Bowling For Soup are coming off a recent European tour and will soon be playing a handful of US dates as well. I caught up with frontman Jaret Reddick to talk about those upcoming shows, as well as their new single, Alexa Bliss, their soon to be released compilation album, and what the rest of the band’s plans are for 2020.
Thanks for speaking with me! I know you just wrapped up a European tour with two other great bands, Simple Plan and Not Ur Girlfrenz. How did that go?
It was great. The UK has been so good to us, for gosh, 20 plus years; and we went over there kind of as a celebratory thing for our 25th anniversary. We wanted to take Simple Plan back, who we took over there on our first headline tour back in 2003, and it was great. The audience continues to grow the shows are fantastic, and we love Simple Plan.
And then Not Ur Girlfrenz is a band that I manage, so it’s great to have them along and to watch them grow. I mean, they’ve just really blossomed into something very special. So it’s nice. It’s sort of nice for me because it’s a night where I get to not only watch them and see them blossom as I said, but also then get to go out there and rock myself.
You have a few US dates coming up as well, including a big birthday shindig on March 6th. Happy birthday!
Can you tell us a little bit about what that’s going to be like?
The birthday show’s going to be really fun. It’s just me and a friend of mine who’s actually in the more of the Texas country genre, and we’re going to do more of a country-style song swap.
It’s a really small place. So it’s gonna be interesting to see how they either accommodate everyone, or whether everybody even gets in. But it should be a lot of fun. We’re taking a party bus from my neighborhood. So we’re taking a bunch of my neighbors there as well. It’s a show/birthday party and should be a big night.
Sounds awesome. How does a girl like me get an invite to something like that?
Hey, get yourself to Texas! We’ve got a spot on the bus for you.
Awesome! Can you tell us a little bit about your new single, Alexa Bliss? How did the concept of the song come about, and what was it like working with her and the WWE?
It kinda goes back to a few years ago, I had taken my son to see a wrestling event here in Dallas, and he was really into it at the time. She came out and I said, “I think that girl likes my band.” So we did a little searching and ended up finding a few tweets or Instagrams where she had said something about Bowling for Soup. He told me I should send her a message and so I did, and she responded right back. which made me look like a really cool dad.
From there she invited us up to an event up in Philadelphia that I took the whole family too. Then we hung out several times. She came to a show down in Florida, so we’ve just become friends. I was watching her wrestle. I was like, there’s just such a tie between music and wrestling, it’s kind of all that same style. Like, surely there are pop-punk people who like wrestling.
I just had the idea and my friend Linus and I, (who writes a lot of Bowling for Soup stuff with me), just did a bunch of bullet points. Actually, I got bullet points from my neighbor because he’s a huge wrestling fan and I was still being educated.
We did the song, and so I sent it to her on her birthday and she sent me a video back, she was in tears. It was a very special day then you know? But she’s been so great and the WWE has been great. They have been just so accommodating and so easy to work with. You would think that an organization like that would just be red tape and not be able to get anything done, but they have been just so responsive and so sweet, and so supportive of the song.
So we can’t say enough about them, and especially her for wanting to be a part of it. We did the video and I was like, “you don’t have to say yes, I have an idea where we’ll get just a look-alike, to play you in the video.”
She was like, “Oh, heck no. I want to be there.” So she was great. She spent two days here making the video and, just so very giving of her time and stuff. So it made it very easy.
That’s great, and you got to be the cool Dad again.
I did get to be the cool dad again and my son is actually in the video and, the funny thing is, I’m not sure that he realized it was going to be so much work. But I did pay him! At the end, I was just like, man, you’ve been so great, and I can just tell that you’re getting fidgety, you’re ready to go to the mall with your friends or something? But just stick with me and I promise you I’ll give you some money for doing this. Just like you’re a real actor.
I bet he appreciated that.
He was very happy about that. Yeah.
During special events such as Takeovers and Wrestlemanias, bands will sometimes play a superstar out to the ring. Is that something you would like to do for Alexa?
I would absolutely love it. I mean, I get asked that all the time. That would be a huge thing for Bowling for Soup, we’d love to do it. We’ll see where everything falls, but it would be cool to be able to do that.
Is the song just going to be a standalone single, or will it be featured on the upcoming compilation album?
It’s going to be featured. We have a new greatest hits record coming out, so we released our first one a few years ago called, “Songs People Actually Liked Vol I.”
This is “Songs People Actually Liked Vol II,” and what it is, is a 6-year range. The first one is our first 10 years, this is the next six years. So we go in and rerecord the bigger songs from the band, and then this record will have “Alexa Bliss” on it and another single called “Burnout,” which will come out around the time the album comes out. Hopefully around the beginning of June.
Can you talk about any of the other songs that will be on the tracklist?
Yeah, it’s just the obvious songs. When you look a bit date range, first of all, the reason we didn’t do the next 10 years was because we did so many albums that had so many singles and that we sort of needed to back it off a bit. So it’s the big years really. So it’s “1985”, “High School Never Ends”.
It should be really fun. I mean, we did the same thing that we did like the first time. We kept the songs intact. We didn’t try to redo anything. So then we might’ve sped them up a little bit, slowed them down or whatever, just to sort of make them more like how we actually play them. But for the most part, it’s just an updated version.
Nearly a year ago you released a side project with a friend of this site, Kelly Dollyrot. Do you think at some point you two will put out another record?
Oh yeah, for sure. I mean, we have stuff going on all the time. Obviously, she’s super busy. She’s got a Sirius morning show now, and stuff with her own band and family. But definitely hoping that we’re going to get together where we’ve actually put aside some time over the summer, this summer to get together and write again.
I don’t know if we’ll do another album, but definitely, the idea is to create more music and to keep that thing going. It’s definitely too much fun and it’s a really nice outlet for both of us to just do something else musically with somebody that we, you know, that comfortable being around all the time.
We’re seeing a lot of pop-punk bands taking matters into their own hands. Acts like The Ataris, MXPX and New Found Glory have embraced a more do it yourself approach with touring, making records and interacting with fans. How do you feel about this different approach?
I think that’s what you gotta do, you know? It’s a different world that we live in. These days, I mean, getting people to even step away from the computer and go out and see a band is not the easiest thing in the world to do. So I think you do have to offer more of yourself out there.
You have to really engage. It’s a full-time job being in a band and that’s something that’s evolved over the last 10, 15, 20 years, to where you know, it’s not enough just to write great songs and getting a van and go tour You gotta be thinking outside the box all the time.
So kudos to those bands you mentioned for keeping the genre alive. There are all friends of ours, and we’re out there doing the same thing.
That’s awesome. Can you tell me a little bit more about this mini Midwest tour that you have coming up? It’s Ann Arbor, Chicago, and Milwaukee.
It’s just honestly a little package that came together. We have a college show somewhere up there, the day before all that starts. So it was just to get an opportunity to get out there and hit some of those cities. We actually missed Chicago on our last tour because we had another show.
So it will be really cool to get back to Chicago because it’s been a few years. And Debra played that venue in Ann Arbor, so I’m excited about that. Keep hearing lots about it. Milwaukee always treats us great so it should be fun. I think that’s what you’ll see from us for the rest of this year is a lot more three and four day things like that.
You know, we worked really, really hard last year for our 25th anniversary. We did two tours and Less Than Jake, and, that’s where I met you actually.
And that’s the thing for this year. So we could focus on the new album and honestly, just being home with it. That’s going to be more of what you’ll see from us. So there are a few other things that are happening with that. Some dates coming up, in Atlantic City in New Jersey here in a couple of weeks, and then you got that thing in April.
So we’re not really planning on any huge big tours until next year, but definitely still out here and active.
Thanks for speaking with me today. I appreciate you taking the time out. I know you’re a super busy guy.
That’s my plan. Just sort of throw as many hooks into the water as you can.
Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans or to our readers?
For anybody who supported the band over the last 26 years, I appreciate it. It’s so cool for some kids from Wichita Falls, Texas, to be able to do this for a living. I hope that, if we’re ever in your neck of the woods, you’ll come say hi.