Thursday, 5 April 2012


Ahead of their headline date at the UEA LCR (17/10/11), I sat down with Bowling For Soup bassist Erik Chandler to chat about touring and what the future might hold for the band.

Tom: Erik, welcome back to Norwich. Is it good to be back?
Erik: Oh, absolutely. Actually, Norwich is one of the very first places we ever played, we did the Waterfront when we toured back in 2001.
T: This is the first time you've been here as a full band since late last year, but you did an acoustic tour back here in April, how was that in comparison to playing with a full band?
E: You know, it's cool because when it's just the two of us (Erik and singer/guitarist Jaret), the touring party's much smaller, and logistically it's just easier. I think in April there were maybe 12 people in total, and I think we're approaching close to 60 here. Trying to wrangle that many people, it's just a bigger headache, though we miss our friends when they're not with us.
T: And is it something you reckon you'd do again, the acoustic tour?
E: We're talking about it right now, so it's kinda in the works.
T: Would it just be you and Jaret again, or would you consider bringing in the others?
E: It'd just be the two of us. It'd take away some of the atmosphere of the acoustic show.
T: You've also been in Japan recently, doing shows for the (American) military. How was that?
E: That was really awesome. That was a hell of a trip, bouncing around Southeast Asia with the Navy, and we met some really cool people. We basically had our own Naval plane which flew us all around. And it was cool because we had the same crew every day, so we got to know them really well.
T: That sounds brilliant. Now, you guys are almost pioneers of the pop-punk genre as you've been doing this for 17 years now, and influence a lot of bands, but who do you take influence from yourselves, as a band?
E: Our influences are so vast. We all grew up, and still do, listening to everything. Country/western to hardcore punk to thrash metal, it's kinda difficult to point at a couple of things – everyone has their own personal favourite songwriters. Every album sorta absorbs a slightly different vibe, it's just the way it happens when you let them evolve on their own. We go in a studio with zero expectation and zero ideas – just see what happens. With (new album) Fishing For Woos, 3 days before we went in the studio I got the demos, which were just Jaret and an acoustic guitar, it was as broken down as it could possibly be. It's very cool and interesting to watch them take shape. Forget the quality of the songwriting, I think that's (Fishing For Woos) the best sounding album that we've made. We did it in a hurry, inexpensively, and somehow it worked.
T: So, are we going to be seeing any new material soon?
E: This tour kinda ends the year for Bowling For Soup, and next year we're just gonna take things a bit more slowly. Jaret and I have solo projects – mine's out in the spring, Jaret's is out towards the end of November, so we're gonna work on those next year, and then back to the Bowling For Soup business in 2013, I guess.
T: So finally, what have you got for us tonight, and on this tour in general?
E: This is a really interesting tour, because we've wanted do something like this, well, forever. We're playing all the singles that we've ever released, and not all of those are songs that we normally play, so we're having to remember all these songs. We never use a setlist; well, we have a list, but we just pick the order there and then. Everyone's got to be so on it – last night, we were playing one song, and there was a part where we all stopped. Then Jaret just starts playing another song, and when we'd finished that one, he went back to the one we were playing before, But I had forgotten what song we were in the middle of! But it's fun, keeps you on your toes.
T: Well, thanks very much for taking the time to have a chat with me.
E: No worries.

COPYRIGHT Thomas Castle, October 2011

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