As stories go Bowling For Soup would certainly provide you with the most entertaining. Years of alcohol-fuelled pranks, on-stage antics and quite frankly juvenile lyrics have been just a glimpse of a crazy lifestyle these boys once lived. Now, two years after calling time on the band, they have decided to break free of the hiatus and tell the haters where to shove it, politely of course.
Catching up with them on the last date of their tour, Already Heard speaks to bassist Erik Chandler about prank retirement, avoiding the negativity on social media and what’s next after the ‘How About Another Round Tour’.
AH: It’s the last night of the tour, how are you feeling? What is it like to be back?
Erick Chandler: The tour has been absolutely fantastic. When we first had the idea to come back, we weren’t sure if anyone would want to come see us having been away for so long. So we put the feelers out and our whole team just rallied around us to make it happen. For us to come over having no new product, to have the kind of response we’ve had, it’s like we never left. It’s so awesome.
AH: Ending it on a sold-out show must be pretty incredible?
Erick: Yeah, all but one was sold-out. It’s way better than we ever expected.
AH: Do you think for some fans it’s all about the nostalgia coming to these shows?
Erick: You know what, it’s crazy. Almost every night Jaret has asked ‘who is seeing us for the first time?’ and it’s been almost half the people who are coming for the first time. I don’t know if they are new fans or old ones who never got the chance to see us, but that’s been a great part, seeing the reaction.
AH: Now the tour is over what are your plans? Do you want to come back? Before you’d said that was it, you were bidding farewell.
Erick: When we did the farewell tour, we weren’t sure if Bowling For Soup was even going to be a band anymore. Not due to any sort of conflict of anything, we had some other crazy stuff going on outside of the band, but all of that got worked through and we stuck through it. Now we are here. It was about a year ago when we said let’s come back, for us now there is no end in sight. We definitely will be back after this tour, we will be in the studio later on this year to get some new material down and then we will be back when the time is appropriate for us.
AH: Coming from the States, do you feel like the industry is different, are the fans different?
Erick: It’s a different kind of music fan in this country compared to back home, I wouldn’t say necessarily better just different. The fans are a bit more ravenous over here, for lack of a better word. People seem to be way more excited about us, but I don’t think people are any less excited in the States, they are just a little more chilled about it. It’s kind of an intangible thing, they are having the same amount of fun but it doesn’t look the same.
AH: Have there been any crazy antics over the past few weeks?
Erick: You know, it has actually been a fairly calm tour. There hasn’t been much craziness, other than some people going to bed at 7.45 in the morning from staying up all night. Other than that, there hasn’t really been any tomfoolery.
AH: So no pranking the other bands then?
Erick: We quit. We retired from the tour prank business quite a while ago after a band called American Hi Fi toured with us. When we toured with them in the States, they were a little older than us, they would go to bed at a reasonable time. This one night, we were parked up but none of them had gone to bed. We thought it was a little strange. We all start peeling off one by one, we’d disappear off to our beds. With the help of our tour manager, they unloaded all the gear and set it up in the front lounge of our bus. So full guitar kits, full drum set, they even set up a merch stand. At about 5.30am, they decided to play a concert on our bus. We woke up to the most horrific noise we’ve heard in our entire life, like somebody had a boom box with busted speakers and decided to turn it up full blast. There was a giant rumble, as heads start to emerge, the doors to our lounge opened, Stacey the singer just walks up and down the hall singing their songs. We thought it was awesome, we can never top this, might as well hang it up now.
AH: Would you say that is one of your favourite memories over the years?
Erick: That’s the coolest thing anyone has ever done to us. Tonnes of good memories. We got kicked off the university grounds in Liverpool, we were there with Simple Plan and somehow a refrigerator found its way over a balcony and in the park below, so we were promptly asked to exit from the property. We’ve calmed down a bit, so stuff like that doesn’t happen anymore.
AH: Have you read any of the response for this tour?
Erick: It seems to be amazing. It’s been very positive. There was one person on an online thread who started saying negative things in general about how he used to be a fan but can’t support us after we pulled this ‘money making stunt’. To say that we weren’t coming back, and the only reason we did it was to sell tickets, blah blah blah. I wrote a super long response to this person and then deleted it because it’s not even worth it. Whoever this is has no idea what was going on with the band, it’s not worth my time to involve myself in this.
AH: Before we let you head off to prepare for tonight, what are your top 5 most important things to have on the tour bus?
Erick: Hmmmm alcohol, alcohol, alcohol.
Bowling For Soup will be back in the UK in October when they support Steel Panther alongside Buckcherry.
15th SSE Arena Wembley, London
16th Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
18th Arena, Manchester
19th Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
Words by Georgie Robbins (@GeorgieJourno)