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The Front Bottoms

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THE FRONT BOTTOMS

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Unique Jersey outfit The Front Bottoms are packing seats on their upcoming Australian tour (figuratively: it’s general admission) and if you haven’t heard of them, you’re about to. Having racked up five full-lengths under their belt and looking towards a sixth, they decided it would be a good idea to start 2017 with a headline run Down Under.

 

Their last time here was a glorious slot supporting local faves The Smith Street Band in 2014. When asked if there was anything about that tour that inspired the re-visit, frontman Brian Sella replied, “Basically everything”. “The entire experience was wonderful”, he elaborated. “The shows were really good, so we figured if we could come back, we should make it happen”.

 

It seems like an understatement that the band are going to take 2017 “day by day” without any big plans, when they have such a busy schedule, not only trekking it down here but also working on a new album. “After that Australian tour we will probably start writing a new album”, Sella elaborated. “I already have a lot of it written, it’s just a matter of coming home and finding the time to really sit down and put it all together”. He even has some themes penned down. “I met a guy – a homeless guy, who was living in a lobby, and I tried to write a couple of songs about him. I don’t know if anyone will ever hear those, but that was a weird thing where I was like ‘I can probably get some inspiration out of this.”

 

In addition to having a new album on the horizon, there’s also likely to be a continuation of the ‘Grandma EP’ series, which may see The Front Bottoms revise and modernise a collection of songs from their back catalogue, something they did on the first instalment, ‘Rose’. “I’m already talking to Mat [Uychich, drummer] about another Grandma series and he was totally into it, so we’ve been thinking of ideas for songs that we would put on that one. Like I said, it’s basically just finding time to sit down and do it. So when we get home from Australia, that will be another thing that we try to start working on”.

Their ability to churn out music is consistent, even if their inspirations have changed. From the introduction of more complete instrumentals as their discography has progressed, to their signing to Fueled By Ramen, fans have definitely pointed out a development in their sound that can’t be denied. “Life goes on and you try to get better at something and you have different experiences”, Sella comments. “Everything is subjective, so it’s alright, things just happen the way they happen, I guess”.

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What’s so special about The Front Bottoms is that even with gradual sound changes and reasonable upskills, their music is informed by a level of honesty, wrought with allegories and references, that speak for itself. It almost feels offensive to ask Sella to provide an explanation on anything when it’s all already there. Queries answer themselves. When asked if one of the lines on ‘Back On Top’ is a Slaughterhouse Five reference, Sella replies that it’s probably subconscious – he just loves that book. When asked if it’s true that, as he claims in his lyrics, his name is actually Steven, the answer is yes. There are no lines to read between – everything is as it appears, and that’s the most refreshing enticement the little-Jersey-band-that-could could ever offer.

 

Sella has a couple of big things in the foreseeable future with The Front Bottoms, but he’s also working on a book, even if it’s not necessarily “coming out” yet. He doesn’t share anything about it, because “I don’t want to”, he laughs awkwardly. Nevertheless, fans of his lyrics have a lot to look forward to.

 

All in all, The Front Bottoms are “just having fun”, according to Sella. There’s no big mission, they’re not saving the world and even though they’re from New Jersey, they’re not aiming to follow the footsteps of scene icons like My Chemical Romance. The entire point is that they’re not inspired by a vision statement or an earthmoving intention. Sella observes, and he recounts. They’re not trying to reach out in some fabricated way, and by being that honest with their fans and with themselves, they do just that, relating to people with their exclusive brand of the no-bullshit truth. If you hear someone call them phony, they’re probably lying.

 

 

Written by Peyton

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