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New Found Glory – Returning To Their Roots

Written by Mike Hohnen on September 21, 2011

There are two types of people out there in this dark, confusing world or ours: those who already love New Found Glory, and those who are yet to give them a good listen. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know their charm and their characters through many an Australian tour as well as a plethora of releases. Now with their latest masterpiece Radiosurgery expected to drop October of this year, I was fortunate enough to check in with lead singer and frontman Jordan Pundik just to make sure everything was running smoothly.

Radiosurgery is now the 7th studio album from New Found Glory, and with the current buzz around pop punk, and NFG’s reputation of releasing hit album after hit album, I thought I’d pry and see what information I could get though keeping his cards close to his chest, Jordan explained “I can tell you that it’s awesome. I mean, it’s kind of like we really had a vision for this record, it’s one of those records where you put it on and it’s like – not to sound corny but – a non-stop party the whole time, from start to finish. We listened to a lot of older stuff that got us into playing what we play and we really tried to have some influence from that when we went in to write this record to kind of bridge the gap between our old stuff and keeping it relevant. Like when you put on an old Descendents record or a Ramones record, you know every song, all the words. That’s what we tried to accomplish with this one”.

Obviously adapting a new approach to the album by returning to their roots for influence, I asked Jordan if the whole writing process has changed much since NFG’s first release in Nothing Gold Can Stay, “The only thing that’s really changed is that we can write together without being together, you get what I mean? The overall process hasn’t really changed as far as Chad coming up with a guitar part, and you know the base of the song and showing that it’s us, but now it’s kind of like we can do it through Skype, or iChat or something. It’s kind of cool because we can be at home and work on songs. Before, when we would write songs we would write on the road touring in the van; I remember Cyrus playing drums on the steering wheel and Chad with an acoustic guitar in the passenger seat, you know? So yeah, it’s definitely a lot easier”.

So rather than reinventing the wheel, NFG have stuck to what works and clearly haven’t lost touch with their inner songwriter. I couldn’t help but get all excited about the album now, knowing it’s coming from essentially the same place as NFG’s previous releases, but with a retrospective tinge.

Not only referencing the past for writing the album, NFG also teamed up with Neal Avron for the first time in a matter of years. Avron was the production guru behind three early New Found Glory’s albums (2000 self-titled release, 2002’s Sticks and Stones and 2004’s Catalyst). “It was awesome [returning to produce with Avron], because he is basically another member of the band. Even though we haven’t worked with him in probably five or six years, it was like it never changed, all the old jokes were funny you know? Ha ha. He really pushes us man, he really pushed us to make the best record we could. I had to admire that and really appreciate that. If he wasn’t there, I think the record would have come out very differently”. Avron was the obvious choice for such a record, with Jordan describing what is normally a very difficult decision as a ‘no brainer’.

Though not everything about this record is nostalgic. Featured on the album is none other than surf pop legend Bethany Cosentino, of coarse from Best Coast. A move that wasn’t always on the cards though, as Jordan explained, Twitter made it possible “I was a fan of Best Coast and they were playing at a venue by me and I tweeted them and I said “I wish I was going to the Best Coast show, too bad I can’t” or something like that, whatever, then Ali [Koehler], the drummer tweeted me back – it was amazing man – so she tweeted me back and said “you should come down after the show” you know – whatever. So I went down there and met every body, then Chad went down to the show near where he lives through the same thing, through Twitter. So from then we kind of became friends with them” clearly very excited by the chance encounter, Jordan continued to connect the dots “When we were in the studio and we wrote that song we thought man, it would be awesome if we could get Bethany on this”.

Now with a solid understanding of where Radiosurgery was coming from, I took the conversation more in the direction of where Jordon thought it was going. “Unfortunately people tend to judge a whole album from just one song, I think people should be patient. I think our fans are going to really like this record just because it’s going to be one of those records where no matter which song you choose to play, I feel like because they are all up beat, and all have these choruses that you can sing along to and go crazy for – I think they’ll really appreciate this record”

By sticking to what works as well as adding some 2011 flare, New Found Glory’s latest Offspring Radiosurgery will see pop punks favorite sons return to the top of the food chain of these dime a dozen bands, and stay there.

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