The Front Bottoms are one of the fastest rising bands of the last few years – quickly going from their DIY roots to playing huge festivals like Reading and Leeds. We caught up with vocalist/guitarist Brian Sella before their sold out Birmingham show on their headline tour with PUP.
How did you guys start out?
Boredom, I kinda just called Matt [Uychich, drummer] and we’d always jammed before, but I said “let’s just kinda take this to the next level” yunno? And kinda just how it happened.
What was your local scene?
It wasn’t too much of a “scene”, to be honest. Me and Matt grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey, so there wasn’t really too much going on. There wasn’t a venue or anything like that. Then we got into more of a hardcore scene, then more of a punk rock scene down at this school called Rutgers down in New Brunswick. They always had good basement shows, then there were a few good DIY venues that we learned about from there so that’s sorta how we got into it. And the scene was just like whatever bands were there, really.
So very DIY?
For sure, oh yeah. That’s all there really was.
What are your favourite places to play?
Let’s see, I love playing like London. Anywhere in the UK, it’s kinda a trip cos it’s weird to be over here, yunno? Sometimes I feel myself getting jaded by it, then I think about it and it’s pretty insane. And also I love Chicago, and places in California. Southern California is pretty cool. It’s hard to choose one spot, they’re all like surreal to play.
How was Reading and Leeds?
It was incredible. I’d like heard about how crazy it was gonna be but there was no preparing for it.
Is there a big difference in crowds in the UK compared to the US?
Nah, not really. It’s all like good vibes and good times. I feel like for The Front Bottoms’ fans, it’s like they’re there to have fun. They’re excited, lots of positive energy.
What’s it been like adjusting to this new popularity? Because obviously you guys started out really small/DIY.
Oh god yeah. It’s great. It’s pretty unreal. Whether there’s people there or not we’ll play shows, at one point there wasn’t and now there are people there, but if it went back to there being nobody there we’ll still play shows. We try to keep that mindset cos it makes it easy.
What’s the reception been like to Rose?
It’s been pretty positive. I was quite nervous cos it is old songs we re-recorded, so I wasn’t sure if people were gonna be like “ah whatever, we heard these stupid songs already” but people seem to really enjoy it. I’m really happy with the way it came out and I’m happy people like it so it’s great. It’s good to be very positive.
Are you still getting requests for all the other old songs?
Yeah, yeah. Which is awesome, cos it means we can do more Rose EPs. But yeah, people always want all different old songs.
Do you have a favourite to play live? Does that change a lot?
Yeah, it definitely changes. Sometimes my favourite song to play live becomes my least favourite song to play live within like a couple of weeks. It’s kinda random. Right now it’s probably “Bathtub”. We haven’t played that for a while. I don’t think we’re playing it tonight but I do like playing that song. It’s like a nice break in the set, there’s a lot of loud craziness and then it’s like “let’s just vibe out to this.”
Who chooses your setlist then?
Matt normally chooses. We normally write it before we go on so it’s very how we’re feeling at the moment.
Do you change it most nights?
Yeah, usually it changes. Maybe not entirely. We normally start with “Skeleton” because it’s very comfortable for all of us to sorta get into the zone and feel out the crowd. Then we’ll like swap songs and sometimes we skip songs and sometimes we add songs.
[Strange loud ticking noise]
What is that? I think it’s gonna explode. That would be the best end to an interview ever.
Yeah, everyone died. [Laughter]
So what are your plans for the rest of the year?
We’re gonna head home, we’re gonna do Riot Fest and a couple of weekend tours which is pretty exciting. And try to write a new album.