Bowling For Soup doesn't necessarily need an introduction, but in case you've been living under a rock, the band is currently in the midst of celebrating their 21st year together, with a string of tour dates coming up, as well as a greatest hits album, Songs People Actually Liked Vol. 1, released earlier this year. With their second leg of US tour dates kicking off later this month and a following run of dates in the UK beginning in 2016, we had a chat with frontman Jaret Reddick about the group's journey so far and the hard work that goes in to maintaining a band for over twenty years. Fans can catch Bowling For Soup on tour in celebration of their 21st year all throughout the month of September - tour dates below!
Interview by Shannon Shumaker
Looking back on Bowling For Soup’s early years, did you ever imagine you’d be where you are now, celebrating your 21st year and releasing a greatest hits album? How has the journey been so far?
Definitely not. It is all pretty surreal to be honest. I have been in Bowling for Soup half my life…That is just crazy! And people still like us!
The journey has been amazing. Lots of amazing times and a few tough ones, but you really don’t remember the tough ones. Just the amazing.
What kind of work goes into maintaining a band for 20 years? I know a lot of people say it’s like a relationship.
For sure. You have to know your role in the band and you have to appreciate that it is the sum of it’s parts. Without any of the 4 of us, there is no BFS. That is pretty much the foundation!
Have there ever been times where you thought that Bowling For Soup may be over, or that you didn’t want to do it anymore? How do you move past that?
Only a few times. A few years ago, it seemed we all, me and Erik especially, had a lot of personal shit going on all at once. It got hard to tour, focus, and honestly, it became almost too much for me to hold it all together. And that has always been my role. So it was a bit frightening. I am so glad we stuck it out. Things are better than ever, because I communicated with the guys, the fans and our management and such, and we made it work!
With Songs People Actually Liked Vol. 1, were there any songs that you were really excited to revisit and re-record?
For sure! Anything recorded before 2002, I was STOKED! It was up until that point, we had done a lot of the recording ourselves, or with great people, but no idea how to execute as a band in the studio. We did ok. But with Drunk Enough to Dance, it all clicked!
And I’m sure it’s safe to say there will be a Songs People Actually Liked Vol. 2 in the works as well?
I think so…In some capacity. But I will say that the younger the song, the harder it is to re-do it and make it sound “better”…It is going to have to be a different idea I think.
How do you feel the music scene has changed since Bowling For Soup first formed to now? What are some good or bad changes that you’ve noticed?
I take it all as it comes. The most significant of the changes are obviously touring vs social media. In '94, when we started, you got in a van and you played and played and played until people took notice. Nowadays, I don’t recommend bands do it that way. The internet is still very much an unexplored entity... There is still a LOT out there for us all to find. And the young bands will lead the way, while old farts like us try and keep up, or become irrelevant.
Do you ever try to keep up with the way the scene changes, or are you comfortable just doing your own thing?
For sure, as far as marketing and such. I will admit, I don’t know ALL the new bands that come down the pipeline… But I do ok… And as far as social media and the like, I would say I am pretty fluent.
You’re kicking off your tour soon, too! What has you most excited for these dates? What can fans look forward to?
We have already done 1 leg, so it is cool to go out without the pressure of “will people actually show up?!?!” The show is very much a good representation of the entire 21 years. Very spontaneous… Basically, I have no idea what the hell is going to happen!
Looking toward the future, what’s next for Bowling For Soup?
We will be done for the year as far as touring after this run. We have a couple of DVDs in the can that we need to finish up… Actually 3! The we are of the Europe in February! We never stop!
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
No, this was great!