We Were Sharks are about to hit new heights with their new album, New Low. Today marks the record’s official release via Revival Recordings, the follow-up to 2018’s Lost Touch. It’s not called New Low for nothing, with the album a recognition of the many ups and downs that life serves up. Relationships come and go, families and friends change, unexpected challenges arise, but the band’s intention is to emphasize the value of taking the hit, and learning how to keep moving forward.
Since forming over a decade ago, We Were Sharks’ fans have been quick and easy to connect with the group’s empowering brand of punk rock. New Low features a revitalized sound, that’s at times poppier, but at other times more hard-rocking than their previous musical output. It may have something to do with the fact that they’ve turned from being a three-guitar assault to a dual guitar onslaught. The addition of new bassist Matthew Sears has proven invaluable, as he has also become the band’s de-facto producer.
With New Low out now, it felt like a great time to catch up with the boys in We Were Sharks. So, lead singer Randy Frobel and guitarist Jason Mooney have joined us for a new edition of Stereo Six where they run down for us six of their most influential records.
1. Fall Out Boy – Take This To Your Grave (2003, Fueled By Ramen)
“Take This To Your Grave may not have been Fall Out Boy’s biggest commercial release, but for me, it’s the perfect pop-punk album. Every time Sharks hits the studio; I go back to it. When it comes to pop-punk, it’s quintessential.” -Randy Frobel
2. Seaway – Vacation (2017, Pure Noise)
“This album gets me really pumped. The mix of late ’90s vibes and melodies stands out so strong and is executed so well. The storytelling throughout the album is great and has massive catchy hooks. You can’t go wrong with this album.” -Randy Frobel
3. Keith Urban – Be Here (2004, Capitol Nashville)
“Here’s one that might be off the beaten path, but I’m a pretty big country. So, this album comes as no surprise to me. The way that the guitar plays off the melodies makes each song a massive hook– riff after riff. If the guitars were tuned down, this album would probably sound like a pop-punk classic.” -Randy Frobel
4. Fall Out Boy – From Under The Cork Tree (2005, Island Records)
“We’re a sucker for Fall Out Boy, and we were inspired by some of the lyric writing on this album. Most times, songs will speak in the first person or tell it from a single person’s point of view, i.e., ‘I feel like this, you did that and, now I’m going to do things.’ While on FUTCT, you hear a lot of ‘we’ and ‘us.’ So, instead of singling out the individual of a song, we were inspired to tell stories about us as a band and the struggles we share.” -Jason Mooney
5. Treble Charger – Wide Awake Bored (2000, Nettwerk)
“In the early 2000s, there was this distinct Canadian pop-punk sound that existed. We had bands like Sum 41, Not By Choice, Simple Plan, and Gob, but there was also Treble Charger. TC released a behemoth of a single called ‘American Psycho,’ and the rest of that record had massive energy and huge hooks in every song. We’ve always found a way to try and modernize that sound from 20-ish years ago, and I like to believe that this album helped us hone in on that for some of these tracks.” -Jason Mooney
6. Taking Back Sunday – Where You Want To Be (2004, Victory)
“On Where You Want To Be, TBS were releasing their second-biggest endeavour. They were on the heels of a change in band members, and they went big and brave. They were able to find a way to take the sound that the listener initially fell in love with and still have them invest in the chances they were taking. That’s not to say we were trying to create a record that sounded like TBS. I wanted to create a record with what I interpreted as the same amount of gusto they had in releasing WYWTB.” -Jason Mooney