The first time I heard Bowling For Soup's "1985," I fell immediately in love with the song. But how could I not? With its great hooks and references to Springsteen, Madonna, Nirvana, U2, Blondie, MTV, Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, St. Elmo's Fire, Wham!, Duran Duran, Van Halen, Motley Crue, and Ozzy (not to mention having one of the funniest music videos of the past decade), it was right in my wheelhouse. I've been a fan ever since.
The band is getting ready for a US tour with Patent Pending, Freshman 15, and Sandlot Heroes, but frontman Jaret Reddick was nice enough to drop by and talk about touring, Christmas music, his sense of humor, and Phineas And Ferb.
Hi Jaret! How's it going today?
Things are good. Still recovering from a trip to the Middle East. I need sleep. Other than that, I am awesome!
Along with bassist Erik Chandler, you're about to embark on an acoustic UK tour followed in April by a US tour with the entire band. Do you prefer one type of tour over the other?
I love them both. Way different tours, both show-wise and even not show-wise. The bus is a lot quieter when it is just Erik and I.
There is absolutely nothing like a full band show, nothing in the world. But the acoustic thing is fun for us and for the fans. It is just really different.
Have I just said anything?
Do you find that certain Bowling For Soup songs sound better acoustically or vice versa?
Historically yes, but recently the light bulb went off and it was like, you know, all of these were written on an acoustic. It is a matter of not trying to recreate the vibe and presenting the song as it should be, depending on the venue and the amount of distortion.
There are songs we do that are crazy energy-wise live as a band that we scale back and just let happen acoustically that actually make people cry. It is kinda cool.
I know Fishin' For Woos hasn't been out a year yet, but will fans be treated to any new tunes on this tour?
Possibly. We just did a song for my little record label, Crappy Records, summer comp. It is really cool. I think we will play it a few times.
Bowling For Soup have been together for eighteen years. What's the secret to your longevity?
Communication. Just like being married, only you have sex outside the relationship, and no one gets upset. We are pretty good at knowing when to push someone's buttons and when to let them go. The other big one is trust. You have to trust each other. That sounds cliche, but it is the truth.
One of the things I've always loved about your band is your awesome sense of humor that comes across in the lyrics. Did you listen to artists with humorous lyrics when growing up?
I didn't, but I loved funny movies and stand-up comedy. I draw from all of that when I write.
Is the sense of humor hard to maintain? After so many years, do you feel pressure to be witty?
Not at all. I write like I talk. So if you hung out with me for any length of time, you'd be like, "Oh, this all makes sense."
I do admit that there are times during a tour when I am doing radio or something where I have to work at it, but I guess that gets into being able to power through, and I have been pretty good about that through the years.
You've mentioned a lot of celebrities in your songs. Have you heard from any of them? Any interesting stories you'd care to share?
I know Drew Carey thinks it's really neat that we mentioned him. And Fat Mike from NOFX was blown away as well.
The only one that got a little weird was Aaron Lewis (Staind), after I dressed like him in the "Girl All The Bad Guys Want" video. But after about five minutes, we were hugging and he dedicated a song to me at a festival we were playing together.
I should have asked him to dance. Nice guy.
Of all the songs you've written, which has been the most personal?
All of them have something that is real, but often it gets lost in the telling of the story and trying to make it interesting for everyone that listens. But the most personal would have to be "Pictures He Drew," "When We Die," "Surf Colorado..." Man, I guess all of them!
You guys have released two volumes of Christmas tunes. Any plans for a third?
Yes. I am not sure if there will be an entire album this year, but there will be new Christmas songs.
What draws you to Christmas music?
I love that time of year. Even for the not-so-religious or those that don't get into the whole Santa thing, there is just something in the air. I freakin' LOVE it! I always wanted us to do some Christmas songs, but we just stayed too busy. Now that we have down time here and there, it is easier to focus on other things creatively. Christmas is a good topic.
My daughter would kill me if I didn't ask this: How did you get involved with Phineas And Ferb and end up performing the theme song?
It was pretty simple really: the guys were fans of the band and the way I write. They asked us to do the theme, and while at it, if I could turn the theme into a three-and-a-half minute "single" for radio and promo. I went and met with them and saw a few early episodes of the show. It was AMAZING. Right after that same meeting, I read for a part and got cast as Danny.
What's it like being the lead singer of the animated Love Händel?
It is one of the coolest things ever for a Dad whose kids think I am not really that cool.
Now it's time for The CB3, the three questions we ask every guest. Better album: Thriller or Purple Rain?
In school, were you a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, or a criminal?
If I have to pick one, I will pick brain.
Finally, Bowling For Soup is the opening act of a music festival. You can get any five artists, living or dead, to perform on the bill with you. Which five do you choose and what song do you all perform as the final jam?
The Beatles, Green Day, The Eagles, The Descendants, and The Avett Brothers. Our last song would be "Hey Jude/All The Young Dudes" medley.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. I wish you best of luck with the tour and hope you add a Southern leg!
Thank you! Awesome questions!
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