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New Found Glory: “You can overcome any hardship”

“Ascension: The act of rising to an important position or higher level,” recites Chad Gilbert from his phone screen. “’Resurrection’ was the rebirth of the band, our new beginning,” he continues, referencing New Found Glory’s shift from a five piece to four. A year on from the release of that eighth studio album and the band are reissuing it. ‘Resurrection: Ascension’ is the deliberate name but beyond the bonus tracks, the new and the reworked, this album marks a band celebrating a victory. It’s one they want to tell the whole world about.

“We wanted way more people to hear it,” explains Chad of the decision to rerelease ‘Resurrection’. “ It’s also to do with the fact that a lot of people attached onto this record so much. For us, it felt like a new start to the band, us being four people. There was a lot of life left in it,” continues Jordan Pundik. “I feel like it’s our first record and when you release a debut you don’t just release it and move on. You really tour that first album for a long time. You’re driving it home,” adds Chad.

With two US headline tours already under their belt for ‘Resurrection’, New Found Glory are off out again this Fall with Yellowcard for a third run around the country. “Us together is bringing out a lot of old NFG fans, that tour is a perfect way to reintroduce people to our band,” reasons Chad.

With a back catalogue spanning eighteen years, New Found Glory cross generations. Every song they play is still relatable though. “The difference is you’re not playing and relating to your feelings from then, your relating to your feelings now,” explains Chad. “I can play ‘Hit or Miss’ and I’m not listening to the lyrics, thinking about being 18. I’m listening to the song and seeing the reaction it has on the fans. I’m relating to the fact that I’m playing this song years later and it’s relevant. I think that’s a misconception when you play an old song. You’re not supposed to relate to something you did then, you’re supposed to be a different person now. The feeling that playing it gives me now, makes me appreciate it more than when I did when I was a kid.”

There’s no misconception that a lot of deluxe reissues are a cash grab but it’s one the band are aware. It’s why they’ve made sure that ‘Resurrection: Ascension’ feels like a whole new album.

“After doing the record, we had a couple more songs in us from touring as a four piece so we bust out two new songs,” explains Chad of ‘The Crown’ and ‘The Enemy’ that are now nestled at the heart of the album. “I think people will be really surprised when they hear ‘The Crown’. It’s very different for a New Found Glory song.” Alongside the new, there’s acoustic reworking of original ‘Resurrection’ material. “It’s funny, there’s actually more guitar on the acoustic versions,” laughs Chad before explain that instead of simply doubling up on one guitar part, he wrote two. “They’re really cool and really different. I think ‘Living Hell’ is better acoustic.”

The band announced the reissue with a new version of ‘Vicious Love’ featuring Hayley Williams but that wasn’t always the plan. “’Vicious Love’ is a super big relationship centered song,” starts Chad. “It’s one of the only lovey ones on the album and it just seemed like a good song to get a female guest vocalist on. When I was talking to Hayley about it, she wanted to do it. I was actually asking her advice on who to ask and she was like ‘Don’t get anyone else, don’t mess it up. I’ll do it’.” There’s also a special version of ‘Ready & Willing’ on the way to top off ‘Resurrection: Ascension’.

“What I want people to take away from it is, you can overcome any hardship in your life, if you handle it out of your heart. You can’t do things out of fear, you can’t do things out of rage,” says Chad. “Going on as a four piece, there could have been so many things that we did for the wrong reasons, but we didn’t. We just reinvented ourselves. From our logo, we wanted to start fresh. We knew some people might not like that, but we were comfortable with that. We knew we were going to do something that we felt really good about and it worked out.”

The band are working out their next touring moves but there’s also the rumblings of new music. “Right now you’re asking when the new record is coming out or what’s going on. That’s because you’re cycled the way we’re cycled,” offers Chad. “A band puts out a record and then a year later, two years later, you’re in that cycle. Part of being secure in our position is that we need to break that cycle. Every song is very important. When talking about the new record, breaking that cycle is very important. That new record could be this year, who knows. If we start writing next week, we can record it and have it out the month after that. That’s going to be hard to do but technically it could be done. But if we don’t think of anything for three years, there’s no pressure.”

“What I love about our band is that people do feel our music is more than catchy songs,” Chad ventures. “They really relate to it, in an inspirational way. I feel like our music carries a feeling of hope. I don’t know if that naturally came along with our band name being New Found Glory but I like that. I want people to walk away, looking at us as an inspiration for doing something with their own lives.”

Resurrection: Ascension‘ is out October 8th via Hopeless Records