Bowling For Soup
With Nickelback on their way to torture us once again and the legions are emo kid crying in their pillows, Bowling For Soup have returned at just the right time with "Punk Rock 101" - a self depreciating slice of punk pop complete with Bon Jovi and Fat Mike references. Fresh from touring on the Warped Tour for 2 months Designer Magazine caught up with frontman Jaret at Reading Festival for a chat about living in the 24 Hour Fun Zone which is Bowling for Soup.
Q: You've been on the Warped Tour for the past couple of months. Over in Britain we can't comprehend something so massive. It must be a bit of a mad trip.
A: A full two months of touring and the last month no day off. It was our last shot at it ever...it was real crazy, but it was a lot of fun. There's 40 bands that are on the tour and about 60 that play every day and on all of short drive days somebody throws a party. We did one up in Cleveland, The Ataris threw one and the Less Than Jake guys threw a couple. There's always something going on backstage and everyone just hangs out, there's not a lot of egos.
Q: I was looking at the line-up and didn't you have a stage completely to yourselves?
A: We headlined a stage where they had a lot of local bands come on the stage and play. We were the only band that were signed and some days you'd have Story Of The Year and Maxine, both of which are doing really well, so it was really cool. The stage itself was really well put together, it was put together by Ernie Ball (the company that make the guitars that Eric and I play) and it was a really good time.
Q: And you've headed straight from that madness to do Leeds and Reading this weekend?
A: No day off. Were definitely staying busy. In true Bowling For Soup fashion we haven't had a break in about 2 years so were due I think.
Q: Seems a while now since the last single, but we've got "Punk Rock 101" out this Monday (25th August) to appease us until the albums out. Tell us a bit about it?
A: This country has really supported us so much over here and the video is number 1 on Kerrang. I think people get it and that's the main thing. The song is a tongue in cheek look at our whole genre of music and at risk of making fun of ourselves. I think people listen to it and understand what were trying to say.
The Bon Jovi reference is totally done out of respect. I'm an old metal kid and they were one of first bands that I ever got into when I was younger...and then when we were nominated for the Grammy that we were up against them so it's a good transition. Also we have a Fat Mike reference in there from NOFX. He was on the Warped Tour with me from the Gimme Gimmies and we brought him on the bus and let him watch the video. I don't think he knew what to think - what do you say when you've made it into somebody's song.
Q: Bowling For Soup videos really tend to connect with the kids. Do you work with the same director on each of them or the ideas all your own? What's the typical process for a BFS video?
A: I think the kids like the humour in them all and they've done really well over here. In the States there's not a whole lot of outlets or channels for it - MTV over in the States is just shows. It's cool that when we make a video we can count on it getting played.
Each video we do is different. Chris came up with the idea for "The Bitch Song". "The Girl All The Bad Guys Want" is a combination of everybody and "Punk Rock 101" was originally my idea. But they get changed so much from the time you think of the idea to the time they become and actual video that it's pretty much not what you originally thought it was going to be.
Q: We were talking last time about a BFS movie. Are we any closer to that yet?
A: A movie is still something I think we will eventually do. Were a walking TV Show, so there's always something going on and always some kind of high jinx or wackiness happening. Hopefully some day we'll actually get a budget for it so we can do one of those 14 minutes videos like Michael Jackson or something.
Q: "Punk Rock 101" is the first taster of the new album. What can we expect when the album eventually drops?
A: Actually this single isn't going to go on the album. The new album is going to be all new stuff. It's pretty much going to be a Bowling For Soup record, it sounds like us. It's sounds a bit more mature just because we've all grown up over the last couple of years cos we've had to. The ideas are still going to be the same and all the songs are still gonna be about girls. I'm not gonna try and change the world though - it's still gonna be Bowling For Soup.
Q: Your tours are always known for the cover versions and melodies as well as just a sense of fun which seems lacking with most rock bands. What can we expect when you tour the UK in October?
A: The last time we came over we weren't touring with a single or anything so there was some question of whether we were making the right decision, but we made a commitment to keep coming back to the UK because the UK's been good to us and were not going to change that philosophy. With this tour we do have a single and were excited about the opening bands because our friends Farse are coming on the tour again and were bringing a band from California called Never Heard Of It who are doing really well in the States right now.
The covers add an element to the show where people can just sit there, smile and enjoy it. We usually don't decide till right before we come out and some of the stuff we actually make up as we go. We go for whatever's popular at the time because it's important that everyone recognizes the songs and such. And again it even changes from night to night. When we were playing the songs on the Warped Tour we can guarantee that those songs had never and would never be played on that tour again.
Were in this to have fun and the thing about it is if you don't leave our show with a smile on your face then there's something wrong - you must not like puppies or something. I don't see how you could come and see us and not have a good time.
"Punk Rock 101" is out now on Music For Nations
Bowling For Soup tour the UK throughout October
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