all started in 1997-2009 at high school when the five-some was at that time
a four-some who became friends over a love of Green Day and a desire to
play music for real. The original line up was guitarist Steve Klein, singer
and Quentin Tarantino lookalike, Jordan Pundik, the now AWOL drummer Taco
Joe and Bassist Ian Grushka. Chad Gilbert, the band's second guitarist
and vocalist for another band, Shai Hulud (with which he was still a member),
was recruited when the others learned he wanted to play in a punk band.
Grushka's childhood in Coral Springs wasn't as great as the other members
Says Ian "I was born in Coram, New York, and lived there until I
was nine. I moved to 'Springs in 5th grade and I always got picked on
because I was the new kid in school and I was overweight. I had to ride
my bike to school the first year too, so I hated it here. 6th grade was
better because everyone started over in middle school, but I still got
no girls at all and then it got better every year. I used to think I didn't
like it, but it's nice here, it's a kinda small place to live, like a
box; everything is parallel."
Now, A New Found Glory (as they were called then) had their line-up, all
the youngsters needed now were some tunes. They had decided that their
lyrics would be based on Steve Klein's unsuccessful relationships and
this is still very much in effect today.
Nearly half a year later the group produced a five track E.P. 'It's All
About The Girls' under punk label, Fiddler Records.
The band would now begin touring with a band called The Vacant Andys but
only during school breaks and weekends as everyone but Ian was still at
school and Chad would have to tour with Shai Hulud. This meant that a
fill-in guitarist had to be called up. They didn't like it, but it was
still tons of fun, and great experience for them. Shortly after this began,
Cyrus Booloki replaced drummer Taco Joe as his priorities lay not with
the band, but in the classroom and he could never make it to shows or
practices. This made it clear that school was really posing a problem
for the band. They couldn't thrive in a world where homework had to be
in on time and tests were due each week. Despite this, touring was going
well and the band would just about play anywhere and for anyone just to
get publicity. They would cram themselves and The Vacant Andys into a
small van and play at all the clubs and bars in South Florida that would
take them. At this point Grushka had no worries about school
"Well for me, I was just working and I had already quit school but
Chad was in high school, Shai Hulud and A New Found Glory at the same
time. It must have been hardest on him.
"Cyrus was going to the University Of Miami and he missed a week
of classes once to do our web site. So doing this was fun and other stuff
kinda sucked, we never knew we would come this far though."
year after the band was formed they released their first album, 'Nothing
Gold Can Stay' under Eulogy Recordings, costing them a bargain $1200.
This is nothing compared to the amount of credibility and respect it
would earn the band however, as it won listeners over, in particular,
Drive-Thru Record's band, Midtown. Midtown gave a copy of ANFG's album
to the label's co-owner, Stephanie Raines who instantly knew that they
were going to be big. Their music was something you could listen to
when you were feeling low as it was just so uplifting and energetic,
these winning formulas led to the band sitting down with Stephanie and
having a chat and soon enough were offered a place in the Drive-Thru
"We knew we were gonna have better distribution, plus coming from
the east we now had more help with the west coast. We just wanted to
play shows and have our CDs in stores."
The band now knew that education was worthless to them and that school
and college could no longer teach them anything they could apply to
the life they were about to embark on. They were told that they would
have to tour full-time and they all dropped out of college with no fuss
from either their teachers or their parents.
"They told us we had to tour full time if we wanted to get popular,
so we did," Ian continues.
were going smoother than ever and they decided to change the band's
name from A New Found Glory to just New Found Glory basically because
the latter was easier to say and 'Nothing Gold Can Stay' changed hands
from Eulogy Recordings to Drive-Thru to get the best out of it. Touring
began with bands such as Fenix TX and ska legends Less Than Jake.
"Touring is our lives, we never get time off" Ian tells us.
"It's hard to not be able to have your own bathroom, shower and
bed. But not seeing my fiancée is the hardest part, but I love
music and my band. I have one girlfriend and four boyfriends."
This kind of devotion must take a lot of work and can't be easy. Looking
into the music world and dreaming about being part of it is easy enough
but no one ever looks past all the glamour and sees how hard it must
be to leave home for as long as NFG have done.
touring full-time hit them hard, it was all worth it as the band were
finally establishing their fan base and were slowly being recognised
as talented artists. People were now recognising them in the street:
"It feels very weird, it doesn't happen that often. But if they
just stand there and not ask questions I start to feel awkward. It's
because I don't feel famous, I feel normal. If someone is just looking
at you or knows my name and I never saw them before, it's just weird,
but it's cool too. It's a good feeling if I'm not weirded out."
two week break from touring in 1999 led to the band's recording of 'From
The Screen To Your Stereo' which was a seven track EP of the band's
renditions of movie soundtracks, this added to the band's credibility
but was the last you would hear of NFG for a while. They began working
on a new project.
And then 2000... After nearly nine months of touring, the band was getting
tired of it and just wanted a break. They took six weeks off and hit
the studio, there was still no rest for the band, but at least they
weren't trailblazing anymore. Their touring experience had taken them
to a new level of quality and song writing that would make the band's
second album a total success. The 12-track masterpiece was full to the
brim with cheery lyrics, uplifting melodies and an all round feel good
factor, and it was going to be huge.
In September, the band released their self-titled album, 'New Found
Glory' and along with it, the immensely popular single, 'Hit Or Miss',
which was a re-worked version of 'Hit On Miss' featured on the 'Nothing
Gold Can Stay album'. The band didn't believe they had achieved what
they wanted to with the song first time around, but it appears that
they did, with the song being near avoidable when it first came out
on music television. The band had made their break, not only in the
US but overseas too. The album was selling over 7000 copies a week.
They began touring again, but it wasn't in the small clubs and parties
they were used to, now they were touring alongside the likes of Blink-182
and playing such tours as the Vans Warped Tour and performing in front
of massive crowds. Blink-182 and New Found Glory are no strangers to
each other as they toured together for two months after the Warped Tour
and formed a huge friendship.
Ian talks of Blink-182; "I met them when they were on tour with
my friends Unwritten Law. They didn't know me then, but they knew us
as the guys that always came to the shows. Mark (Hoppus) knew me and
my brother more than Tom (Delonge) and Scott (Raynor) at that time.
I was just a fan then with a dream to tour with either Unwritten Law
or Blink. Half my wish came true, it's insane." They would become
so close however, that they would always pull crazy pranks on each other
during their sets. " Let me put it this way. The first show, I
am in the shower after we play and I hear a voice. It was Mark who just
decided to come say hello before they went on stage in the shower with
me. He had clothes on though, so we had a lot of fun on that tour."
More recently, NFG were playing with Blink again and they showered the
stage with ping pong balls and male strippers just to make their set
just a little bit more interesting! That is why they are both so popular,
especially with the younger fans as they are like kids trapped in men's
bodies singing songs about high school romance and causing mischief.
No-one's complaining however as they are both so popular, so something
must have worked.
their short and ever escalating career, the band have sold an overwhelming
30,000 units so far and toured over 50,000 miles, earning them the 1998
Slammie award for the best new band in Florida. Grushka finds it amazing
that people in other countries have even heard of them.
"It is an amazing feeling to know that people overseas even know
about our band. We just want to tour and play shows, if success comes
that's fine, but we don't ever worry or think about that. Well I don't
The UK is just one of many borders the band have ventured over and found
their welcome to be a good one.
Says Ian, "We toured there once before. The food was different.
I'm fat so food is a big deal and the kids were nicer. I thought they
gave us much more respect and space than here in the US. I thought that
was the best part that all the people at the shows were nice. Compared
to Coral Springs, the UK is a lot different, so it was weird the first
time, kinda like Canada. The second time wasn't weird so I'm sure that
I know what to expect and I will enjoy the UK more next time."
"We just get on stage and play. We have an energy between us and
we feed off the crowd. If the crowd gives a lot, we give a lot back
to the crowd."
Touring has made New Found Glory what they are today; one of a few bands
leading the pack in punk rock escalated by their fans support. The future
holds great things for them. This just goes to show that touring is
like the ying and yang of the music industry, it will bring you great
things but at the same time take some equally great things away from
you. In the long run, no band is complete, or successful without it.
Check out New Found Glory's official website at www.newfoundglory.com