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It's crazy to think that it's been ten years since New Found Glory released Sticks and Stones. Especially for the fans. The bulk of us are nearing our 30s. We remember when we were still teenagers watching the band play at Club Q or a high school parking lot. We belted out the lyrics to "The Blue Stare" and "It Never Snows in Florida" with adolescent emotion. Those days are long gone, but we can relive them with New Found Glory's current tour, which celebrates the tenth anniversary of the album that changed their career.
In a nostalgia-heavy conversation, New Found Glory's singer, Jordan Pundik, spoke to New Times about what Sticks and Stones means to him and the fans and how things changed for the band over the past 15 years.
New Times: What does Sticks and Stones mean to you?
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Jordan Pundik: Whoa. Well... [laughs] What does it mean to you? No, I'm just kidding. I guess, for me, the fact that it's been out as long as it has been is pretty crazy. I mean, we've been a band for 15 years, and it doesn't even feel like the album came out ten years ago. And because we tour so much, I get to meet a lot of people and talk to a lot of our fans, and so many of them tell us that Sticks and Stones was a big record for them. Especially people that are our age, they grew up on that record.
That's weird to say, because I'm not old at all. [laughs] I recorded it when I was 19 or 20, I think. So it was a big record, and also bands have cited that record as being influential, which is very cool and flattering.
Do you consider the album to be a major turning point for New Found Glory?
Yeah. That was kind of what brought us over that hump. We were building and building, had a lot of hype, touring a lot, playing dumps, playing big venues and small venues, sleeping on floors, then to hotels, being in vans and then in a tour bus, all this back and forth. Before that, we were doing a lot of touring, including with Blink-182, and that really helped also. It wasn't until Sticks and Stones came out that it gave us that push.
How do you think New Found Glory has changed as a band?
Well, back then we were 21 years old. I mean Chad was around 19 at the time, and so now we're older, and some of us have families, and it's a lot different because there is more at stake. The band is our livelihood. Before we had this momentum going, we were still living at home with our parents. When I moved out of my house is when we went to record Sticks and Stones. We were young. People think we're this old band, but we just started when were young. We were 16 when the band started. It's crazy. I feel like an old man. [laughs] But I'm not.
Growing up in South Florida, you've both seen and played a bunch of shows over the years. What's one of your favorite memories of New Found Glory's early days?
My fondest memory is when we would play shows and it would just be all of our friends from school. Our family just hanging out. It was just family and friends, everyone being supportive. There was no jealousy. And it was a cool feeling to see that, and being a kid who didn't have that many friends in high school, to then play shows and be popular in that way with older kids who were in bands. Ya know? Bands like Strongarm and Further Seems Forever, being accepted by those kinds of people was cool, a great feeling.