MUSIC: Bowling for Soup “We take the piss out of ourselves. I think that’s something we’re good at”

by James Hendicott
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Bowling for Soup

Known as one of the hardest working bands in rock, Bowling For Soup, if you ask the charts, would be considered past their peak.

That’s probably true of most pop punk, of course. But with the most loyal of fanbases and a work ethic the envy of essentially every other act on the circuit, the Texas rock band find themselves celebrating their past but also shining into the future. 

Their latest releases, for example, celebrate their Greatest Hits and fan favourites, but also explore the dynasty of Taylor Swift, a subject that feels very “now”. Their tours are absolutely relentless, and their downtime is not a lot quieter.

“I have an amazing support system,” singer Jaret Reddick says. “And for me personally, I don’t know what else I would do. I don’t have any hobbies. At every turn there’s something else, and I’m just looking at it going ‘that’d be cool, I should do that.’”

“At the end of the day I have my family, which is number one, my two bands, my voiceover stuff… when I wake up in the morning there are requirements already. I get spread thin pretty quickly. I have learnt to reel it in a little bit quicker, and that took a long time.”

“We take the piss out of ourselves, I think that’s something we’re good at doing. We’re celebrating anniversaries, and lots of the bands we started out with are coming back. Our song ‘1985’ [arguably the band’s biggest hit], I think we did a great job with that, actually. The only reference I really have to explain is to older people, with which Van Halen singer I’m talking about. It’s about Sammy Hager.”

“I think we did a good job of making the song with timeless references. The funny thing is, at the time we wrote that line that asks “When did Motley Crue become classic rock?”, it was meant to be funny. But now they are. I’m not sure we’re far from classic rock ourselves.”

“Getting old sucks,” Reddick laughs “It sucks in that there are obviously things you can’t do anymore, all the cliched stuff. But I’m very happy with the trajectory of my life. The mistakes that I’ve made have all been turned into what my life is now. When I step out of a tour bus I have to do it a little slower, but I definitely don’t wish I was in my 20s. I think we had it better in our 20s, actually. There are so many challenges now for those who are 18 or 21 that we didn’t have.”

As for the latest hit? “The Taylor Swift song is like nine years old, and it was written alongside ‘Punch Drunk Love’, which is kind of like our divorce record. We gave it away as an exclusive with a little video on YouTube at the time.” 

“I’m glad we released it, but we’re in an odd spot. We released it to go along with the Grammys, but with all the NFL stuff going on it feels weird. It could be seen as somewhat opportunistic, which was not our intention – the link was Grammy week. But we’re Swifties, my daughter has been singing the songs at karaoke since Taylor was a country girl.”

“Right now, especially in the US, she’s absolutely everywhere, but I think for her it probably goes with the territory.”

For Bowling For Soup, the lyrical links and connections with what’s now a multi-generational fanbase ensure they don’t land in their own nostalgic 1985.

Bowling for Soup play the Academy, Dublin on June 18 and 19.

Featured Image: Bowling For Soup Photo: jodiphotography

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