It started in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey when childhood friends Brian Sella and Mathew Uychich came back from a year at college and uttered a sentence many music lovers eventually say: “let’s start a band”. They began by messing around with some sounds on the acoustic guitar, inviting some friends to play with them and eventually self-releasing two studio albums. Six years and two record deals later, the Front Bottoms took to Late NIght with Seth Meyers to play their latest hit, “West Virginia”.
There is something about seeing front-man Brian Sella on network television. His scratchy yet infectious voice is something that has given the Front Bottoms the incredibly large cult following they have. It is all these kids who grew up on Blink-182 and Say Anything who have banded together, all a little insecure and uncomfortable, to give Brian Sella and his band something beyond what they could have ever imagined. For this reason, a Front Bottoms show is unlike any other concert experience. Everyone there is a fan. Everyone there knows every word to every single song performed. Screaming as one the stories Brian and Mat have put together over their eight-year tenure as a band, it is almost as if everyone there is a friend.
Then, there was Wednesday night on that NBC stage, where this group of four skinny boys in their late twenties tried to tackle being on network television. They left their song choice up to the fans, with a poll of four songs off their recent album Back on Top. The Front Bottoms fans, being who they are, chose what is probably the edgiest and most reminiscent song of their two previous self-released albums. The band looked almost unnatural without a group of sweaty kids screaming the lyrics along with them. However, they played their song and played it as if they were right at home.
This band is growing up. Their sound is getting crisper. Their stages are getting bigger. Their fan base is continuing to grow. The Front Bottoms are no longer a garage band from New Jersey. Despite their increased popularity there is one thing I have noticed from my long experience with the band: they are the same boys from Jersey they were back in 2007. The band may be growing up, but the people are the same. I can’t wait to see more and more of them because if there is one thing the Front Bottoms can handle, it is popularity.
By Beau Santomero
Photo taken from https://www.nbc.com/late-night-with-seth-meyers/video/the-front-bottoms-performance-west-virginia/2971954