New Found Glory chats with Hatchet about success

In music today bands are often hit with specific classifications, labeled by their sound and lumped together with the other bands in a specific genre. While some fall in the strict musical style of rock, rap and punk, in reality many come from diverse musical backgrounds that help them to relate with other types of music.

Florida-based punk band New Found Glory shows multiple influences. While any listener can easily define the band as a punk-rock outfit, the group reflects other musical genres, such as emo and even pop music. Drummer Cyrus Bolooki said the reason for all the influences is because “everything you listen to affects you.”

“We all come from very different musical backgrounds,” he said in an interview with The Hatchet, “Ian Grushka, bass player for NFG) is into the whole ’80s hair-rock thing, but I’m more of the radio guy. But we try to stay away from genres.”

Influences for the five-piece band, which formed in the summer of 1997 in Coral Springs, Fla., range from Green Day and other notable punk bands to bubble-gum pop artists such as Britney Spears. And the band proudly admits their fondness for the pop-superstar.

“We don’t mind showing off that we like (Spears),” Bolooki said. “You have to admit, even though she doesn’t write her own music, they are catchy songs.”

The group signed with Drive-Thru Records, a small punk label, after working its way through the Florida punk scene. Members re-released their first album, Nothing Gold Can Stay (Drive-Thru), and began building a large fan base.

New Found Glory’s recent transition to a major label, MCA Records, was remarkably painless, members said.

“The MCA deal spawns from Drive-Thru,” said Bolooki. “They were signing (punk band) Fenix Tx at the time, and they took attention to us. There were no big buyouts with contracts, no fights and we’re still friends with Drive-Thru.”

After signing with a major label and releasing its second full-length album, New Found Glory (MCA) is back with a bigger fan base and an improved sound. Bolooki attributes part of his band’s success to the many years band members and their producer spent creating music together.

New Found Glory has become almost a household name in the D.C.-area punk scene, playing three shows in the area since the beginning of the school year. And the band is schedule

“D.C. has been amazing,” Bolooki said. “These shows are shows I would have never expected. The band has played both the large 9:30 Club as opening acts and headliners, as well as putting on a small non-club venue show in a Maryland church in which over 1,000 fans attended.”

The band will play at the 9:30 Club Wednesday in a promotion for WHSF Radio. Admission to the sold-out concert is $1.

“It’s cool for us,” Bolooki said. “We’re not making very much money, but we’re headlining a show at a club we love for our fans, and we have radio station backing.”

Band members have lived the good life in the past few months. They recently finished shooting a video and played a concert with mainstream punk rockers Blink-182 at the the Warped Tour in San Diego, Calif. – the band’s first arena-sized concert with a famous act.

“That was the biggest show we’ve ever played, and also the scariest
one,” said Bolooki.

The band, which draws about 2,500 fans to its larger concerts, was overwhelmed by the crowd, which topped 11,000 punk fans.

The future looks bright for New Found Glory, which puts out upbeat, energetic and indisputably catchy songs. The band’s lyrics discuss everyday problems such as girls and love, making them easy for fans to relate. New Found Glory’s terrific stage presence alone could easily earn them a place in the spotlight.

Bolooki said his band simply plans to keep playing and get its songs out to a wider audience.

“We just want to get our music out to as many people as possible,” Bolooki said. “We are so proud of our music. This is our life and we’re loving it. I’ve never been this happy.”

The new video could hit MTV soon, but Bolooki said the publicity does not define the band.

“If the people at MTV like it, they like it,” he said. “But who cares.”

And as for Britney Spears, “I’m personally still a Christina (Aguillera) fan,” he jokes. “She’s the underdog, which means I have a better chance with her.”

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