Erik Chandler, bassist of pop-punk legends Bowling For Soup takes time to answer our questions about touring, Christmas songs and the importance of ‘Belgium’.
“We’ve put a bar on-stage for this tour!”
S] You’re currently in the UK, where you’re regular visitors, for a string of tour dates. How do you feel about performing here again?
E] “It’s always great to return to the UK. UK fans have always given us amazing support.”
S] How did you prepare for this tour?
E] “This tour we are concentrating on playing all of the singles we’ve released over the last 17 years, so I guess you could say we’re kind of doing a ‘greatest hits’ set. Plus we’ve put a bar on-stage. How are you gonna beat that?”
S] Your last gigs in the UK were performed acoustically. How did that tour compare to others you’ve done?
E] “The acoustic tours are just a different way to see Bowling For Soup. They are a much more intimate, interactive show, and you are very likely to hear songs that we don’t normally play live.”
S] Do you feel there’s any difference between the crowds at gigs in the UK and Europe compared to North America?
E] “It’s just a different kind of music culture all together in the UK. It’s like everyone is there for a group experience. It’s nice!”
S] The recent album, ‘Fishing For Woos’, has been getting positive fan and critical reviews. Eleven albums in, what’s it like to achieve such great feedback?
E] “We have found it a little funny, because we’ve never been a ‘critics’ band. Maybe we just stuck around long enough that people got tired of talking down about us! But, honestly, it has been really cool to have such great feedback on what we consider a milestone album.”
S] Is there any reason you feel the album has struck a chord with the fans and the critics?
E] “That, I really couldn’t say. For us, with this album, we didn’t allow ourselves any time to over think things. I can also say that since it has been released on our own record label, there was no uninvited influence on the recording. Just the band and our producer.”
S] You’ve mentioned in previous interviews the album harks back to your sound of ten years ago. Do you still stand by that comment now ‘Fishing For Woos’ has been on release for a few months?
E] “I do. And that was done by design. We just wanted to get back to the core of our band’s sound.”
S] Where does the Bowling for Soup sound go next? Do you have any creative ideas buzzing around at the moment? We’ve heard you are working on an album of Christmas songs?
E] “Yes. We are about to release Volume Two of our Christmas package. In fact, we just got the mastered versions of those back this week. You can expect word on that release very soon.”
S] When you return to Texas, you’re performing at a memorial event for war veterans. What can you tell us about this event? How do you feel as a band to take part in an event like this?
E] “We do a lot of work with the military. We think that we are very fortunate to be in a position that we can do what we love and at the same time, be able to show support for the men and women of our armed forces. We are very thankful for their service and we’re very happy that we’re able to do our tiny part to give back.”
S] What else have you guys got lined up for the future?
E] “Nothing immediately after the release of our Christmas album. Well, not with Bowling For Soup. Jaret and I both have side projects that will be releasing albums in the next few months, so keep an eye out for an Erik Chandler solo album as well as People On Vacation.”
S] A final question for you, to get you thinking. You have to pick one track, and one track only, off each of your first three albums that you think embodies what Bowling For Soup is all about. What are those tracks, and why have you picked them out?
E] “I’ll make this easy…’Belgium’. It’s on all three and it’s the first song that I ever wrote that I Heard on the radio!”
For more information visit the official Bowling For Soup website.