New Found Glory

New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert has no doubt seen his share of surly audiences in his four years on the road with the punk-pop outfit.

But almost two months after getting soundly booed at the KROQ Inland Invasion 2, which was heavily shot through with old-school punk icons, the 21-year-old was still scratching his head over the whole thing.

Sticks and Stones is the title of NFG’s current record, and it pretty well sums up the Inland Invasion experience for Gilbert.

“We kind of expected it,” Gilbert told POLLSTAR. “Honestly, we all said before we even played that we don’t give a shit how our reaction is; if people like us or not. We’re just happy to be able to play with a lot of these bands.”

And the lineup included venerable old masters like X, the Sex Pistols, and the Buzzcocks, as well as relative youngsters like NFG, Blink-182, and Offspring.

“I saw all those other bands. No one reacted, or even cheered or sang along, for all the old punk bands. But when new bands got on, they booed them. And when the old bands came on, they didn’t even care!” Gilbert said, still sounding a bit frustrated.

“But the show was cool. It was an honor to be put on the show, but the kids there were really stupid and lame. Or should I say the old bags that were there … or a lot of them. Or should I say even the old truck drivers that were there,” he said, laughing.

Okay, so it wasn’t the optimum punk experience. But the road veteran was taking the whole thing in stride.

The band is more at home on treks like the Vans Warped Tour, on which New Found Glory headlined a stage for the summer. Or opening for Blink-182. Or headlining its own tour, which is where you can find NFG these days.

Incessant touring is a hallmark of New Found Glory, along with catchy pop hooks and a hint of hardcore. The quintet has been a regular staple on POLLSTAR’s Top 50 power index for the last year, and four years of hard touring has begun to pay off in a big way.

Besides scoring a headlining slot on last summer’s Warped excursion, the band has a hit single, “My Friends Over You,” and a DVD, “The Story So Far,” that was released just last week.

In addition, New Found Glory has been squeezing in visits to Jay Leno and KROQ’s “Loveline” radio show in between largely sold-out tour stops supported by Further Seems Forever, Something Corporate, and Finch.

It’s all part of the plan, according to manager Rick DeVoe.

New Found Glory

“Basically, this band loves to tour,” DeVoe told POLLSTAR. “Our relationship has worked hand in hand. I basically put them on some tours when I first started managing them, with Fenix-TX. I got them on some Warped tour dates, and then I got them on a support slot for Blink-182 (which DeVoe also manages).

“Then we went in and recorded a record (the band’s self-titled second album). So, basically, what I like to do is get my band on a festival-type tour, and then cash in the chips and see what we can do. I won’t end a record cycle without doing a headline tour, as a rule.”

That’s where New Found Glory is right now, and will likely stay for a while.

“We’ve put together this fall tour, which has been a sellout every single night already,” DeVoe explained.

“So if the next single (‘Head On Collision’) and everything goes well, we’re going to try to roll into a bigger-venue tour in April and May.”

New Found Glory, with DeVoe’s guidance, has come a long way from its DIY origins in 1997.

“When we first started, we kind of ran the band ourselves,” Gilbert said. “We were totally independent, just going on the road and setting everything up from merchandise to touring to records to everything all ourselves.

“Then, by 2000, we signed to MCA without a manager and still kind of did things ourselves. Then Rick came along and totally picked it up and took it when we couldn’t do it anymore, because the band was getting too popular and it took up too much of our time.”

Gilbert and his bandmates, Cyrus Bolooki (drums), Ian Grushka (bass), Steve Klein (guitar) and frontman Jordan Pundik, still don’t have a lot of spare time.

Between performing at night and doing promos such as record store and radio appearances during the day, DeVoe is keeping New Found Glory busy. But they’re pro enough not to mind.

“Our lives all revolve around the band,” Gilbert said. “But it’s good, because we’re young (all are in their early- to mid-20s) and this is the time we have to do it. We could like slack off and not do it and then, like, it doesn’t last forever.

“When you have the opportunity to do things like this, you have to take advantage of it, even when we’re busy and it sucks, because hardly anybody gets a chance to do this.”