Contrasting lyrically deep music with both fun and fast paced melodies, The Front Bottoms have an incredibly unique sound. After a string of UK dates with the Menzingers late last year they seem to have made quite a name for themselves in the punk rock scene. After taking some time out to work on their soon to be released album; Talon of the Hawk, they finally returned to British grounds as a part of their first headlining European tour. We caught up with them during Nottingham’s Hit The Deck festival to discuss music, life and professional wrestling.
By Jade Daly
You have a really unique sound, how would you describe your work?
Brian: Fun, it’s like acoustic, dance music, I think.
Matt: Rock n Roll.
Brian: Classic Rock n Roll Music.
So it’s just the two of you in the band, but today you had a full line up on stage, how does that work?
Brian: It works pretty good, we don’t have to pay these guys as much money, it’s great … There’s only so much you can do if you’re not that good at guitar and drums, so at some point we were like ‘we need to start using more instruments.’ We met Tom through Ciaran and they’re very good musicians, they make us sound great. They add a little more personality [to the band], it allows us to keep it The Front Bottoms but develop it a little bit at the same time.
Your lyrics seem to have a really personal, yet simple feel to them. Are there any major influences so to speak?
Brian: Lyrically probably like The Mountain Goats. I love Bright Eyes, Built To Spill and Modest Mouse; stuff that has a very general tone but feels kind of personal to each situation. Any lyrical content that feels personal, I obviously feel a little more connected to it, so that’s what I try to do with my lyrics, so people can feel the same way about me.
Your new album Talon of the Hawk is set to be released in the near future, how has your music progressed since the release of your self titled album?
Brian: With Ciaran and Tom [in the band] the instruments are bigger; it gives it a fuller sound. More electric guitar, the bass lines are little more in-depth. On the last record we would just call whoever was around to come in and play bass, there wasn’t much thought going on, now it’s a little more thought out, there’s a little more pride taken in the construction of the songs.
As a touring band you seem to be really busy at the moment, you’ve been to the UK a few times now, how do the shows over here differ to the US?
Matt: They treat you better here. You show up and they have dinner for you [hospitality wise] it’s better.
Brian: In the states when we first started playing basements, sometimes we’d show up and they would tell us there wasn’t even a show and stuff like that, I think we’re a little more organised about it now. The fact that there are people coming to the shows over here is incredible. We seem to get a very positive response, everyone is very nice. I think our fan base over here is growing, which is good.
Have you had the chance to check out any of the other bands today? Who are you looking forward to seeing?
Brian: Great Cynics were fantastic. Army Of Freshmen were very exciting and Title Fight. We’ve tried to keep it loose.
Matt: We’ve just wandered.
So next week you head over to Europe for a string of shows including Groezrock festival in Belgium, what are your plans after that?
Brian: Once this tours over we go home. We have about a month off, to just hang out, and then we go on a two and half month-long tour after the album release. Then hopefully we’ll just continue to tour, comeback here [hopefully] as soon as possible and just stay busy. I’m working on a couple of children’s books, and a children’s album; so I’ll be doing a lot of that – I’ve got a lot of projects. I’m also pretty passionate about professional wrestling over in the states. It’s a little hard to do; it’s like getting into the NBA. I’m not very strong, but I am a good actor.
Many thanks to Brian and Matt for taking the time to chat to us. You can check out The Front Bottoms and their upcoming tour dates at: http://www.thefrontbottoms.com