With a new album out and first Australian Headline tour coming Brian Sella and The Front Bottoms have been going from strength to strength. I had a chat with Brian about moving to a major label, writing processes, the Australian tour and a possible slumber party!
Lets start out with the obvious. You guys are heading back to Australia but this time you will be headlining. How are you all feeling?
It feels very positive and everyone involved seems very excited and I can’t tell you how excited we all are to come back to Australia and headline. You guys treated us so good last time.
I can only imagine how well we’ll treat you guys now that you’re on top of the bill. We show much more appreciation for people on top here in Australia…
(laughs) oh well I appreciate that. That’s good to look forward too.
So before we continue I have been tossing up whether to ask this question or not but I’m going to cause I’m very lame… So I wanted to know why they call you Brian instead of Stephen?
(laughs) Well if you want to know the truth my real name actually is Stephen but my dad, when I was younger, he liked the name Brian for some reason and he would just call me Brian all the time and I was like “you know what? That’s very strange. Why don’t I use that and put it in a song”. You know, it’s crazy, people after the show will be yelling “why do they call you Brian instead of Stephen” and then I have to give an explanation.
Well hopefully when this interview goes live people wont be yelling it at you on stage cause you know the MILLIONS of people who read my website will now see this.
(laughs) there we go. Everything will become clear.
I’ve only just gotten into The Front Bottoms through my girlfriend and instantly when she showed me your stuff I was an automatic fan.
That’s how it happens man. We’ve gotta give a shout out to all the girlfriends.
Definitely. You guys may actually suck for all I know but because she’s such a babe I think you guys are amazing.
(laughs) exactly. Exactly. I’m telling you, that’s how it works man!!
You guys released your latest album ‘Back On Top’ last year through Fuelled By Ramen last year. This was your first major label release, how was it for the band to be thrown out to the bigger part of the music world?
It’s crazy. It’s very different from the way we used to do it. We used to be signed to this smaller indie label that was basically run by two guys called Barnyard Records. My girlfriend lived a couple of blocks away from we’re their offices were so I would just bring a 6 pack into the office and we’d fart around and it was awesome. It was a great relationship. With ‘Back On Top’ we wanted to take things to the next level and said “ why don’t we see what would it be like to do things on a major scale. I will say, you hear that “major record labels are scary and you should stay away from them. They’re gonna try change your sound”. So we had not so much hesitation as we did questions when going in to this. They (FBR) have been so good to us so far. I don’t know what It’s going to be like 3 albums from now but for this first album they have given us, literally, anything we could ask for. Any ideas we had they made it work for us. It’s been an awesome experience and an experience everyone in the band wanted to have. It’s been great and the main thing for us is to keep making good music and to keep putting on good live shows. I know we’re always gonna do that so I just try to keep it cool.
That’s true man. And not many bands get given this opportunity so if it’s being thrown at you then you may as well dip your toe in the water and see what happens.
I couldn’t agree more, man. That’s pretty much how it went. We said “We could keep making the DIY albums and go around the country and play for people or, since we had the opportunity, we could see what it was like to have an experience like that and so far so good I’ve gotta say.
I’ve read that you guys will be opening for Blink -182 quite soon. How are you feeling about that?
It’s awesome! Ya know it’s going to be full circle too because, probably, about 7 or 8 years ago I went with Mat down to Atlantic City to see blink-182. Isn’t that crazy. So now to go and play with them… Yeah I’m excited. I love to perform and be on stage and try and entertain the people so I’m excited cause it’s gonna be a big show and we’ll get to see blink and party hopefully and take it from there.
So not only are you doing that but as we mentioned earlier you will be doing your own headline tour of Australia and you’re coming to my hometown of Newcastle as well which is absolutely fantastic. How’s it going to be for the band? This is your first Australian headliner and you’ve got 3 albums and a few EPs to choose from. How do you narrow everything down into a set list?
It changes every night. It is hard to narrow it down so every night we got sit back stage with a couple of beers and talk about what we wanna play, how certain songs sounded last time or maybe trying out this freaky song. We just try to have a good time. That’s basically the style. Switch it up every night and make sure people are having fun. That’s our goal. The last time we were in Australia we switched it up every night and it seemed to be such a positive reaction. We were playing with The Smith Street Band and they took such good care of us, and their fans embraced the fact that we were kind of up there having a good time. I’m pumped to come back play for a bit longer this time. That was definitely the hardest we partied on any tour so it’s something to look forward to.
Well if you don’t wanna pay for accommodation in Newcastle then you’ve got my spare room.
Oh man I appreciate that. We’ll definitely take you up on that.
Definitely, man. There’s nothing I like more than hanging out with one of my favourite bands getting drunk.
Man that sounds perfect to me. The last time we went we were just crashing on peoples couches and stuff and we had the opportunity to go swimming in some wild spots so I’m excited to come back and do that and get into some adventures. So yeah, plan something out for us. Plan a little freaky adventure.
Don’t you worry I will. And I’ve already put my band down to open for you as well so we’ll just make it one huge party!
Awesome! What is your bands name?
We’re called Yours Alone. Probably the best band in Newcastle… If you ask me.
Alright! Cool cool. I’ll go through the emails and put in a good word for you. But either way we’re gonna party!
That’s great. Are you guys going to be bringing out the famous tambourine with you so the crowd can jump in and be apart of the band for one night?
Dude! Do you think we should? I think we should. We’ve gotta work out some little treats for the show. We try to keep it as fresh as possible so maybe we’ll bring the tambourines or switch it up and bring something else. We’ll try to keep it exciting!
Awesome. From the videos I’ve seen of you performing live you can’t really tell who’s in the band anymore because everyone is so involved and loving what’s going on.
Hell yeah. That’s the way we like it!
Although you recently released ‘Back On Top’ is there any kind of new music floating around in the works? Do you guys sit down and write for an album or do you collect a bunch of songs that’d sound good on an album?
That’s usually the way we’ve done it in the past. I’m constantly writing. We’ve been on tour for the past 3 months and I finally get to come home now but all that inspiration that I had the past 3 months or so, that filled up a bunch of notebooks. So now when I get the chance to sit down on the couch with my guitar I play some stuff, maybe it will come together, maybe it won’t. So there’s always songs being made and it’s basically a matter of finding a little bit of time to kind of perfect them and sit down with the boys and let them throw their input in and try to make them sound cool. There are always new songs and we’re going to try and do another ‘Grandma’ EP, eventually. I got really busy. I’ve been trying to put together a little studio so that we can constantly be recording the music that we make. Once that gets up and running there will be more songs for sure. We’re definitely a band that figures out songs live when we play them so who knows? Maybe we might play a new song when we’re in Australia.
Before we wrap things up I ask this to a lot of the artists I interview and would love to know if you had the choice of any producer to work with on your next album who would you choose?
Interesting. Let me see. Let me think. That’s a tough one cause we worked with a couple different styles of producer and the way I decided I liked the most is with a “producer”/my friend. My friend Brian may not be someone who has a lot of musical talent and he’s not very good at music necessarily but his ideas kind come from out of space when he says “Put a door slamming there” so that is the style I like and it’s the type of album I want to make moving forward with that type of producer. With ‘Back On Top’ we went out to L.A. and worked with a big time producer and we worked in a big time studio and I’m so so happy that I got to have that experience but it wasn’t the best for me personally for when it comes to creating music. I don’t know what it was but it is just a different style. So to answer your question I’d say Tom Warren, he plays bass in the band but I would like him to produce the next album.
And one final question before I let you go. What has been you favourite album released in 2016 so far?
I love the new Frightened Rabbit album. PWR BTTM have just released their new album. Those are basically the two I’ve been rocking the most!
Alright, Brian. Unfortunately we have to wrap it up and I’m sure you’ve got plenty of other interviews today. I’m sorry I set the bar so high.
But thank you so much for chatting with me. It’s been a pleasure.
You’re very welcome, man. I can’t wait to come hang and maybe we can do something else. We can go swimming you could use it for your website.
That sounds awesome! We could do a front bottoms feature. ‘Sean takes Front Bottoms Swimming’.
Awesome! I like it. It’s been awesome talking to you, man.
Grab your tickets now for The Front Bottoms 2017 Australian Tour
Friday 20th January – Amplifier, Perth 18+
Tickets from: http://bit.ly/TFB17per
Saturday 21st January – Enigma Bar, Adelaide 18+
Tickets From: http://bit.ly/TFB17ade or http://bit.ly/TFB17adel
Sunday 22nd January – Corner Hotel, Melbourne 18+
Tickets from: http://bit.ly/TFB17mel or http://bit.ly/TFB17melb
Tuesday 24th January – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart 18+
Tickets from: http://bit.ly/TFB17hob
Thursday 26th January – The Basement, Canberra 18+
Tickets from: http://bit.ly/TFB17can
Saturday 28th January – Small Ballroom, Newcastle 18+
Tickets from: http://bit.ly/TFB17new
Sunday 29th January- The Brightside, Brisbane 18+
Tickets from: http://bit.ly/TFB17bri
Tickets Available from tickets.destroyalllines.co