New Found Glory's Chad Gilbert: "I Think We’re the Tightest We’ve Ever Been"

New Found Glory's Chad Gilbert performing at Marquee in 2013.
Melissa Fossum
New Found Glory's Chad Gilbert performing at Marquee in 2013.
New Found Glory are still here.

While many of their contemporaries are currently embarking on reunion tours for the first time, the South Florida quartet has never taken a break. Instead, the band has consistently churning out catchy and memorable hits over the course of nine records and two decades. Their latest, released on April 29, is called Makes Me Sick. Even though we’ve watched them grow up alongside us, they’re still kids at heart who possess that endearing duality that made them successes with sensational albums like Sticks and Stones and their self-titled release.

“There’s two sides to New Found Glory: There’s the live element and there’s a record,” guitarist Chad Gilbert says. “In making the record, we really wanted listening to it at home to be really fun, where maybe sometimes before we kept records a little bit more raw. Now knowing and seeing our fans react the way they do live, we had confidence that we could make the album production as fun and different as we wanted. Looking forward, I think we should still do that, to make records that are always different and always inspire people, always keeping things fresh for everyone.”

But they aren’t just celebrating their new album's release.

Never ones to idle for long, Gilbert, bassist Ian Grushka, singer Jordan Pundik, and drummer Cyrus Bolooki are currently in the midst of their 20-year anniversary tour across North America. For New Found Glory, the tour isn’t so much work, but more of a welcome trip down memory lane.

“It’s kind of like looking through an old shoebox full of photos — you’re able to play these old songs and all of these old memories come up,” Gilbert says. “To be able to look over on stage and see the other guys in my band and think about how long we’ve been doing it and remembering the first time we went on tour and how much that meant and now it’s like wow — it’s been 20 years since that first feeling and the fact that the feeling is still there.”

They're set to play the Nile Theater on Tuesday, May 2, revisiting fan favorites including Sticks and Stones and Catalyst. New Found Glory put a lot of thought not just into the setlists, but also the specific venues selected for each performance.

For fans wondering if the guys still possess the energy and cohesiveness from their glory days, don’t worry. Time has gifted the band with a fresh outlook and renewed appreciation for one another.

“The tour is awesome. It feels like a really big accomplishment to be able to go out and play six albums,” says Gilbert. “[Between] our energy and our confidence in our playing, I think we’re the tightest we’ve ever been. On this tour, we’re playing all of the records that came out before 2010. We’ve been dividing them up and playing multiple nights in different cities, and it’s really, really cool seeing the fans react to all of the different albums. The audience can trust that they’re going to enjoy the setlist and have a good time.”

As excited as we are for the release of Makes Me Sick, what fans are most grateful for is this tour dedicated to revisiting the most nostalgic years of our lives, those impressionable years where the words and melodies of these records touched our hearts and affected our lives the most. We know that as the years go by and their personal time becomes more and more cherished, there’s always a possibility that they will decide to step away from the spotlight. Until that day comes, we hopefully can look forward to another New Found Glory record every couple of years while continuing to cue up the old tunes that made us fall in love with them in the first place.

New Found Glory are scheduled to play the Nile on Tuesday, May 2.