By Andrew Gilhooley / 411
The word ‘catalyst’ means something that brings change,” New Found Glory’s vocalist Jordan Pundik reminds me. It is also the title of the band’s most recent album, which is enjoying international success and contains some striking new directions for the Florida-based quintet. And The Catalyst is the name of the Santa Cruz nightclub that will be hosting New Found Glory’s energetic, melodic punk rock this Friday evening.
New Found Glory’s fourth and newest album sees the band expanding on its already-successful formula of aggressive, driving guitar music coupled with catchy melodies and harmonies.
"We used different amps and guitars,” guitarist Steve Klein said. “We even used four different tunings. We've never even done that on any other record before."
The track “l Don’t Wanna Know” also features a string quartet. Brave moves for a band playing in a genre that values simplicity, but the experimentation has paid off - fans bought almost 150,000 copies of “Catalyst” in the first week of its release, and the band’s _popularity secured a supporting slot on a two-month tour with Green Day.
Don’t think for a minute, however, that all this success has not come as the result of hard work. The band has its origins back in 1997 in Coral Springs, Fla. New Found Glory’s bass guitarist, Ian Grushka, formed a band called Inner City Kids with three of his friends. Within a relatively short space of time, the original singer was asked to leave the band; Pundik replaced him. Soon after this, the drummer and guitarist both left the band, leaving Grushka and Pundik as a duo.
Pundik suggested Klein, someone from his previous band, as guitarist and soon a second guitarist was added in the shape of Chad Gilbert. Drummer “Taco Joe" Marino then joined and the band began playing shows around South Florida under its new name, “A New Found Glory." The band released an EP “It’s All About the Girls," on an independent label, Fiddler Records.
Cyrus Bolooki replaced Marino on drums, and the band continued to tour relentlessly, using Internet message boards to find gigs while traveling around Florida in a cramped van.
New Found Glory’s big break came when they released their first album, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” in 1999. Executives at Drive Thru Records heard the album and liked the band so much they signed it. New Found Glory (they dropped the 'A’ to make it easier for fans to find their CDs in stores) began to get wider exposure and to tour with well-known bands.
The years since that first album have seen three more CDs and two DVDs released, as well as tours all over America and Europe.
Says guitarist Klein: “`We’ve been working our butts off. We’re the real deal - we started our band in a garage and built it up, managed our own band, toured in a van and slept on people’s floors. “There are a lot of bands that haven’t gone through that.”
First published in "411", The Salinas Californian, April 14, 2005
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