Since their self-titled debut album and tours with stunning bands like MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK the acoustic punk band THE FRONT BOTTOMS are definitely a band that has established their own sound with powerful chords, fun and mostly personal lyrics and upbeat drums. They are currently touring around Europe and NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION had the chance to have a quick chat to them after their second London gig organised by banquet records. It wasn’t their fist gig organised by them and according to the band they amazingly manage to make the band feel so comfortable so far from home.
Their new album Talon of the Hawk was released earlier this year (21 May) via Bar/None records. The record is definitely one of the best records of its genre in 2013 and convinces with the folk pop punk tunes, the unique chanting style , steady rhythms and these storytelling and so detailed lyrics where you just have to sing along. 42:26 minutes of fun punk music at its best. What distinguishes the album from their others is they made use of electric guitars, synths and even a little accordion and that it is a little bit more adult and not that teeny-like. Of course there is still some youthful and ridiculous stuff they sing about but the way they connect it with everyday life changes everything and makes it so fantastic. The album is produced by Chris “Frenchie” Smith at the Bubble in Austin TX with additional production by Sean Rolie and written mostly on the road.
“I think Tattooed Tears would be our collective favorite because it’s one of our favorites to play live.” says Brian.
But Tattood Tears isn’t the only song of the new LP that is great to hear live: Skeleton, Twin Sized Mattress, Backflip and Peach, the song Brian wrote about his girlfriend and which was actually planned to be an acoustics song, are definitely great live songs .
“Originally Peach was just an acoustic demo and then one night while we were all hanging out we just messed around with some drums and keyboard parts and decided that we liked how it all sounded.”
Not to forget about the earworm Au Revoir (Adios), the first song of the record with a lengh of just 1:49 minutes, which was also the first song of their second London Gig. The band makes use of French and Spanish in the Song, as Brian is fluent in both languages. On Thursday he performed the whole set without wearing shoes – quite interesting because loads of musicians do that.
THE FRONT BOTTOMS: “Every day of this tour has been an adventure”
Brian thinks “It’s so much more comfortable than playing in my shoes. And I like socks.”
Indeed it is much more comfortable! The band plays their tour with the two great musicians Tom Warren and Ciaran O’ Connell. According to the band the main reason is just that they help to make the live sound a bunch. What also helps to make everything sound better is communication with the audience and a proper soundcheck, but the band thinks it always depends if it’s worth it or not. If the desk can save the settings then a check would be ideal. Their soundcheck usually lasts 10 minutes. As The Front Bottoms are a New Jersey based band you might start wondering if it is weird to tour around Europe. So did we:
“There’s a bunch of differences. Over here we are always a bit unsure how the shows going to go. The crowds in Europe are also a bit different from the states. The hospitality in Europe is way better though what about Germany? “Germany has always been so good to us. We’ve got a few shows on this run in Germany that we are looking forward to. Loads of German beer is going to be drank.”
From a fun band like BLINK 182 a great and fun live show isn’t the only thing you expect– an awful lot of funny and unforgettable things must be going on whilst touring. And indeed they have a story to share:
“Every day of this tour has been an adventure. One highlight was our merch guy Paul drank a bunch and passed out with his wiener hanging out of his pants.”
When you think about influences of the band you probably automatically think of the punk rockers THE FRONT BOTTOMS, maybe some of you even get nostalgic as it might be a band you grew up with. It’s not really a surprise that one of their gigs was the best gig for THE FRONT BOTTOMS.
“The best show I ever got to go to was in 2008, Blink played in a 1000 cap room and it was the first time we had gone to seen them live.”
THE FRONT BOTTOMS self-released two albums before they started collaborating with a label, which sounds like hard work but is necessary sometimes:
“It was absolutely important to do the self-realeases. I think the only way bands can really better themselves is by doing it DIY. We lucked out with Bar-none records cause it’s a small label and the decisions come from us. Just with a label you have different outlets that you don’t have on your own.”
To the question about the best and worst thing someone ever said about music they replied:
“One time we played with Tenacious D and Jack Black said he loved it and we should do it again. The worst thing is my father thinks I’m wasting my life with this music.”
Hard words, but “time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted” right? Of course we also had the chance to ask our favourite question: What do the things hope and passion mean to them?
“Everybody needs a little hope, can’t survive without it. Like tonight we hope the venue has toilet paper in the bathroom.”
NOTHING BUT HOPT AND PASSION wishes them good luck with that and their tour – if you are into fun acoustic punk whatever and you still have a chance to see them please do so