Fireworks

Fireworks Magazine Online 39 - Bowling For Soup

BOWLING FOR SOUP


Interview: Andy Brailsford

As readers will no doubt know, I have been a follower of Bowling For Soup since I first became acquainted with them back in 2002 after someone sent me their ‘Drunk Enough To Dance’ album for review. For a band that has been described by their record company as ‘pop/punk,’ I have watched their audiences grow and become quite diverse, as they can play to a crowd of 14 year olds, while still filling the main arena at Download with heavy rock fans. Having had a bit of a break from this country, I caught up with Jaret Reddick before their set at Sheffield Academy in October.


It’s been 2 years since we’ve seen you over here, and when we were last talking about the DVD you’ve recently released, you said you were going to put all the promo videos on it, which in the end weren’t there. Was there any particular reason for that?


“Well that was just one idea that we had, but the label wouldn’t really go for it because they’re really fighting the urge to do the ‘Greatest Hits’ yet. So basically a DVD compilation like that would be considered a ‘Greatest Hits’. But they actually did that in Japan – put out all the videos on one disk, which was rather cool and is helping increase sales over there. It will eventually happen over here, it was just the label saying that we’ve got a new album coming out and they’re not ready to do a Greatest Hits.”


On the new album, and the opening track ‘Really Cool Dance Song’, you sing that dance music isn’t really what you do and you had to borrow a keyboard for the middle eight section. Did you really borrow a keyboard?


“We actually did. Well, we rented it. “


Yeah, I thought, that wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest, when I heard it. I actually like that bit, when the keyboard comes in it’s like ‘Blimey, a bit of prog there!’


“Very auto-biographical, that song."


You’ve brought back 'Belgium'. Whose idea was it to do it Polka style though?


“The band Brave Combo is this Grammy-Award winning band that lives in our home town and we’ve talked about doing a collaboration with them forever and ever. And so we wanted to do something on this album, and what we were going to do was have them do a medley, like a polka medley of 1985, Almost, Girl All The Bad Guys Want .. all of our bigger hits. And then I was thinking, ‘Wait a minute. Why don’t we just collaborate on ‘Belgium’?’ It just seemed like a good thing to do, and so that’s what we did and the fans are very happy, because we took a lot of flak for not putting it on the last album.”


There’s a song on the new album, ‘America (Wake Up Amy)’. Obviously it is a political comment .. I wrote in my review, ‘The conscience of America finding its voice in this song.’


“You know, it’s a political song, or maybe not. Like a few of the other songs on the album, it’s kinda up to the listener really. There was indeed a girl in my past whose name was America, and they called her Amy, and she did indeed have some of the problems that are hinted at in the song. So again, it’s sort of to be taken however, you know. If you want it to be about a girl, it’s about a girl, if you want it to be our political song ... I can’t really say it’s a political song because I said I’d never write a political song. Most people get it, and I think that everybody understands the reason why I would hide the political thing behind a different sort of wall.”


Is it your daughter that sings on the end of “I Don’t Wish You Were Dead Anymore’?


“Yeah, Eric and I were doing the vocals for the demos at my house, and she had gotten home from school, so she gets off the bus and gets her little snack and comes in and watches us work, or do her own thing while we work, or sometimes participates, and she just started doing that little cheer. And I asked ‘Do you want to do that in the microphone?’ and she said yeah, so she came out and did that – she made it up and everything, it was all her.”


Where did the heavy metal middle eight in the middle of ‘I Gotchoo’ come from?


“Well you know, I’m a metal kid from way back. Before Bowling For Soup I was in a Death Metal band called Terminal Seasons, so whenever I do Karaoke I do all Skid Row, Motley Crue and all hair metal. It was time to show the world we can really rock.”


I’ve always said in all the reviews I’ve done that the heart of Bowling For Soup is a rock band. I mean, you’re described in various press releases as punk/pop, but Download ... you’re not going to get away with doing Download if you haven’t got some rock in your veins!


“Yeah, that’s so true and I think that people see that. I think we’re just sort of one of those bands that’s hard to describe. In the next 2 weeks or so, it’s there for us if we decide we want it but I think it makes more sense for us to be over in July to do O2 and T in the Park. So we’ll see. It’s too expensive for us to fly over, then fly back and come back again. So we have to be here for about 4 to 5 weeks. That’s a really long time for us to be away. “


One track on the album, ‘Me With No You,’ screams out to be a single release. Is there any chance that you will release this as a single?


“Yeah, well, it obviously depends on the success of ‘No Hablo Ingles,’ They released ‘My Wena’ over here first and ‘No Hablo Ingles’ over there, so hopefully 'No Hablo Ingles' does okay for us and we can release another single, and the two record companies can work together on releasing ‘Me With No You’ as a single. Right now the reaction to ‘Really Cool Dance Song’ over here is just crazy. Singles don’t sell in the way they have done in the UK in the past, with putting it in the stores all over. But the singles do drive albums because airplay and video play is crucial. And also you sell singles on iTunes, which is a song at a time. But right now our biggest seller is ‘Hooray For Beer’, which has never even been talked about as a single, but that’s the song that sells the most on iTunes.”


And ‘BFFF’ .. has it become a tradition having a song on an album about being gay?


“[laughs] You’re the first one to actually put those 2 together. I almost wrote that song completely differently based on the fact that I’d already written ‘I’m Gay’, but it definitely wasn’t an intentional thing to have a song on both albums with the gay thing ... but that chorus had to be written that way.”


What does the other ‘F’ stand for, by the way?


“[laughs] Well, you have to decide for yourself.”

 

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