There are few pop-punk bands out there who don’t name New Found Glory as an influence. The band, having been active for well over a decade, are a driving force behind the pop-punk scene to this day. Armed with relatable and honest music as well as an energetic live performance, New Found Glory show no intentions of passing the torch on just yet. We caught up with guitarist Steve Klein to talk about Warped Tour Australia, new live album ‘Kill It Live’ and much more.
Let’s talk about Warped Tour. What’s it feel like to come back down under for Warped AU?
Well, I mean the last Warped Tour we were on was in 2001 so it has been a while so were stoked when AJ [Maddah] asked us to be on this one. So, it’s been a long time coming but we’re really excited to play there.
What was your last experience in Australia like?
We were on tour with Taking Back Sunday and that tour was a lot of fun. It was right after our record ‘Radiosurgery’ came out and for some reason it seems in Australia that they love New Found Glory. Every time we play there, they’re the best shows ever; the kids sing-a-long so loud and have the best time. That makes us want to keep coming back.
Seeing as it’s been a long time since Australia had Warped, how do you think it will hold up to the standard of the American version?
I mean, there are a lot less bands for sure. Warped Tour US has got sixty bands or more but I definitely think it’s going to hold up. There are a lot of cool bands and it’s probably going to be set up like Warped Tour US and it’s going to be a lot of fun. It should be what people expect to be and hold up to the standard of Warped Tour and it’ll just be awesome! Gotta stay hydrated. Wear a lot of sunblock so you don’t pass out.
Kill It Live? What brought about the decision to do a live album?
We’ve never had a live album before so it has been a long time coming. I mean, we’ve talked about doing it for a while but it’s all about timing and right now we’re in between Radiosurgery and finding another label so we felt it was time to do a live record. We’re releasing it out on Chad’s imprint, B9. So it’s very in-house, family kind of thing you know? Us putting it out and us like putting three new songs on the record makes it a little more appealing to the fans. So it’s not just the live album, you also get these three new live songs that are showing what we’re doing now as a band. That makes it a little more exciting I guess.
Having been around for over fifteen years, how has New Found Glory’s fan base changed? Or has it at all changed?
I mean, I think it’s evolved but we still have a lot of the same bands we did back in the day. We never try to put out the same record twice, we try and keep it fresh and new and that keeps people interested in our band. And you see people with brothers or sisters who are like, “Aw, my brother got me into your band.” It’s kind of ever-evolving. You look out into the crowd and you see a lot of young people out there and that’s just awesome that people so young are getting into our band. It means we can stay around for a lot longer. New fans are getting into our band so we’re not still playing to the same fans forever. We still have those old fans but we are also getting newer fans and that’s really cool.
As you stated, you have the kids sing the words really loud. Being the sort of, main lyricist of the band for a while, what’s it like to have all those people sing back to you the lyrics you wrote?
It’s very surreal. It’s something you can’t really put your finger on. I think what people really like about our band is that we write from the heart and have relatable lyrics about relationships and what not. Real things that people go through so people have that special place in their heart for our lyrics. You know, people go, “Yeah, I’m going through the same thing!” There’s a place on our website for New Found Glory tattoos people have gotten. And that’s crazy for me! I mean, these people have New Found Glory lyrics tattooed on their body forever! It’s inspires me to keep writing and playing and touring.
Can you just confirm for me if you guys are playing your 2002 album, ‘Sticks and Stones’ in its entirety seeing as Australia missed out on that anniversary tour.
Ah, I’m gonna say yes. As far as I know we’re gonna be playing that album in full.
What plans do New Found Glory have after Warped AU?
Well, we just finished up a US tour, we went to Europe and then we’ll be doing Australia so we’re just gonna take a little break and then start thinking about the record for next year. Got to think about labels and write new songs and release the record.
How did you yourself get into the whole pop-punk scene and what made you want to start a band?
I got into pop-punk I think when I got this Green Day album. From there I kind of looked into their inspirations or ‘band-friends’ and started getting into new bands and then looked at their inspirations or tour-mates and just kept doing that. I was a nerdy kid, so I wanted to know everything about pop-punk. So I got into bands like Green Day and NOFX and Pennywise, and all these bands but then I worked out the local scene where a lot of local bands played and stuff. There was this weekly show called Chaos that all my friends and I would go to. There were all these different bands playing each week. There were hardcore bands and pop-punk bands and I actually saw Marilyn Manson’s first band before he was ‘Marylyn Manson’. So that got me into pop-punk and then from there I branched out into different music scenes and kept finding other bands.
Me and Jordan and Ian would go off and see Blink-182 and all these other bands that would play in front of two or three hundred people and no one even knew who these bands were at the time but that was all the fun of it.
We’ll just end with some simpler questions, Steve. Band you’re most excited to be playing with on Warped AU?
Probably Man Overboard. I actually produced their last two records and we’re good friends with them; we’ve toured with them. So it’s exciting to see them play and it’s going to be great exposure for them as they’re still a relatively new band.
A band you want to play with one day?
That’s a tough one! …I’d probably say Metallica! They’d just be cool to play with! (laughs)
Favourite album of the year?
The 1975’s release. That was just a really good album in general. They’re not pop-punk like you would expect me to say, but I still loved it.
Most disappointing release of the year?
The Jay-Z record. I mean, seriously, I could do better rhymes then that! (laughs)
All right, thanks for your time, Steve. All the best for the rest of the year and you’re future endeavours.
Yeah, thanks my man. Have a good one.
You can catch New Found Glory on all Warped Tour dates this November and December.