Bands come and go, whether it be the dramatic fallout of One Direction or the breakup and subsequent makeup of No Doubt. But there’s one band we can count on to stay with us through it all, (with tough love) guiding generations through horrifying high school years with “High School Never Ends,” a rollercoaster relationship with “The Bitch Song” or a crappy day with “Shut Up and Smile.”
Bowling For Soup has put a smile on our faces for 20-plus years, and the band isn’t easing up.
“If you would have told me I’d be 43 years old and still in Bowling For Soup, I’d think you were crazy,” frontman Jaret Reddick tells EW. “Life happens, people have kids and relationships end outside of the band. It took trust in each other and time away from touring to get stuff together.”
Reddick adds: “We needed to come up for air.”
Success was fast for the band, made up of Reddick, Chris Burney (guitar), Erik Chandler (bass) and Gary Wiseman (drums). The band garnered buzz after joining a label and carved out a niche. As Reddick puts it, Bowling For Soup became “that band that when you’ve had a rough day you can always put on our album.”
Nine years later, the band would have a Grammy nomination for their pop-punk song “Girl All The Bad Guys Want.”
For Reddick, growing up an ’80s kid had a significant impact on how he created songs. “I loved Mötley Crüe and the whole hair-metal genre,” he says. “It was like the original gangster rap. They were the first to have the cars and the money and the houses and throw it out there in videos.” The Crüe, he continues, “were larger than life.”
In the ’90s, he discovered his love for punk rock, listening to Descendents and the Ramones. Some may be surprised to learn that Reddick also draws from what might be the polar opposite of punk rock — good ol’ American country music.
“As a songwriter, lyrically, I listened to more country, because they’re always telling stories,” he says. “You can hear a lot of similarities in our music if you really listen.”
The band has come a long way from their freshman album to the most recent release of new music, Lunch. Drunk. Love. Now on the second leg of its Finally Legal tour, the band is more than ready to remind the world what Bowling For Soup has always been about.
“New fans or old fans — our shows are a balance of people that are just finding out about us and people with the nostalgia of ‘1985,’” Reddick says of an old hit. “Our show is unscripted; we don’t even use a set list. It’s fun because you never know what you’re gonna get.”
Fellow pop-punkers The Dollyrots and indie-alt group Ivory Tribes join Bowling For Soup 8 pm Wednesday, Sept. 16, at WOW Hall; $20 adv., $22 door. — Sydney Zuelke