Alter The Press!


Interview: New Found Glory - 30/05/09

Jon managed to catch up drummer Cyrus Bolooki of New Found Glory ahead of their sold out show at the London HMV Forum.

Cyrus spoke to Alter The Press! about the release of their new record 'Not Without A Fight', signing to hardcore label Bridge 9, the origin of the bands side project International Superheroes Of Hardcore, the Blink-182 reunion, the fans and more.

Alter The Press: First time back in the UK with the release of 'Not Without A Fight', how has the album been received so far?
Cyrus: It's been amazing; we have the type of fans that, no matter where there from, they get the type of music. It doesn't matter if they get it from a store, a lot of people managed to get it before it even came out, and we don't really mind. They come to the show, they sing every word and, with places like Australia, it came out as we were over there and, with days before it was officially coming out, kids knew all the words. In the UK, it's amazing. We can't play a whole record in it's entirety live, we don't have enough time, and have too many songs, but we get to play 3 or 4 songs and they are received really well. The kids, who don't know these songs, get them, as they are pretty immediate as far as the response, it's pretty easy to get into them.

ATP: You have a fan base where if the album leaks, everyone will still support you guys some way, some how; if it's coming to a show, buying a shirt etc.
Cyrus: Even in today’s word, not a lot of fans buy music but even if they don't they will come out to the show, buying merchandise. It's all supporting us, like if we play Reading/Leeds Festival, tons of fans will come out for us. That's bigger support than record sales.

ATP: The appeal is definitely that you give a lot to your fans. You have been known to start playing a show, rip up the set list and do requests, bring people on stage to play.
Cyrus: We try and have fun. A lot of places like London, we try and do special things. At the Forum, here, we shot our DVD, instead of some place in America where it would have been cheaper. It's important to give back to your fans because it keeps us on the same level as the kids, it's where we came from and, we're not a band who think we’re on this pedestal and that no one should speak to us without a pass. It keeps it fresh for us. If we rip up a set list, we'll play some songs we've never played before, or play a song where a kid plays a guitar. We are always a band who try to have fun. Our live shows are huge to us and we want to keep it as interesting as possible for everyone. We still play the same venues as we did back in the day and people are still coming out to see us. It's flattering.

ATP: Is there a reason why you chose to play only 2 shows, instead of a full tour, since the release of the new record?
Cyrus: Two reasons for that. We did a tour in the UK and we are coming back for Reading/Leeds Festivals in August and, so, hopefully we will do some club shows around that. I think it was so we can go to Europe, as we've never been to some places like Spain and Luxembourg. We aren’t trying to take away anything from the UK, but there are other places out there as well, and we'll just try and come back again.

ATP: Can we expect a full tour by the end of the year?
Cyrus: Not sure, if we don't do more club dates around Reading/Leeds, hopefully early next year.

ATP: How did you sign with Bridge 9 Records?
Cyrus: That was something; they made a name for themselves. They made a big name for themselves in the hardcore and vinyl community. At the time, we were without a label and weren't looking to sign with them but do International Superheroes of Hardcore (NFG side project) with them. We had these NFG songs which were heavier and some cover songs of hardcore bands which had influenced us. It all fit that we would find a label like that. Everyone at Bridge 9 are amazing and very receptive to it. They put out the Not Without A Fight vinyl release and we’re still trying to help them out. It was something we could all agree on, without having to sign a crazy contract saying we have to do six records with them. We had an idea, they backed it, we both back each other.

ATP: How did ISHC come together?
Cyrus: At the time we were writing 'Coming Home' which was a lot different to our other records. We were living in this huge mansion in Malibu and it was all through the record label. For 24 hours a day, we would have things set up and would work on 'Coming Home' as our main focus but you can't write that stuff for 24 hours straight, it's tough. We would take breaks, and not do much with NFG, so that’s where Chad (Gilbert - lead guitarist) would play around with some riffs and people would pop up on instruments. Jordan (Pundik - vocals) said he wanted to do something so, he grabbed a guitar but Chad didn't want to play guitar and sing so, before we knew it, we had everything set up to record; and those were the first ISHC songs, which we did in the studio in Malibu. It's a really fun thing for us to do and it's something that is definitely not going away; it’s always an outlet for us.

ATP: Where did the whole super-hero idea come from?
Cyrus: The whole idea came from the first song we did, where we referenced as many super-hero names as we could in 'Super Hero Sellouts,' but for us, if we wanted to release this, we didn't want to make it serious at all. Everyone went in with a name and, next thing you know, we were super heroes and the artwork fell into place.

ATP: Was the whole record done in Malibu?
Cyrus: It was all over the place. We had no idea it was going to be on Bridge 9 when doing the demos; we did some in California whilst on tour, just really everywhere.

ATP: When can we see another ISHC show?
Cyrus: No idea. We need to ask our super-hero booking agent. It's very random, the other night in Paris we busted out a song. This was in the middle, during the NFG set. Originally we were going to do full costumes but it's way too hot to do that.

ATP: It must be hard for Chad singing two sets, and for the rest of you guys playing two sets in one night, especially throughout the US tour you just did.
Cyrus: Lucky for us, there were 5 bands on the bill, and ISHC would play second, so there was two bands before NFG played, so we would get a rest. And, it was only a 25 minute set, but it would only really be 18 minutes, as the songs are only a minute and a half long. It was tiring but fun.

ATP: Any news on new material? Chad said recently it was going to be more serious.
Cyrus: I haven't heard any of the lyrics but the music is definitely ISHC stuff.

ATP: Anything else planned to come out on Bridge 9?
Cyrus: Nothing in the works but it'll continue.

ATP: What would you say has kept you guys going so strong as a band for 12 years?
Cyrus: The fans because they are still out there, coming to see us 12 years later. What we have together as a band, just wanting to have fun and play everywhere, is still there. It's been the five of us from the beginning and we have done this for 12 years, made sacrifices and have experiences to look back on. None of us can really get big headed because we can always bring each other back down to the same level but we are all really united. It's our life and we aren't going anywhere.

ATP: Back in the day, people would associate you with bands like Good Charlotte and Simple Plan. Do you try and stir away from that side of music?
Cyrus: In interviews people would always say ‘you sound like Good Charlotte,’ we understand why you are saying that, but we really don't. On the surface, it may look like the same genre but you need to go deeper. Back in the day, people would always do that, like Chad when telling his friends about hardcore, who don't listen to anything besides what is on the radio, he would have to compare it to Rage Against The Machine. It's probably the furthest comparison. With that sort of stuff, we don't have to try and stay away as we have our sound. As long as we write music from the heart, which sounds like NFG, it's always going to have its place. All those bands are just based off trends and are here today, gone tomorrow. We would just stay there and watch them pass us by. It's a big thing.

ATP: People will always associate you guys as one of the most respected and biggest bands in pop punk.
Cyrus: Yeah. Just look at a band like Green Day, granted their image has changed a little bit but they are still playing the same songs, and all their songs still sound like Green Day. They are massive and kind of led the way. In the middle of their career, people thought they were going to break up and not put out anything huge again. So if anything, that band is an example to us, just to stay true to yourself, your fans will always remain your fans and if you get any new ones, that’s great.

ATP: A lot of people thought, as your friends with the guys, you were going to be supporting Blink-182 on their upcoming US tour, especially with the release of the new record.
Cyrus: So did we. I think everybody and their mom approached them for that tour, and it was such a surprise to hear they were coming back together. It came out of nowhere and the next day everyone was probably calling. We all thought about it, that it would be awesome to go on tour with them, and called the people we needed to, but when we heard back, everybody had been calling and we needed to figure out what we wanted ourselves. They have other bands on the tour, and we've already toured with them, if there back together, it's not going to be the last tour, so who knows. Something I’d really like, is if they would bring us here, as we were supposed to in 2001 but because of September 11th, and other issues, it was cancelled. Somebody should tell them they should follow through on that but it almost doesn't matter who they bring, as the main focus is going to be Blink. It's going to be a good show.

ATP: What is planned after this European tour?
Cyrus: We are taking summer over and coming back for Reading/Leeds, some European festivals, hopefully some club dates and then probably some US stuff. Early next year will probably be Japan and then countries we have never been to, hopefully come back here in the Spring. There are no plans for another record for two years.

'Not Without A Fight' is out now on Epitaph Records.

Alter The Press!