New Jersey folk punk/emo band The Front Bottoms are currently touring the UK in support of their sixth album Going Grey, which they released last year. Before they set off on tour we asked them a handful of questions about UK shows, playing with Blink-182 and more!
Mosh: The last time you played in the UK was with Blink-182 last summer, what was that like?
TFB: It was incredible, dream come true. It was…The whole experience was amazing, we got to chill with those guys for a little bit and they were super nice. Playing in rooms like that was like a dream come true. You know to be in a foreign country, or a country that we don’t live in and to be able to play in front of a stadium of people, it was just totally unreal. The whole thing was totally positive.
Mosh: What’s it like going back to relatively small venues after playing such huge ones?
TFB: It’s actually amazing because, now you can see everybody in the audience which is awesome. To get that punk rock vibe back was awesome. Like with the blink tour we would get up and play all the hits and but with our own shows we get to play around a little bit. And i still feel like there is a crazy amount of people at these shows so it’s like, it still feels good it’s not like depressing or anything, it’s great. And also you get to play longer which is awesome.
Mosh: What’s your favourite thing about UK shows?
TFB: Probably the audience members; they seem to get a lot wilder over here. They seem more excited about it even. The crowds are definitely awesome. And then just seeing all the friends we have made over the years getting to hang out with them and stuff. The first time we ever came to the UK we made friends with this whole punk rock scene and they are all here tonight (Manchester). So it means a lot to keep this relationship and still feel positive about it all.
Mosh: Do you have any funny stories from touring in the UK?
TFB: This is my favourite question…. Shit you know me, when Wetherspoon’s stopped doing their all-day veggie brunch we were outraged! We have to reconsider ever coming back on tour over here….we need some type of sponsorship.
Mosh: Is there anywhere in the country you particularly love playing?
TFB: Nottingham is probably our favourite; every time we play Nottingham it’s like an absolute wild party. We always play Rock City and I’m definitely excited to go back there because it’s like total chaos. It feels so good. You know that’s like one of the venues that we played the first time we played over here and we played in the smallest room and then the next time it was the middle room and then the last time it was the biggest room and then again we are going back to the biggest room so that place kind of like represents how our fan base has grown each time, little by little and its always been a party so….
Mosh: Supports for this tour are the brilliant Smith Street Band and Brick & Mortar. Did you handpick these? If so, what made you choose them?
TFB: We picked them for sure. You know Brick & Mortar are from the town that we live in now. So that sort of came about a while ago. Really I hear songs on the radio that I’m just like “This should be Brick & Mortar’s” like I don’t know why, they just sound so good their songs are great so that was the main factor; and we’ve played shows with them you know for years and years. The Smith Street Band came about we met them at a festival, it was GroezRock maybe probably fucking 5 years ago or something like that and we got talking and pretty soon after the lead singer was like “do you wanna go on tour in Australia” and then we were like “hell yeah” and that was that. We’ve gone on tour in Australia with them and they’ve come to America with us so we asked them back to the UK.
Mosh: These are your first UK shows since releasing Going Grey. How do you feel about playing these songs to the UK audience for the first time?
TFB: Very excited, very excited you know we’ve got a few more band members; we’ve got Jenn (Fantaccione) playing violin and trumpet and we have Guy Row he’s playing keyboard so the sound is much bigger and it has developed, definitely. It’s exciting to see how it goes down. It’s really kind of like all an experiment. So we’re excited to work it out.
Mosh: Do you have a favourite song from the album to play live?
TFB: Probably ‘Holy Fuck’ the first song on the album. We start the show with that song, it’s got a great sing along chorus and it’s just fucking great, it always gets my blood flowing. Like, before you go on you get nervous and then you walk out on the stage and everyone is excited and then you hit this song and it’s like; it means a lot. It felt very good being the first song, so we were like, “lets keep ‘Holy Fuck’ as the first song”. And then probably my second favourite is ‘Ocean’ which we play last. Which is the last song on Going Grey, so it’s kind of like full circle yeah I just love it.
Mosh: Can fans expect to hear any old favourites or surprises on this tour?
TFB: Oh Absolutely. Absolutely we got some surprises for sure and we’ve got old favourite as well. We’re going to make sure everybody leaves satisfied. One of the surprises is a song called ‘Today Is Not Real’ which is a song that I haven’t even recorded, it’s like an old song from high school. People have been digging that so we’re going to be playing that and yeah we’re going to play all the old ones. We’re actually going to release that on this thing called The Grand-Ma Series that we do, which is all our old songs that never got a proper release we go back and re-record them and put them out again so ‘Today Is Not Real’ is going to be on the next version of that.
Mosh: Can you sum up this tour in three words?
TFB: Let me think… Koo Koo Crazy?
You can catch The Front Bottoms in a town near you this month. Here are their full UK/Ireland tour dates: