even have any fans yet and they’re talking about what single to release next. That said, there are bands that we do relate to like Bayside and Set Your Goals and those bands totally get it, but they’re few and far between. You can tell right away whether a band are playing music because they love it or if they’re in it for the money and there’s never been anything where we stand when it comes to that.

Photo Credit: Wilko2009