Things may be on the up for The Front Bottoms, but if there’s any pressure, they’re not showing it.
With their third album – Back On Top – and a new record label behind them, the four-piece are in bullish mood.
The album, which is packed with the kind of folk-punk that their growing legion of fans have come to adore, is their first on Atlantic Records subsidiary Fueled By Ramen.
‘It’s totally exciting,’ frontman Brian Sella tells WOW247 from his home in New Jersey. ‘It’s definitely the biggest one we’ve released thus far.
‘We were signed with Bar/None before this and we did a couple of albums with them, and then being with Fueled By Ramen has been totally awesome – they’ve let us do whatever we wanted to do. We feel pretty lucky about the whole situation.’
For Back On Top they went into the studio with Joe Chiccarelli, who has worked with numerous big name acts.
We found a big time producer and a big time studio. We went out to LA for a month, and we thought this is it, this is the good lifeBrian Sella of The Front Bottoms
‘We had written the album before we signed, and we wanted to just record the album as soon as possible with whoever we signed with.
‘We were like, let’s hit the ground running, and they were like, okay, you tell us who you want.
‘We found a big time producer and a big time studio. We went out to LA for a month, and we thought this is it, this is the good life.
‘Honestly, I wasn’t too wild about LA, it was hard to be inspired out there.
‘But I learned a lot during the recording process. Working with Joe was like a masterclass in how you make an album.
‘In the past, I would get together with Matt (Uychich, drums), we’d play the guitar, I’d look at Ciaran (O’Donnell, keyboards), he’d give us the thumbs up and we’d move on to the next track, there was never more thinking about it than that.
‘But working with someone who’s worked with Morrissey and The Strokes, these amazing bands on these amazing albums, when he’s in the other room and he’d tell you: “I think you can do it better”, you’re like: “Oh damn, okay, this is the big time then”.
Are they feeling the weight of expectation, then?
‘In the large scheme of things, we could release this album and it would be a huge hit, or the same number of people will listen to it. I think we all go into it with the same mindset that we’ll do something that we would listen to and that we would be proud of, and try to develop naturally.
‘Maybe ask me again when we’re doing our next album, but this one wasn’t so bad.’
The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea
Sunday, February 14