Let’s talk about New Found Glory for a little bit. They’re one of those punk rock acts that stuck with us since the late ’90s, and they’re still here today throwing out tunes that remind us to never take life too seriously. From classic hits like “My Friends Over You” and “Hit or Miss,” their epic From the Screen to Your Stereo cover albums, all the way to their collaboration with Paramore‘s Hayley Williams on “Vicious Love,” it’s hard not to smile through their music. In times like this, it’s good to have that quick reminder, whether through embracing old records or discovering new tracks at a live setting. And New Found Glory have been serving all that from the start.
With the upcoming release of their ninth studio album Makes Me Sick (on April 28th via Hopeless Records), New Found Glory prove that there’s still hope in making the world a happier place, despite the misery that lingers all around us.
BillboardPH spoke with drummer Cyrus Bolooki to give you a local’s tour of where to go and what to see in South Florida.
Where did you play your first local gig and is the venue still around today? Do you remember how it felt to be on stage for the first time?
Our 1st show was at a venue in Miami, Florida called Cheers – a small bar that housed shows for both local and national acts. Unfortunately the venue is no longer there, much like a lot of the smaller local venues we grew up going to or performing at. I definitely remember being extremely nervous at my first show. In fact, I still get nervous before shows, and I doubt that will ever change.
What local venues do you frequent (or used to) for a fresh dose of the local music scene? Do you still have time to check it out?
At the time in South Florida there seemed to be tons of local venues to see shows. Places like Cheers in Miami, Club Q in Davie, Florida, The Edge in Fort Lauderdale (now called Revolution), FUBAR in Fort Lauderdale, and many others. Out of all of those venues however, the only one still open is Revolution in Fort Lauderdale. I don’t have as much time nowadays to go to these venues, but I do know that there are still plenty of shows, and there is still a local scene in South Florida; it’s just harder and harder each day to find venues to host local shows.
Where did you see your first major concert? What band/artist did you watch?
I went to 2 different concerts over 3 days for my first experiences seeing live music. I saw an outdoor festival at Bicentennial Park in Miami hosted by our local rock radio station, headlined by a band called Pride and Glory (Zakk Wylde was in that band), and then a few days later I saw Corrosion of Conformity at a club in Hallandale, Florida called The Button South. Very random bands to see, but for me I was mesmerized by how powerful it was to see live music pumping through massive speakers in front of thousands of people.
Are there certain places in your city where you feel songwriting flows the best? What songs did you write in those spots?
I grew up in South Florida where there’s lots of regular suburbs and homes but also tons of water and beaches. A lot of our early music however was written either at our homes in our bedrooms or living rooms, or even in rehearsal spots like warehouses. We would just always be hanging out, practically every day after school together, and playing or listening to music together.
What are your favorite music stores (for gear, records, merch) in your city?
There are lots of cool stores in our area, both big and small. Since I’m a drummer, I love a store called Resurrection Drums in Hallandale, Florida for gear, and then there’s a cool record store in Fort Lauderdale called Radio Active Records.
Give 7 places–from gig venues/clubs/bars, famous landmarks, busking areas, and museums people should visit if they go to your city. Why should they visit these places?
Revolution Live – One of the few remaining live venues that’s been around since I grew up, hosting local and national acts. I’ve seen countless shows here and lucky enough to have played here multiple times as well.
South Beach/Miami Beach – South Florida/Miami is famous for its beaches, and this is probably the most famous of them all.
Everglades National Park – Florida is also known for its swamplands, and this is an interesting environment that’s hard to find elsewhere in the world. You can see lots of crazy animals here like alligators, and even take boat rides on airboats that glide over the water.
Joe’s Stone Crab – one of the most famous restaurants in Miami. Hard to get reservations here and pricey, but the Stone Crabs are unbelievable at this place!
Downtown Fort Lauderdale/Las Olas Boulevard – Located not too far from Revolution Live! this area has a lot to offer for the “essential” Florida nightlife, which includes tons of bars/restaurants and lots of people watching, with the weather warm enough year-round for people to always be outside and on the streets.
Churchill’s Pub – If you want to experience a punk rock bar/venue in Miami, then you have to go to Churchill’s. It’s dirty and old, but it’s been around forever, and there’s always some sort of local show there.
Café Versailles – Last but not least, South Florida is also known for its Hispanic culture, especially a large Cuban population. This is one of the most famous Cuban restaurants in all of Miami, and a tourist trap serving Cuban specialties including coffee that is guaranteed to put a pep in your step!