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Bottoms up



Photo: Mark Jaworski

Things are definitely looking more up than down and out for The Front Bottoms. The indie punk act spent more than a few tours playing hole-in-the-walls and sleeping on floors but it now finds itself selling out sizable clubs and getting pegged to open up for well-known bands like Brand New, which The Front Bottoms did in December.

“We were so happy to get asked to do it, and the show was sold out before we were even announced. We thought it would be the first time those people had ever heard us, but there were so many people there who knew The Front Bottoms and were singing along,” drummer Mathew Uychich said. “We didn’t think anyone would know who we were at all. It was a great experience and kind of an eye-opener, too.”

The seven years of relentless touring is paying off, coinciding with pop-punk once again finding favor with listeners across the country. Uychich thinks it’s a simple matter of the music speaking a truth that got lost somewhere along the way.

“If you have honest music that can speak to people, music that lets them relate and think about things and their life, they get something more out of it,” he said. “That’s what making music should be, and that’s what we try to make.”

The duo did just that with Talon of the Hawk, the band’s fourth full-length album that hit shelves in May 2013. It marked the first time The Front Bottoms recorded in a professional studio after mostly favoring the makeshift rig in its New Jersey rehearsal space.

“We went into the studio with the songs 98 percent written, and that’s the first time we were that close to done before we went in to record,” Uychich said. “It was more about capturing the sounds we wanted than anything else. I guess the biggest challenge was recording exactly what it was we had in our heads.”

The band enjoyed the experience but is still very headstrong about how the final product shapes up.

“I know that we like having control over the music,” Uychich said. “It’s specifically what The Front Bottoms want, and we are going to try and keep it that way.”

Following a number of tours through the United States and abroad in the first half of 2014, the band is eyeing recording the follow-up to Talon of the Hawk, though no time frame is set in stone. The new material is revealing a new side of the group, with the standard acoustic guitar being traded for an electric one.

“We’re thinking about experimenting with an electric setup, and that would certainly change things significantly. We hardly ever use pedals, but we’ve been messing around with those a lot lately, too,” Uychich said. “It could be a lot heavier. It will still be lyrically driven, and we are really happy with how these songs are shaping up.”

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