New Found Glory's Jordan Pundik Talks Steve Klein and One Direction
A lot can change very quickly -- just ask New Found Glory's Jordan Pundik.
The four-piece pop-punk outfit hailing from Coral Springs has been whipping out the same driving, catchy melodies since 1997. But in the past year, Pundik fathered his second son, Jude; lost bandmate Steve Klein; signed to a new label; and missed out on a lot of sleep.
The loss of Klein, the main songwriter and lead guitarist, was a major blow to the band, which, like many other of the genre, prides itself on loyalty and friendship. But this didn't stop the music for NFG, which continues to create bombastic sounds with Resurrection, which was released Tuesday on Hopeless Records.
On Saturday, the group is revisiting its roots with a show at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale to promote the new album. We caught up with Pundik to talk about the departure of Klein and One Direction jacking their tune.
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New Times: Tell us about Resurrection.
Jordan Pundik: It's awesome! [laughs] It's probably our most uplifting record but also the most real record and the most mean record all at the same time. What I mean by that is basically because a lot of the songs are dealing with things in real life and shitty situations and dealing with things that knock you down. This record is taking a stand to those things and coming out of those things as a stronger person.
I think we can guess what some of those "shitty situations" are. Would you say that the four of you are stronger in reaction to Steve Klein leaving?
I definitely think so. I definitely think that we are closer than we have been in a long time. I think with this new record, I just feel like it was probably one of the easiest records to make.
What's your favorite track off Resurrection?
My favorite track is "Selfless." I know it's the first one we put out for people to hear. It's one of the later ones we wrote. The reason we put it at the front of the record and released it first was because I feel like that kind of encompasses everything that the record is going for and saying. [It's about] being older and being in this band my entire early adult life, not taking things for granted, and realizing something you hold so close to you could be gone in a second -- and almost was -- and realizing that for me, that song represents a lot.
Being in this band for 17 years, what would you go back and tell your teenaged self?
Don't believe everything people tell you. Over the years, we've had a lot of smoke up our ass. Being young and being on the road and being 18, 19, 20 years old, you're still at an impressionable age. I feel like that's one of the biggest things -- stay focused on what your goal is and what you want to do.
What're you looking forward to with the tour?
We haven't been on a long tour since last October. We're looking forward to getting out there and playing shows with the same faces every day. I'm looking forward to hanging out every day because all the bands on the tour are really fun people and good people. That's what we like to surround ourselves with. If we're gonna be out and away from our families and stuff, we might as well have fun.
Last time you were in South Florida was in March for a secret show at the Talent Farm. Tell us about that experience.
I heard it's closed down now -- is that true? [Local warehouse venue the Talent Farm permanently closed in May of this year.] Oh. that's a bummer. OK -- that sucks. That show was really crazy. The amount of people that showed up just from us tweeting about it was really awesome. It shows us how much people care about us in our hometown. It's a really cool thing. We were rehearsing for the Paramore cruise, and we were like, "Well, how rad would it be to just do a secret show?" We were in our hometown, and we were there for a few days, so we were just like, "Fuck it -- let's do it."
What's your favorite part about being in South Florida?
Seeing family, because I don't get to see them that often, living so far away. That and going to my favorite places to eat that I grew up as a teen eating at. I lived in Coral Springs most of my high school years. There's a place called Wings Plus that we always went to, and Pasquale's Pizza.
You're doing acoustic sets on this tour, including one at FYE in the Sawgrass Mills Mall on October 11. How did those come about?
We're doing some in-store signings and playing two or three acoustic songs just for fun. We're not a band that usually plays acoustic; we'd much rather be on stage jumping around and plugged in. I just felt like it'd be a cool thing. We haven't been on a long tour in a while, and we really wanted to make this tour special with a new record coming out. It's also a cool thing for people to get the album early.
Can we talk about One Direction for a minute? A lot of people are saying their new single "Steal My Girl" is a rip-off of your 2006 single "Hold My Hand." Your guitarist Chad even tweeted about it, and there's a mashup on YouTube comparing the two.
I saw that at like 4 in the morning. I was up because I have kids and my 1-year-old was crying at friggin' 4 in the morning, so I was on Twitter...
I went to Chad's feed and just saw it. I haven't heard the whole original; I just heard the mashup, and I was just like, "Holy crap, that's insane how very similar they are." I was just like, "All right, well One Direction's a huge band, so whatever." What can you do about it? Nothing. Can't do anything about it.
And if we were an influence on that, then that's great. They're obviously doing something right or else they wouldn't be where they are. And I'm not trying to be like fucking punk-rock guy because I don't care about that stuff.
New Found Glory. With Fireworks, We Are the In Crowd, and Candy Hearts. 6:30 p.m. Saturday, October 11, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25 at the door and $21 in advance plus fees. Call 954-449-1025, or visit jointherevolution.net.
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