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Interview: The Front Bottoms. Announce signing with Bar/None Records.

Photo by Brian Reilly

The Front Bottoms

By: Kiani Angus-Torres

The self described “Indie Pop” duo The Front Bottoms of Westwood, NJ, are announcing this week that they’ll be signing with Bar/None Records this month. Based in Hoboken, Bar/None maintains a highly regarded reputation for launching such influential indie acts as They Might Be Giants, The Feelies, and Yo La Tengo. The label should prove a happy home for singer-guitarist Brian Sella and drummer-synth player Matt Uychich, whose honest, unassuming lyrical and melodic talents are quickly rising up from their underground Jersey roots.  Just before they took to the stage at Pianos in NYC on Tuesday, May 31, The NJ Underground had a chance to sit down with the enthusiastic pair to chat about Mariah Carey, Rhode Island, and having a day job.


NJU: How did this all begin?  How did you meet and when did you start playing together?

Brian: We’ve been playing together as the Front Bottoms about three years, after being in a couple other bands.  I’ve been friends with Matt’s brother since 4th grade, and we all started playing together in 6th grade.


NJU: How would you describe your music?  You know, to people who are reading about it…

Matt: Good happy vibes.

Brian: Oh gees, we never really know.  I guess… ‘Indie Pop.’  Yeah, I like that.


NJU:  Do you ever get distracted or annoyed by being categorized by genres or labels?

Brian: Not really.  I can see how you would be, but really we want to be recognized for something that sounds familiar, like something you’ve heard before, but also different.


NJU: What bands are you listening to these days?

Brian: Bright Eyes – we really dug the new record.  Why?; Weatherbox; The Killers.

Matt: And the new Kanye!


NJU: What was the first album you ever bought?

Brian: “Who Let The Dogs Out,” the single by the Baha Men

Matt: I think it was The Offspring’s Americana.


NJU: What was the first pop song you memorized all the lyrics to? 

Brian: “Who Let The Dogs Out” by the Baha Men

Matt: I’m not sure…

Brian: Just make something up, dude…what’s that Mariah Carey song… “we were as one babe, for a moment in time…”

Matt: <starts laughing>


NJU: “You’ll Always Be My Baby?”

Brian: Yes!  That one!

Matt: Sure!


NJU: One of the things that really stands out about your songwriting is how vivid the lyrics are.  Are you ever afraid of how people are going to react to a new song? 

Brian: Yeah, definitely.  In my head, I don’t regret it, but I usually know that the person who a song is about is going to hear it, and I wonder how they’ll react when they hear it.  For instance, there’s this line in one of our songs about a girl grinding her teeth at night, and it was just line, but all of her friends always talk about it now.


NJU:  But you’re not sending angry drunken texts to people saying ‘Now I’m gonna write a song about you…’?

Brian: No!  I would never do that!


NJU: So you’ve just gotten signed with Bar/None, which so awesome.  How often does your family say “Get a real job”?

Brian:  Well, we definitely have day jobs.  I work 40 hours a week at a super market, and Matt does landscaping.  Eddie Veddar said something really cool about not letting the music consume your life, and we really think that’s important.  Having something else going on really makes my drive to make music stronger.  It means more.


NJU:  What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you while on tour?

Matt: Of the things I can remember, I won’t tell.

Brian: Let me think though…

Matt: Oh I know!  So we were playing a show in Rhode Island, and we ran into this guy who had no shirt, and all these cuts and scrapes all over himself and he told us that he was spending the summer biking down to Florida and back, with nothing but a backpack full of drugs.  No food or anything.  Just drugs. 

Brian: Yeah, and this was in June.  So then we were playing here, in New York, in August at the end of the summer, and he came to one of our shows!  He made it!  He was on his way back!

Matt: So we wrote about it in one of our new songs!


Brian and Matt also told NJU that they’ll be spending this Summer playing shows, and plan to release a self-titled album with Bar/None which combines their first two EPs ‘Slow Dancing to Soft Rock’ and ‘Grip’N’Tie.’ They anticipate a return to studio to flesh out a new record in the fall.  The NJ Underground will be sure to keep you posted on the latest and greatest with one of our favorite new bands, The Front Bottoms.

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