New Found Glory

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New Found Glory

Punk/pop group

Best known for its catchy hooks and high-energy performances, the punk-pop group New Found Glory formed in 1997 in Coral Springs, Florida. The band includes Jordan Pundik on vocals, Ian Grushka on bass, Steve Klein and Chad Gilbert on guitar and Cyrus Bolooki on drums. The band members were all just finishing high school when the group formed. They began touring, and were offered a contract with Drive-Thru Records. The band members had to quickly decide if they were going to reach for the stars with New Found Glory or follow more conventional career paths. They chose the stars. Drummer Cyrus Bolooki gave up a scholarship to the University of Miami in Florida to stay with the group. "I know I made the right decision," Bolooki told Jill Pesselnick in Billboard. "My parents were hesitant at first; they were worried about my future. The first time they heard I was not going to go back to school, I was on the road. I had to tell my mom not to pay my housing payment. They were very shocked."

In 1998 the group won a South Florida Slammie Award, given to the best new band in Florida. This bolstered their popularity and they began to increase their circle of touring, reaching even more fans. They toured on the east coast of the United States with high-energy shows and sold out the entire first run of their debut EP, "It's All About the Girls." Their lyrics, primarily written by Klein, initially concentrated on teen relationships, girls, and high school life.

In 1999 the group recorded their first long play album, Nothing Gold Can Stay, with Drive-Thru Records, and soon found themselves being offered a contract with major label MCA, who reissued the album under their own label that fall. In the spring of 2000 they released the EP "From the Screen to Your Stereo," and later that year they released a full-length album called simply New Found Glory. This led to a high profile tour with Blink 182. "Our songs are just about relationships and growing up—things everybody, no matter where they live, can relate to," said songwriter and guitar player Steve Klein in the Glasgow, Scotland, Daily Record. The group appeared as the band in the summer movie American Pie 2 in 2001.

After opening for Blink 182 on the Vans Warped Tour, New Found Glory returned to the studio to tape another album, resulting in the 2002 release of Sticks and Stones, which included the major hit "My Friends Over You." Sticks and Stones sold more than 91,000 copies in its first week, reaching number four on the Billboard charts. The success of the album moved New Found Glory from an opening role to that of headliners for the Warped Tour of 2002.

Sticks and Stones showed growth in the group's music and lyrics, expanding from themes about girls and high school to themes of growing up and leaving home. "It's been three years since our last record, and we've been on the road since then," said Pundik in the Arizona Daily Star. "We left our parents' houses, left our friends behind, my grandfather passed away recently. It's still about relationships, but it touches on everything, not just your first kiss." One song, "Sonny," was about the death of Jordan's grandfather. The album also included guest appearances by Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 and members of Alkaline Trio, giving the music greater dimension.

On a promotional tour for Sticks and Stones in late 2002, Bolooki told the Arizona Daily Star, "I think most of the memories are gonna be about the size of shows, visually what it looks like and the audio, how it sounds. We're playing bigger shows on this tour than we've ever played as headliners. To see improvement on this level makes it real. Record sales, radio and MTV is hard to fathom. You don't really grasp it. But when you go out in front of 1,000 or 2,000 people, it makes it really special."

Despite the growing crowds, the band still tried to be available to their fans. "Everybody is respectful and nice, and we hang out until the last kid leaves sometimes," Bolooki told the Arizona Daily Star. "They're not trying to run up all inside of your stuff and your private lives. They just wanna get autographs and pictures and tell you what they think of your band. It's still fresh. We wanna stress that we really haven't changed…. We eat the same food and play the same video games as you. Yes, we're in a band, but that doesn't make it so you can't talk to us. We're normal people playing music and having fun doing it."

New Found Glory continued to get bad reviews from the critics, such as one from the Hollywood Reporter: "New Found Glory simply stuck to the formula: play fast, smile while you sing, jump up and down, get the crowd to supplement the vocals, banter with your guitarist and fans, walk through the pit, etc." But fans disagreed. Pundik and Gilbert continued to involve the audience in their shows, encouraging them to jump up and down together or join in the Wave.

In May of 2004 the group released their fourth album, Catalyst. Initially the band was nervous, knowing that their previous success with Sticks and Stones might not happen again, but they were hopeful. "When our last record debuted at number 4, we didn't have a huge radio push," Gilbert explained on the VH1 website. "MTV was just getting to know the band. That 91,000 was just our fans. This time, we've gotten some good airplay for the single and video. Sot it's really exciting and scary at the same time, because we've never had that side of things 100 percent in line." But the group's fears proved unwarranted. The album opened at number three on the Billboard 200 chart, with help from the first single on the album, "All Downhill from Here." People referred to the popularity of the song by stating, "'Downhill' is hard enough for metalheads, fast enough for punks and melodic enough for popsters." Nevertheless, People also referred to the simplicity of the band's work by stating that "NFG's hooks are big enough to do a 360 skateboard flip through."

The group's simplicity, so unpopular with the critics, has been popular with fans, and album sales have continued to grow. The Dayton Daily News stated, "Summer's the perfect time for rolling down the car windows and blasting some aggressive, catchy punk pop rock—and New Found Glory will gladly deliver."

For the Record …

Members include Cyrus Bolooki (born on February 27, 1980), drums; Chad Gilbert (born on March 9, 1981), guitar; Ian Grushka (born on September 4, 1977), bassist; Steve Klein (born on September 30, 1979), guitar; Jordan Pundik (born on October 12, 1979), vocals.

Group formed in Coral Springs, FL, 1997; released Nothing Gold Can Stay, Drive-Thru Records, 1999; signed with MCA, 1999; released New Found Glory, MCA, 2000; appeared in movie American Pie 2, 2001; opened for Blink 182 on Vans Warped Tour, 2001; released Sticks and Stones, Universal, 2002; headlined on the Vans Warped Tour, 2002; released Catalyst, Drive-Thru, 2004.

Awards: South Florida Slammie Award, Best New Band, 1998.

Addresses: Record company—Drive-Thru Records, Sherman Oaks, CA. Website—New Found Glory Official Website:

Selected discography

Nothing Gold Can Stay, Drive-Thru, 1999; reissued, MCA, 1999.

New Found Glory, MCA, 2000.

Sticks and Stones, Drive-Thru, 2002.

Catalyst, Drive-Thru, 2004.



Arizona Daily Star, November 15, 2002, p. F21.

Billboard, March 24, 2001, p. 67.

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), December 14, 2001, p. 64; June 4, 2004, p. 9.

Dayton Daily News (Dayton, OH), July 4, 2004.

Hollywood Reporter, June 10, 2003, p. 22.

People, June 21, 2004, p. 45.

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), May 5, 2003, p. 027.


"New Found Glory," VH1, (June 16, 2004).

—Sarah Parkin

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