Ian Grushka of New Found Glory InterviewBy: Sindy
Sindy: Hi Ian! Congrats on the new album, Catalyst. What's different about this album, compared to your previous efforts?Ian: I think - for us - this is the best album we've ever done. It's the first time, where we started with preproduction and just took out time to practice the songs over and over again. Normally, on the records of the past, we'd have, like, 13 songs - 12 would go on the record and we'd have one B-side. This time we started with 30 songs and we molded it down to, like, 18 songs. It was the first time where we didn't just plug in and record a new album; we actually put thought into the sound we wanted.
Sindy: Cool. This question comes from KW member GuitarRockinHottie - What inspires NFG's lyrics?Ian: Steve actually writes all the lyrics. I think this record is a lot more personal for Steve than the other records. He really doesn't like to make it very obvious what his songs mean, cuz he wants different people to relate to the songs in different ways. There are even songs that I don't know exactly what they mean because when I hear them I have my own interpretation of what it means. If you were to say, "Well, this is what the song means," and it wasn't exactly what I thought it was, it's going to ruin the feel of the song for me.
Sindy: What musicians inspired you growing up?Ian: For me, when I was really young I listened to a lot of golden oldies stuff - I'd just listen to whatever my parents listen to; things like Buddy Holly or Dion and the Belmonts. Then growing up I'd listen to whatever my brother was listening to - stuff like Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, Stormtroopers of Death... stuff like that. Then I met a kid that lived around the corner from me and got me into listening to Alice Cooper. When I started listening to Alice Cooper and watching Headbanger's Ball on MTV, it totally changed what music was to me. That's why I have an Alice Cooper tattoo, because he was the one artist who totally changed my outlook on music. Once I started listening to Alice Cooper, I knew I wanted to do something in music.
Sindy: So who do you listen to now?Ian: Actually, Phil Collins is one of my biggest influences. I listen to a wide variety of stuff. I like pop stuff like Britney Spears and Michelle Branch and *NSYNC and stuff like that. Then I like '80s hair bands like Poison. I like classic pop, like Phil Collins and Lionel Ritchie. I like metal stuff, like Slayer, Megadeth and Napalm Death.
Sindy: Who is your favorite band to tour with?Ian: Definitely Less Than Jake. When we started out, those guys really took us under their wing. They brought us on tour before anyone else would. They taught us what it's like to be a real person in a band and not getting caught up in the ego and the politics and the business side of things.
Sindy: Did you ever have a specific moment where you'd realize that you'd made it?Ian: To be totally honest with you, I don't think about it too much. You know, if I'm on a talk show, I rarely get to see it. I just try to take it one day at a time and block it all out. These are definitely things that are amazing, that we appreciate, that we want to tell our grandkids about one day, but I just try not to look ahead too much so that I don't expect too much and don't get let down. But when our last album debuted number four on the charts, and we saw the list of artists - that are influences to us - that have never had an album at number four - then you're like, "Wow."
Sindy: Do you have a favorite track off the new album?Ian: My favorite track on the new record is called No News is Good News - that's off the Rock Against Bush album that we were on. That's on Fat Wreck Chords.
Sindy: What are the perks of being a rock star?Ian: Probably the free clothes that we get, like Hurley gives us a lot of free stuff. It's also pretty cool to live your dream. I mean for us, this was a pretty far-fetched dream and at times it doesn't even feel like this is happening to our band. It just hasn't really clicked. It's weird.
Sindy: If you weren't in New Found Glory what would you be doing?Ian: I would probably be working at a fast food restaurant. I was working at Einstein Bagels right before the band started. So my guess is that I would still be there. I was a master sandwich maker - a sandwich artist.