(PHOTO BY MIKE MCLAUGHLIN)
With twenty years in the punk rock trenches behind them, the legends from the Garden State, The Bouncing Souls are releasing one original song per month throughout 2009 in what the band is calling their "20th Anniversary Series." In this exclusive, Blender.com is premiering the fifth installment, "I Think That The World" (Listen to the track below) and asked the band to answer some of our questions.
BLENDER.com: Where did the inspiration or idea of the “20th Anniversary Series” come from?
GREG ATTONITO: We wanted to release music on our new label but do it in a different way. We thought
releasing songs over the course of the year would be a fun way to do it.
BRYAN KIENLAN: It was inspired by our pursuit of fun, and our quest to keep things fresh. This has just been so much fun, the anticipation of a new song each month. We wanted a way to turn the whole year into a celebration, and this was part of the plan. Touring the world is another part of the same plan.
PETE STEINKOPF: This way our party lasts all year!
B: Due to the once a month nature of the song distribution, is the “20th Anniversary Series” for die-hard fans only or are you hoping to pick up some new ones with each release?
GREG: Picking up some new fans would be nice. The die hard fans seem to be enjoying it so
far so that’s great!!!
BRYAN: It's hard to say if we've picked up new fans this way, it was mostly a dialogue between ourselves and the "family" of die-hard Souls fans.
PETE: I think it's mostly for the die hard fans. The rest of the world will probably wait to buy the entire collection on CD later.
B: How far in advance are you recording the tracks and when do you know the song titles?
GREG: We finished the first six in December and we have just finished the last batch
complete with extra tracks last week. The song titles are done!!
B: What’s something about The Bouncing Souls that most of your fans don’t know?
GREG: Mm? I think they know just about everything. We have told our story so many times.
BRYAN: There's not much about us the fans don't know as we're really open people. Pretty much everything that crosses our minds or is in our hearts ends up in a song sooner or later.
B: Craziest Bouncing Souls-based fan tattoo on your MySpace gallery or that you’ve seen in person?
GREG: Oooh there are so so so many. I don't know of one go have a look for yourself.
BRYAN: I wouldn't say I've seen any that I'd call crazy. I've seen a few pretty hardcore ones like hands and necks and stuff. Still, not crazy to me, mostly cool.
PETE: There are so many great ones. It's hard to pick one as being the craziest...I met one kid that had all the lyrics to one of our songs tattooed in script down the whole side of his ribs.
B: What’s the biggest rock n’ roll moment for the band?
GREG: Playing at the Budokan in Japan!! 8000 people thanks to My Chemical Romance. It was
a lot of fun.
BRYAN: Maybe playing Manchester Arena or Wembley Arena with Green Day. Playing a stadium in front of 18,000 people was rad and pretty rock-and-roll.
PETE: Hanging out with Kiss. They were in the studio next to us when we were recording a record years ago. They came in and sat down and listened to some of our mixes. It was so surreal!
B: Do you guys have a pre-show ritual?
GREG: Ya. We do band fists with everyone in the area and our intro is usually Born To Run!!
BRYAN: Each of us centers himself in our own way. I go off alone and do a whole stretching routine, focus my breathing, some push-ups and a little shadow-boxing. I know that sounds a little jockish, but it gets my chi flowing correctly and energizes me. This energy makes for a better show for me. After this routine, Pete and I usually throw back a shot of whiskey or tequila together. Right before we all go on stage, we all put our knuckles in together, anyone who may happen to be standing near us, we ask them to throw their hands in too. Doing this feels like we're connecting and pooling our energies. All of this is done in the most irreverent and joking manner of course, but still we always make sure to do it.
PETE: I like to drink a couple beers...We all come together right before stage though to get our vibe on!
B: After 20 years together, what kind of arguments do you guys get into?
GREG: Always over the set list... that’s the most consistent one.
BRYAN: We've learned the art of compromise so well that no huge giant arguments happen that often. We're in this for fun, that's something we all agree on. The rest is just questions of how, when where, etc.
PETE: We don't really argue. We just kind of make fun of each other and laugh about shit. If someone's cracked or being cranky usually everyone makes fun of him till he laughs...We've been friends for so long that we're more like brothers.
B: What’s the one job you would never take no matter how desperate you were?
GREG: One where I'd have to drive in hours and hours of rush hour traffic.
PETE: Toll booth. Man...that seems like a rough job!
B: Picture this: It’s 1989, you’re back in high school, what’s the first song to go on a mixed tape for your girlfriend?
GREG: Velvet Underground - What Goes On
BRYAN: Something by The Damned, the Psychedelic Furs, or maybe the Cure.
PETE: "Close to Me" by the Cure or "Like wow...Wipout" by the Hoodoo Gurus
B: Describe the typical Bouncing Souls fan.
BRYAN: Seeker, individual, beyond fashion. A true believer.
B: During your time growing up in NJ or even more recently what is the worst cover song you’ve ever performed together? Your favorite/best?
GREG: MM..? Candy was pretty bad... Billy Idol White Wedding is always fun.
BRYAN: You'd be surprised how many have come and gone. We used to cover "I Don't Care About You (fuck you)" by Fear, "No Values" by Black Flag, "Halloween" by the Dead Kennedys, we've covered Metallica, Hendrix, the Cure, early U2, Sly Stone, the Misfits, The Clash, The Damned, Springsteen... All that was pretty good stuff actually. The worst cover we did might have been "Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire" done super-fast like the Red Hots did it. Getting into them very early on was a kind of bad little detour for us. The last thing this world ever needed was us "gettin funky" haha.
PETE: We've dabbles in tons of covers over the years. Our first record had "I Know What Boys Like" and "I Want Candy" on it. We've always had fun with covers. We used to do these little melodies where we'd play little parts of three songs together that really don't fit together at all. I think one of them was "Master of Puppets" into "Melt with you" or something like that. Good times!
B: What’s the best thing to ever happen to music? What’s the worst?
GREG: The Best: Jimi Hendrix. The worst: Celene Dion.
BRYAN: Rock and roll may have been the best. The music business was the worst thing that ever happened to music.
PETE: I would say the internet is the best and the worst. It's great that you can find anything you would ever want at the click of a button, but I also think it takes some of the mystery and some of the experience out of it. There was something great about going to your local record store as a kid and buying a record, taking it out of the plastic, putting it on your turntable and reading all the lyrics and looking at all these pictures. It was part of the relationship you had with a band. Everything is so easy now that it's become less personal.
B: Does the golden rule of “the band that prays together stays together” apply to The Bouncing Souls? If so, when was the last time your guys said some type of prayer together and what did you pray for?
GREG: Years ago we got together and agreed on a collective vision of what we wanted the
band to be. It has become that and so much more.
BRYAN: Never have prayed together in the traditional sense.
PETE: We don't do a whole lotta prayin'...
B: What can fans expect to see or hear on your up coming tour?
GREG: A good time and a good party..Good energy..See ya there. Thanks!
PETE: Good times... All kinds of new stuff and old stuff and everything in between
BRYAN: A bunch of old friends and some new friends all out having a great time together. The Loved Ones are our brothers, Black Prez fuckin rules and are great new friends of ours, and Detournment's singer Zak is a brother as well. Not to mention all of these bands really rock!
B: Complete this sentence: I Think That The World...
GREG: I Think That The World... is amazing and beautiful.
BRYAN: I Think That The World... could use a little more peace love and understanding, but we just might make it.
PETE: I Think That The World... is pretty rad!
Blender.com thinks that the world should listen to the new Bouncing Souls' song:
MORE VIDEOS FROM THE BOUNCING SOULS:
"The Pizza Song" live in the Blender.com offices
04/30/09 Boston, MA at Paradise Rock Club
05/01/09 Portland, ME at The Station
05/02/09 Boston, MA at Paradise Rock Club
05/03/09 Burlington, VT at Higher Ground
05/05/09 Buffalo, NY at Town Ballroom
05/06/09 Cleveland, OH at Grog Shop
05/07/09 Cleveland, OH at Grog Shop
05/08/09 Lancaster, PA at Chameleon Club
05/09/09 Asbury Park, NJ at Asbury Lanes
05/10/09 Farmingdale, NY at Crazy Donkey