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The Front Bottoms talk shandy, songwriting, and the moon

Pretty Punk

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If you chuckled to yourself the first time you'd ever heard of "the Front Bottoms,' you're not alone. Despite having a name that conjures up some pretty comical images, the band has matured immensely from their 2011 self-titled disc to last year's Back on Top. "Twin Size Mattress" from 2013's Talon of the Hawk was the breakout point for the group, while Back on Top tracks like "Cough it Out," "The Plan (Fuck Jobs)," and "HELP" saw the band's sound evolve, blending punk and folk spheres with a pop and rock underlay that garnered them even more fans.

Back on Top reveals a lot of bizarre, personal tales, from sacrificial ceremonies to hospital visits to cold summer drinks, the latter of which apparently can cure "bad boy blues." That's what Sella sings about in "Summer Shandy," a track that references beach house living and Leinenkugel seasonal beer — something the band consistently consumed on their 2014 tour with Say Anything. "The whole vibe of that was beach house living, like the ultimate luxury in the world we live in," he says. "And it's a metaphor for a relationship."

And then there are oddly arousing lyrics ("I lay on the floor and naturally bite your ankles") that raise a few questions from "Laugh Til I Cry." Thankfully, Sella answers them: "I had gotten into a motorcycle accident and smashed into the back of a car. Well, actually, my girlfriend was driving the car, and I was following her home," he says. "I kept thinking if I was badly injured and couldn't move or anything, the only way I feel like I could interact is biting someone's ankles. Maybe it was more like this idea of people hanging onto things, like not being able to let something go. Being annoying is still an interaction."

As for what's been happening since the release of Back on Top, Sella says there are some new media projects in the works. "I forget where we were, but these kids threw a DVD on stage called the Front Bottoms Movie," Sella says."We watched it one night, me and Tom. It was an hour-and-a-half long, in a musical style, and we loved it. So, we reached out to see if they would be interested in making a musical type of movie, like a video of two young lovers. And they made it for us. So, we're going to project it and do a Q&A with the director."

As for this summer, the Front Bottoms will hit up the festival circuit, including stops at Coachella, Boston Calling, and Shaky Knees. For now, they're on tour and still reminiscing about their recent trip to Europe. "It's still a hustle over there," says Sella. "When we were in Cologne, Germany, which might as well be the moon, there were like 400 people that showed up. And we sold out like all the shows over there, but we were still sleeping on the floor. It's pretty punk over there."

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