A love of performing live has always driven The Front Bottoms to create new music, but it was fan pressure that prompted the band to revisit its older material and release the EP “Ann” and go on a new tour.
“We would play shows live, and people would yell certain songs, old songs, that we didn’t even really remember how to play,” lead singer Brian Sella said in a phone interview. “… So we were, like, ‘Let’s give people what they want.’ ”
The Front Bottoms have been making music for 10 years. The EP and tour allowed the band to revisit songs they loved, while also celebrating their time together as a band.
The tour caters to the fans wanting to hear older songs. The shows are split up into two unique sets – playing the “Rose” and “Ann” EPs first and then finishing with their latest album, “Going Grey.”
The “Ann” EP was recorded during the downtime after their last tour promoting their previous album. It features six newly recorded songs, including one new song.
The New Jersey-based band has been making a unique style of folk-punk music for 10 years now, but the musicians’ story is older. Lead singer Sella and drummer Mathew Uychich grew up together since elementary school.
“To be able to work and make art with one of these relationships you’ve had in the past is just great. I feel very lucky,” Sella said.
It’s this long-lasting friendship that has been the base of the band. Sella said that Uychich handles the business side of the band, which allows him to focus on the more creative aspects.
Sella said this has allowed him to find the time to gather inspiration from his life.
“I take inspiration from everyday life. I think that it’s important to remember as an artist, bottom line, that’s where your inspiration is coming from, not the drugs or anything else; You have to wake up and live your life, and that’s inspiring just in itself,” Sella said. “Every once in a while I’ll get completely naked and run through the streets of my town and scream, and I get a very inspired feeling.”
Even as The Front Bottoms have gained popularity over the past several years, Sella said, it is still indescribable to see so many people singing along to his lyrics during live shows.
“It’s such an overwhelming experience,” Sella said.
While the constant touring can be draining, the reactions from the crowd and a genuine love of playing live keep Sella motivated throughout monthslong tours.
“The whole point is to play the shows so you have to put on your best performance, that’s the whole reason why you’re there, that’s why everybody is there,” Sella said. “That makes it all worth it when you put on that perfect rock ‘n’ roll performance.”