On the Newcastle leg of possibly the most fun tour to get yourself along to all year, George chats to Bowling For Soup‘s sticksman Gary Wiseman to see what’s up.
George: Can you say your name, and what you do in the band?
Gary: I’m Gary from Bowling For Soup, and I am the drummer!
George: How are you enjoying the tour so far?
Gary: It’s awesome, all the bands are great, and everyone’s having a good time. Last night after the show, we sat outside the bus and drank for a few hours, then we got inside the bus and drank some more! So we’re happy.
George: MC Lars, The Leftovers, and Zebrahead; can you talk us through them? Why do you like each band?
Gary: The Leftovers are a kinda just upbeat, poppy punk band, and a happy feel good music. MC Lars is kind of a rapper, and we’ve been on tour with him multiple times before in the states, and over here too, and we’ve just been good friends with him for a long time. Zebrahead, we toured with last time we were over here, and became good buds with them, and when we were getting this tour together, we wanted them to be on again, so there we are!
George: What’s Bowling For Soup been up to over the summer?
Gary: We actually, have not been doing a whole lot, ’cause we’ve been waiting on the new record to come out. We recorded it in January, and we were hoping it’d be out for a summer release, but it always gets pushed back, so…we kinda just sat at home most of the summer!
George: Well you’ve just released said record, are you pleased with the reception it’s got so far?
Gary: So far, so good! I mean, it’s a little early to tell, it just came out last week, but we’ve heard good things coming back so far, so we’re definitely stoked, and we’re looking forward to the next few weeks, also!
George: I walked into a record shop the other day and it was playing in there.
Gary: Nice! That’s good to hear they’re playing it at the record stores, we all went out together the day that it came out, and went to go buy one, and they had a big stack of them there, so that was a good sign.
George: What’s your favourite song on it?
Gary: Favourite song on there, I guess, probably, BFFF.
Gary: Yeah, BFFF. It’s a song about your best friends, and hanging out and getting along with them.
George: What does the extra F stand for?
Gary: Whatever you want it to.
George: What’s your favourite song to play live?
Gary: Off the new record? We’ve kinda started doing this new thing where we’re kinda doing some tracks, some songs with track, so we’ve been playing If Only, which is a totally different deal, ’cause basically the verse is all tracking and we just do the chorus and the bridge, so it’s a new deal, it’s kinda fun.
George: How come this isn’t a Get Happy tour again?
Gary: It kind of is, but it isn’t, I don’t know why we didn’t do the Get Happy tour, we’re just doing something new, I guess.
George: Will the Get Happy tour ever make a reappearance in the UK?
Gary: Probably so, I mean we don’t have plans right now for it, but I’m sure that we’ll do that again! It’s a fun vibe, it pretty much sums up the whole band, so I’m sure it’ll be returning in the future.
George: Surely, every Bowling For Soup tour is happy?
Gary: Exactly, yeah!
George: How do you manage to keep writing catchy, humorous songs after eight whole albums?
Gary: It’s just kinda who we are, I guess, I mean we obviously set out, we aren’t trying to make depressing songs, it’s just not who we are, It’s just whenever we get together, that’s the sound that comes out, and really we’ve been doing it so long now that when somebody plays a riff we just put it in place, it just sorta happens with whatever we’re writing, it just comes together that way.
George: Are the songs based on life experiences?
Gary: Pretty much all of them are based on some kind of real-life experience, whether it’s one person or multiple people, it’s compiled into one story, but they’re all pretty much based on reality.
George: Are you ever going to be serious as a band or is it too much fun being more of a party band?
Gary: The thing is, we are serious to the point, I mean we obviously take the job of being in a band seriously, I mean we’re leaving our homes, and all that, but I mean if we’re not having fun then it’s not worth it, so once we stop doing all the fun and partying, then we’ll probably just retire. It’s not worth it if we’re not having fun.
George: What does Bowling For Soup even mean?
Gary: It doesn’t mean anything, Steve Martin had a comedy album out in the late 70’s, and basically he was talking about different TV shows, and books and stuff he had written, and he was talking in one of them which was called Bowling For Shit, so we stole the idea off of him, from that, but we couldn’t call it shit, ’cause our grandparents wouldn’t be very happy.
George: Do you guys listen to the same kind of stuff that you play?
Gary: Somewhat, I mean if you look at any of our iPods, there’s anything from Willie Nelson to Slayer on there, I mean we listen to all kinds of music, so we do listen to bands that I guess aren’t in our genre, but we also listen to bands from all other genres also.
George: Is there anything you’re hoping to get up to while you’re in the UK?
Gary: We usually, if we set out to do something tourist-y, we get about a block, and we find a pub, and then we never really make it out of there, so we’re really bad about getting out and doing stuff, but we always end up hanging out together.
George: Did the band ever get into the wrestling, the rap metal, and the Godsmack?
Gary: No, none of us, actually none of that’s on any of our ipods.
George: Not even Godsmack?
Gary: Nah, well Chris might have a little bit, but I don’t think so.
George: What can we expect from Bowling For Soup in the near future?
Gary: Greatness. Funny greatness! [laughs]
George: Change the record, who should we be listening to?
Gary: I don’t wanna tell anybody to listen to stuff, they should listen to what they like, but I dunno, there’s so much good stuff out there, I don’t think you should just listen to one thing, you should listen to multiple different things, widen your horizons.
George: Well, what are your favourite bands?
Gary: My favourite band is a band called No Means No. It’s kind of a jazzy punk band out of Victoria, Canada, they’re all old dudes, if you see a photo of them, or a DVD or something, it’s weird, it’s like watching your uncle playing onstage, except it’s old grey-haired dudes but they’re great.
George: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Gary: I think we did it, y’know? Check out our new record! Sorry For Partyin’.
– George Cannings.
Bowling For Soup’s new album, Sorry For Partyin’, is out now.