New Found Glory, Interview with Cyrus Bolooki (Drummer)
by: Josh Blackway
This is a phone interview I did with Cyrus, the drummer for New Found Glory, on Friday, April 16th, 2004. We talked about their new album, music, rock shows, God, etc...
Check out www.newfoundglory.com for more info on the band.
<Josh> Hey man, how’s it going?
<Cyrus> Good. Did you wanna interview Ian?
<Josh> It doesn’t matter, I don’t know either of you guys.
<Cyrus> Ok, well, we got the next 15-20 minutes to get to know each other.
(brief conversation to “get to know each other” takes place... then interview begins)
<Josh> So how do you guys like all this? From a garage band in Florida, to gold records, on their way to platinum…
<Josh> Does 1997 seem like a million years ago, when you first started?
<Cyrus> Yes, 1997 seems like a million years ago, but its been the best million years of my life. You know, its every person’s dream, well not every person’s, but we’re livin’ it out. I remember looking up to bands like Green Day years ago, and now we’re doing that. Its pretty amazing.
<Josh> Yea it is. That’s really cool…Ok, Catalyst, your 4th album, is due out May 18th right?
<Cyrus> Yea, May 18th.
<Josh> Should we expect any surprises? Anything new?… Same old sound?…
<Cyrus> Well, I know most bands will say this when they put out a new album, but it is a lot more mature. We expanded our style on this. We took some time off from touring before going into the studio, and we had no big rush to get out on the road. With other albums, it was always like, “Hurry up!” so we could get back out on the road. This time we took our time to make sure it was fully completed. The songs are the best they can possibly be… We had confidence (while in the studio), and a grip on what we needed to do. The vocal sound won’t change, but the record goes to new places. It is the best representation of New Found Glory.
<Josh> Nice… I heard about some 80’s style production you used on the album.
<Cyrus> Actually that was just one song, “Failure’s Not Flattering”. We treated every song individually. I recorded the drums for that song in a small room in the side of the studio because that’s how they did it in the 80’s. We put on a Cars record and tried to get that sound. Our friend James, from Reggie & the Full Effect, came in and we actually listened to a Cars record and figured out how they came up with the sounds.
<Josh> Cool… Well, I’m curious to know what you’re listening to and who influences you guys. Like past & present.
<Cyrus> Well, there’s no one band. We’re all very eclectic. We all come from different backgrounds. Some of us were influenced in the 80’s by the hair metal bands. Some, the punk rock. For me personally, right now I’m listening to the new Yellowcard, Muse… pretty much everything. Everybody listens to different stuff and when we go into the studio, it shows on our record.
<Josh> What I think is cool about you guys is you went through the whole deal of sleeping on peoples floors and building the band up to what it is now…
<Cyrus> Thanks man! Yea, that’s the only way to stay grounded.
<Josh> What do you think of bands who get it spoon-fed to them right off the bat?
<Cyrus> Well, you know, you can’t appreciate a bus unless you’ve had a van and did the overnight drives to shows.
<Josh> I hear that!
<Cyrus> We don’t take it for granted. I mean, not every one of those bands is here today, gone tomorrow. But we never really relied on the record labels. They do help though. We just did everything ourselves from the start. Some bands won’t do anything after the labels lose interest. I think today, looking at our band, if we left for tour tomorrow, we’d be ok.
<Josh> So which would be more fun for you to play? A show with big radio-friendly bands for thousands of people… or a show with really good, lesser-known bands in a more intimate setting, for like maybe a hundred people?
<Cyrus> Well, there’s good on both sides of that. Not many people can say this, but nothing will top the look, visually, on stage at a big stadium show. The crowd… nothing can top that feeling. But radio shows are always weird. There’s like, an ego with the bands involved and it’s a big mix of bands. But its cool to tell your grandkids you played with Eminem. We’d never tour with Eminem.
We played shows in the last year or so with only 200 people. I remember in Switzerland, this past year, it was a real small crowd. But its very unique and sincere. It was more of a hang out with the kids. Very genuine.
<Josh> Ok well, what do you really think of the rock & roll out there today?
<Cyrus> There’s a little of everything. It kind of discourages me because its so easy to get popular today. It kind of takes away from the music. I mean, music in general is all full of trends. Pop-punk has blown up now… there's deffinitely a market for it.
<Josh> So aside from music, what are you guys into?
<Cyrus> For me personally, sort of aside from music, I’ve been getting into recording. I’ve been learning as much as I can, you know, in the studio and stuff. Recording demos for bands and just for fun.
<Josh> That’s cool… Well we do some articles at Decapolis about faith in music, so if you don’t mind me asking, what are your personal beliefs about God?
<Cyrus> We never really said anything about religion in this band because we’re all kinda different. We have a couple of Jewish guys, and two Christians… we have mixed beliefs. We just never really talked about it a lot and never were a band to make claims about that because we’re each different in our beliefs. We don’t wanna take sides.
<Josh> Ok, that’s cool. Well hey it was very nice talking to you.
<Josh> Maybe run into you this summer… you guys will be on the whole Warped Tour this year right?
<Cyrus> Yea, we’ll be there. Hope to see you there… I’ll be on the lookout for the Huntingtons.
<Josh> Good luck with this new album man.
<Josh> Take care, have a great day.
<Cyrus> Ok, you too. Thanks Josh.