There’s a guy asleep on the couch, three broken spotlights are all we have to light up the room and the room is so small I’ve got my back to the wall. This is not an ideal place to do an interview, nor is it really an ideal area for you to relax before a show, but The Front Bottoms are making do with the best The Roadhouse has to offer.
On tour to promote their forthcoming record, ‘The Talon Of The Hawk’, guitarist/vocalist Brian Sella and drummer, Matthew Uychich are in fine spirits; happy to be back in Manchester - a place they haven’t played since they were here with The Menzingers almost seven months ago.
Manchester was one of the last shows of the UK leg of this tour, but they would continue for a few days afterwards into Germany before finishing at Groezrock in Belgium. “[Europeans] think the name is a little ridiculous,” claims Matthew who notes that the reception from fans across the pond was “pretty good,” which is quite the understatement if you ask me. Their self-titled record was widely well received and shone a light onto The Front Bottoms’ unique brand of acoustic music.
About the new record, the two core Front Bottoms members aren’t all that forthcoming. It's like they want to keep an air of mystery surrounding it, which is pretty refreshing in an age where bands will roll out one new song a week until you either feel like you’ve heard the record or are sick of hearing about it. Despite this, Brian admits that the band are “pretty pumped on it”.
As for the title, with its nod towards Native American culture (something Brian has previously expressed in the lyrics to ‘Father’), the singer admits that “It doesn’t really mean anything, honestly,” and that it could possibly mean something different to everyone who hears the record. “As they listen to the album, maybe the title will change,” he continues, before confirming that their latest endeavor is actually a concept album. Brian smiles as he says: “It is a concept, but we’re not going to tell you, or anyone, what the concept is.”
With a new record comes a need to play new songs live. However, the band has only dipped a toe into this new found pool so far, playing two songs off the new record during this tour. ‘Twin-Size Mattress’, the band’s new single, is one of these. Sounding almost surprised, Brian notes that “People liked it. They weren’t disappointed,” which is always a good thing.
Their second major release, the new record certainly has a lot of hype surrounding it. Hype that Brian and Matthew don’t seem to buy into. “The songs were written the same way. We didn’t try and do anything crazy, new or different, we were just like ‘Let’s make the next Front Bottoms album'”. Brian’s words will surely calm any anxious fans out there, though he did admit that his friends had told him “It better be good”. “It was a pretty natural process”, he continued, “If it’s not well received, it doesn’t matter”.
Even with a new record on the horizon there are two Front Bottoms albums that won’t have been heard by a lot of people out there. Both self-released, ‘I Hate My Friends’ and ‘My Grandma Vs. Pneumonia’ are loved and those songs still get requested a lot at shows. “It’s weird to think back,” says Brian, “because most of those albums were recorded in one take. The songs would be recorded and then we’d go back and do extra vocals that we’d make up on the spot. It was never anything planned out, so to have people trying to find these older songs is awesome. It’s pretty exciting and it feels very genuine.” Asked about possible physical releases, a reply “One day” was almost uttered in unison by the pair. “We definitely have things that we want to do before that.” adds Brian, “but that’s something that will happen, without a doubt”.
Before all of that, ‘Talon Of The Hawk’ is out on May 21st and if these guys aren’t nervous about it coming out, why should you be? You can download 'Skeleton', the latest track to be taken from the new record, here.