Alter The Press!


Interview: Bowling For Soup - 29/10/09

Prior to their sold out show at the London Roundhouse, Bowling For Soup guitarist, Chris Burney took the time out to sit down with Alter The Press to speak about the bands new album, success in the UK compared to the US, their forthcoming documentary, drinking in the UK and more.

Alter The Press: The UK is your second home, so to speak. What do you think it is about Bowling For Soup that the US doesn't get, that the UK does?
Chris Burney: First, we can do edgy comedy at our shows here. Unless we are playing a 21+ or 18+ show in the US, you have to watch what you say to kids because they’re with their parents but here, you can be at a football match, a streaker goes and a parent doesn't hide their kid and gasp, they laugh instead where, in the US, they are more reserved. The UK gets our comedy a little more and our show isn't just us playing song after song, you can have 15 minutes sometimes of banter between songs.

ATP: What are you're favorite pastimes in the UK?
CB: It's funny because on this tour we had one day off, and we rarely get days off, but when we do, we drink. I would say drinking over here is our favorite pastime by far and any activity that goes along with it like sitting and drinking, standing and drinking, walking and drinking, going on a bus and drinking, riding the train and drinking or going to a football match and drinking.

ATP: Your new album, 'Sorry For Partyin'', what would you say separates it from your other seven albums?
CB: As far as musically, it's more or less the same. It's three/four chord songs, poppy and catchy, but this album has more distinctive keyboard stuff. We worked with a different producer this time, and he is really good at coming up with keyboard melodies. Three of the new album songs that we are playing on this tour are the tracks. It's cheaper to plug in an iPod as it's not another mouth to feed on the road. You don't have to feed an iPod, just hook it up with some power once in a while.

ATP: Your fan base in the UK is very mixed: kids, older crowds, metal heads. You just don't get that at pop-punk shows for example; you played Download Festival on the heaviest day and went down great. What makes Bowling For Soup such a diversified band?
CB: I think it’s because we are entertaining and don't care to put ourselves in any genre. It's rock and roll. In the US, it's very genre orientated and people just usually listen to punk, metal, hardcore but over here, you get kids coming to our shows with Slipknot shirts, and older people, who the last band they saw was Pink Floyd, back in the day. It's kind of flattering that we have such a diverse fan base and it's kinda got like that in the US as well. It's cool to see that we weren't just some little fad with the pop-punk kids.

ATP: You are set to release a three-part documentary, 'Bowling For Soup: My Home Town'. Can you explain what the documentary is going to be about?
CB: We haven't even started yet, but we are just going to go back to our hometown and just visit all the places where we grew up, schools, places we had jobs and just talk about it. Hopefully we can bring in some people who we used to know when we lived there, from our past, from all the stages of our band. We have attempted to try and get three dates to do this but something has always come up. Over the holidays, when it gets slower, we hope to do it.

ATP: What has been the best tour you have been on?
CB: As of yet, this one because we took a two-year hiatus from regular touring and so, this is the first solid thing we have done in two years. It feels really good because sitting at home is not really gratifying. I have to pay bills and my self-esteem is built around playing shows, meeting people; if I'm just sitting at home, I feel like a worthless pile of poo.

ATP: Does it feel weird coming to London and not playing the London Astoria? (Historic venue, which the band played many times.)
CB: It's weird. It was always such a great venue but, as cool as it was to play, as a band it was not so fun. The main dressing room was right at the top floor and you would need to go up and down stairs, which means I would lose about 10 pounds per show.

ATP: What makes a good song in your eyes?
CB: I'm a riffy guy, so I think it needs a good riff, a good melody and a good song topic, which people can get into. I'm a fan of classic rock so like, old Steve Miller songs are awesome because he writes about cool things and always has a catchy ass riff in there.

ATP: What has kept Bowling For Soup going strong for 15 years?
CB: Just being good buddies. We got into this to have something to do on the weekends, when not working jobs, something to get free beer. It turned into more that that, which is really cool. It's the fact that we appreciate it, we’re still buddies and don't fight.

ATP: What is planned after this tour?
CB: We go back to the US and have tours all the way up to Christmas. We should be back in the UK in March for about eight headline shows, then festivals in the summer. Hopefully Download.

'Sorry For Partyin' is out now.

- Jon Ableson

Alter The Press!