Eleven years ago, The Front Bottoms were the sort of band that’d travel to play some kid’s dorm room. Today, Brian Sella and Mat Uychich are probably still down with dorm shows — in principle, at least — but their prospects have grown somewhat. They spent their summer playing arenas with Blink-182 and recently released the witty, hook-filled Going Grey, their second LP for Fueled By Ramen. They’re an indie rock band with a pop-punk heartbeat, and thanks to years of keeping it real, the size of their cult fan base regularly confounds outsiders.
“I’ve been saying this thing: ‘You are who you hang out with,’” Sella proclaims, reflecting on the crazy, utterly unique projection of the past decade-plus. “That’s what I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older — that’s what it comes down to… Keeping in touch with people that are cool and doing creative things.”
On this week’s #AlternativeFacts, the singer-guitarist tells his story, a DIY how-to guide on how he and Uychich built the legend of Front Bottoms. It all really comes back to that mantra, the one you see in the headline above.
Their first show, at a now-defunct Pompton Lakes, NJ venue called Main Stage, was to two fans and the sound guy. They stayed friends with him, and he wound up recording their 2011 self-titled album. Roommates, chance encounters, and Sella’s manager from his days working at Shop Rite all helped along the way. He’s also got a great story about getting invited to a barbecue at Mark Hoppus’ place last summer. Hear it all in the ‘cast below.
#AlternativeFacts is a weekly Billboard podcast devoted to all things alternative music. Click here to subscribe to the #AlternativeFacts Podcast on iTunes. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@cpayneonaplane) and by rating the podcast on iTunes.