I think some people would view playing your other band’s songs as cheating—you’d be cannibalizing your old band’s back catalog to make audiences remember who you were. I can see both sides of it, where you want to please the crowd, you want to put your best foot forward, and do what you can do to be an individual.
The truth is that I’m used to the longer, harder road. In the sense that, not “the streets man,” not like that. You know, I was in Shai Hulud and we started from nothing and built a name for ourselves like that. And New Found Glory played hardcore shows and all these fucking hardcore kids are staring at us. Not one punk-rock kid knew who we were at that time, and people were staring at us, like, “What is this?” We just played our asses off, and people who liked it liked it. It is sort of the same thing here. That’s why it took me this long to really promote [What’s Eating Gilbert], because I was having a hard time even really wanting to talk about it on my Twitter.
In the new issue of AP, there’s an ad for the Cheap Shots EP that says, “Featuring Chad from New Found Glory.” I never let Bridge Nine do that until now because I always felt a little bit like, you know, whatever. I just want to start from the ground up and I don’t want to distract people from New Found Glory. But now, with having time off, with the tour, it makes sense to have the ad say that. I definitely am into taking the longer, hard road. I’m not looking for any handouts from New Found Glory. If they come along, that’s awesome, and I’d love it.
Let’s briefly talk about New Found Glory’s upcoming live album, Kill It Live, that comes out on your label, Violently Happy, on Oct. 8. You recorded two shows for this live album, but a lot of people know these shows specifically because you were injured during the first show. You got electrocuted onstage.
What I thought was interesting was that there is no mention of that at all on the album. Like, there’s no like stagehand saying, “Oh my God, Chad just went down.” That was omitted from the whole recording. Is there any mention of that in the liner notes? Did you choose to downplay that?
Originally, we were putting it all together and editing the [banter] in between the songs, and the first night I had the electrocution. We were going to use it—and then we heard it, and it was really fucking morbid.
Yeah, it’s just really not fucking cool. Immediately, we were just like, “This is going to be great! You got me electrocuted, that’s great!” [We cued the audio up,] and you just hear, like, a little noise and then people are really quiet and freaking out in a weird way. And it’s just not cool. You’re having fun and then you’re like, “Uh-oh.” It really just lost all of the fun out of the record.
What’s amazing is that there’s not even video on YouTube of what happened, considering how much this generation records everything on their phones. Is it a relief that there’s no documented evidence of you collapsing onstage?
I kind of want to see. In the hospital, a lot of the doctors were coming over, like, “We know what happened, we read online, but we can’t find any video.” It might have helped a little bit in the sense that they wanted to know where the entry wound was and we couldn’t figure out how hard I hit my head on the ground. Because from what I remember, I passed out, and I didn’t really hit my head that hard. And if I did hit my head hard, they wanted to do CAT scans and all this crazy stuff. And there was no video, so no one could really remember how hard I hit my head because it went so fast. So I kind of wish I had video just to see what happened, because I woke up on the ground.
The moral of the story is never stop filming on your cameraphone, kids. Never put them down. Film everything.
Yeah, come on!
If only you were shooting a live DVD! Your electrocution happened relatively early in the first show. Is it safe to assume most of the live album is taken from the second night?
Yeah, we pretty much used everything from the second night, except for the first two or three songs.
Did that put any extra pressure on you when you were playing that second show?
I got out of the hospital at noon [the day of the second show], and I went home and showered and came back [to the venue]. So I was literally just out of the hospital. And here’s the thing: I didn’t want to get electrocuted again. So I was like, “Please buy me a wireless mic.” So we got a wireless mic, and while I’m playing, some crowdsurfer’s foot hit the mic, and since it was wireless, it flies and hits me in the face, cuts me under my eye and I had a huge lump under my eye for the rest of the show. There’s a photo on my Instagram where I’m holding a towel and smiling; I [remember turning] around at the photographer and I’m like, “Really?” and under my eye is just a lump and a cut and I was wiping the blood off my face.