2007 is a special year for New Found Glory — it marks their 10-year anniversary. Over that time span, the band has released six albums, a pair of EPs and performed hundreds of shows all over the world. More importantly, they have become a staple to the pop-punk genre by providing a shining example of how to keep it real in the music industry.
The year was a prototypically busy one for the band, who embarked on a short stint with Fall Out Boy, took part in the summer phenomena known as Warped Tour for a third time, released a sequel to 2000’s movie-cover EP From The Screen To Your Stereo, and recently wrapped a co-headlining tour with Senses Fail.
What makes this so remarkable is that earlier in the year they parted ways with longtime home Geffen Records, granting them free agent status for the first time in their career. Despite lacking the support of a label, the band refused to slow down.
“Regardless of a label or not, we’re still able to tour, put out records and sell out shows — which is the important thing,” singer Jordan Pundik admitted to me over the phone. “We’ve always been a self-sufficient band, so we can work through anything.”
While their final record on Geffen, 2006’s Coming Home, failed to match the sales figures from their previous releases, Pundik remains more proud of it than any other.
“I think that that record came out when it was supposed to come out,” he explained. “Those songs came out for a reason… and it was a record that I think we needed to make to show that as a band we had progressed.”
That progression led the band, which also features guitarists Chad Gilbert and Steve Klein, bassist Ian Grushka and drummer Cyrus Bolooki, to capitalize on their label-less situation. As a result, they set to work on From The Screen To Your Stereo Part II, which was something fans had been hounding the band to release.
“We had always talked about doing it but we never could because we were stuck on Geffen… and they didn’t want us doing it,” Pundik pointed out. “What’s great about not being on a label right now [is that] we’re able to do what we want.”
In May the band holed up at Gilbert’s house in Texas to record the album. The writing process was a bit different from their usual routine, proving to be “a lot more laid back because the songs were pretty much done,” Pundik said. “All we had to do was make it our own style.”
This time around, they chose to cover everything from Go West’s “King Of Wishful Thinking” to The Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris,” and again opted to put it out though Drive-Thru Records, who had released the first EP. In addition, the band called on several friends to help in the process, including Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy), Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional), Adam Lazzara (Taking Back Sunday) and Lisa Loeb.
“It was just bands and guys we’ve been friends with for a long time… who used to be fans and stuff and still are,” Pundik said. “It was really flattering because they wanted to be a part of it.”
Next on the band’s horizon will be a new six-song EP, which will be released through Boston hardcore/punk label Bridge Nine Records. In a displaying of their hardcore influences, it is set to feature cover songs of Shelter and Gorilla Biscuits and three original songs, which Pundik described as similar to the intro song on Catalyst. The EP, which the band recently finished recording, will see a limited release sometime early next year.
Then in January the band will be heading overseas for a one-month European tour alongside Paramore. Once they return home, Pundik said they will focus on writing and recording a new album, which they hope to have out next summer on their new label.
When asked about what direction the band will take, he admitted, “It’s hard to say. We like to keep our fans on their toes.” Nevertheless, he alluded the few riffs the band have been working on have sounded “almost like a pop-punk snap kick.”
Meanwhile, in a time when bands seem to go through members like spare tires or just break up altogether, what has allowed New Found Glory to last this long?
“There’s no better job than what we do, so we don’t let the little things bother us,” Pundik replied. “The love of writing music and playing for kids all around the world keeps us going… We’ll try and keep putting out good records for them.”
Here’s to the next 10 years. May they be as memorable as the first.
Originally appeared in The Chimes