Following on from their hugely successful major Australian tour earlier this year, New Jersey Indie rockers The Front Bottoms have announced the release of their new album Going Grey. We nabbed some time with one half of the two piece Brian Sella to have a chat about the new album and the benefits of Aussie healthcare.
So the new album Going Grey is set to be released October 13th, what aspect are you most excited for people to hear or experience?
“I feel like every kid is going to listen to the album and it’s going to be a different experience for everybody. I hope people hear a bit of a natural development and interpret it for what it is.”
The album’s sound is definitely different from what you’ve done in the past. Was this a conscious decision?
“Oh yeah, it just kind of happened. I wish that I knew what the album was going to sound like before we made it but it just ends up sounding the way it sounds from the people we work with who have some influence on the sound and where we are as individuals. Playing it live are really when the songs become their own. That’s certainly an important aspect of the art project. Part of me is always wondering how we’re going to play them live; that’s the most enjoyable part for me personally. But there’s a lot of factors that go into why the songs sound the way they do.”
Who or where would you say you found most influential in this case.
“I tried to write some modern pop songs, for sure. So the sound was very clean. Writing the last album, it was very more about trying to find the right sound and this one was more about just writing songs. It didn’t really matter as much which was the wackiest part of the process we were just like “Let just write some songs” and it was less about getting the right guitar or right tone.”
So do you think your process have changed drastically from album to album?
“Every time we do it the process changes. When we recorded Back On Top, we were at the studio for five weeks straight basically; It was all we thought about. This album we recorded in about four months of time total, over an eight month period. So we’d go away for a week and record two songs, then we’d go back home, then we’d go away to a different city or we’d tour in places like London where we got to record some songs. So that was just the process of recording this time around.”
Did you prefer that way of recording?
“I think I did. It was right for the time. I don’t think I’m going to do it that way next time but for this particular experience it served it’s purpose so I feel good about it.”
Are there any guilty pleasure artists that people wouldn’t expect influence you?
“Let me see, I definitely like anything that’s on the radio so pop artists like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. Basically anybody on top 40 radio that has a hit, I can get down on it. That’s the way it is, you know? They’re scientifically made to be a jam.”
What has the response to Vacation Town and Raining been like so far?
“It’s been pretty positive so far. People appreciate the risks we’ve taken and we have a lot of fans who are our friends so we get pretty immediate feedback and they’ve all been pretty happy; they’ve been singing the lyrics and one of my buddies kept saying he can’t get it out of his head. The reason why we do it is so it’s fun for everybody; so the people who listen to the music do it because it’s an enjoyable experience.”
That leads me to ask what band inspired you to start making music personally?
“Probably, Connor Oberst. Definitely Blink-182. Any rock and roll and pop-punk bands really; that’s the kind of thing I listened to when I was younger and then my friends started to learn how to play guitar and I was like “I want to participate in this” So I learned how to play guitar, I learned how to play trombone. Trombone is my main instrument actually, not a lot of people know that.”
In the early days right up till now what has been the most “No way this is real moment” for you?
“The most recent tour we went on, we got to open for Blink-182. That was pretty wild; we played with them at the O2 Arena in London, two night in a row which was totally unreal. Anytime we go to Australia is nuts because we’re like “holy shit I’m on the other side of the world”. It’s crazy being on the other side of the world playing music, both times we’ve been it’s been unbelievable.”
So you guys have been doing this for quite some time now, what’s the craziest tour story you’ve picked up on the way?
“You’re definitely right, we’ve been touring for almost eight years now and I definitely have some stupid stories. The only one that can come to mind though is when we were in Australia we went cliff jumping across from the Sydney opera house, and a thunder storm was rumbling in so there was lightning striking and we were jumping off this cliff into the largest electricity conductor imaginable. Somehow Matt stepped on a sea Urchin and fucked his foot up real bad but thank god for The Smith Street Band who always take care of us and Australian Health Care.”
Going Grey is out October 13th via Warner Music Australia
The Front Bottoms – Going Grey tracklisting
1. You Used to Say (Holy Fuck)
2. Peace Sign
4. Vacation Town
5. Don’t Fill Up On Chips
6. Grand Finale
9. Far Drive
10. Everything But You