Jaret Reddick from Bowling For Soup chats about the band, the upcoming tour, new music and more

Bowling For Soup. Photo: Will Von Bolton

Bowling For Soup. Photo: Will Von Bolton - Credit: Will Von Bolton

Jaret Reddick from Bowling For Soup talks about the band, the tour and more ahead of 'The Get Happy' tour where they will headline The Nick Rayns LCR on February 14.

Jaret Reddick from Bowling For Soup. Photo: Kai Piper

Jaret Reddick from Bowling For Soup. Photo: Kai Piper - Credit: Kai Piper

So you've fronted Bowling For Soup for over 20 years now. That's impressive. What's it like being able to play alongside your friends in such a widely known and popular punk rock band?

It's the greatest thing in the world, and I don't say that lightly. I think that's the answer that everyone wants me to say but for us everything has always been about fun, and it being us together.

That's the way that it's stayed no matter what anyone else was doing, or going through, Bowling For Soup was here for us and this was always going to be our thing.

I stand up there on stage knowing that we sound amazing and everyone looks amazing. I just feel very very lucky.

I grew up listening to your music, along with many others, and it was bands like yourself that first introduced me to the rock genre. What's it like knowing that your band has been so influential to so many people?

That's the one thing that I think we didn't really realise. I guess it was about 5 years ago at Warped Tour, it was a bunch of bands that we thought would hate us, and they were all bands that would come up to us and say, you're the reason I even do this.

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It was at that point that we realised that, hey it's ok if we accept the fact that we are pioneers so to speak. It's an amazing feeling. Its super cool to me to have another band that's successful name us as a big influence. But it's just as big of a deal to me to have some kid go hey I'm getting a guitar for Christmas because I love you guys.

So yeah, it's definitely something we don't take lightly.

Bowling For Soup farewell tour in 2013. Photo: Courtesy of Rage PR

Bowling For Soup farewell tour in 2013. Photo: Courtesy of Rage PR - Credit: Courtesy of Rage PR

It must be tough sometimes to keep a band together for such a long time. How have you guys managed that over the years?

By putting friendships first and making sure that everyone knows that they're equally as important as everyone else in the band.

Maybe I'm the one that talks the most and get's a lot of the credit but the truth is we wouldn't be Bowling For Soup without the four of us. You just have to know that, so you know when to push each other's buttons and when not to.

You know when someone needs a hug and when someone needs to be left alone. That's pretty much how we do it and it seems to have worked for sure.

In 2013 you played a farewell UK tour. Was this a tough decision to make and what were the reasons behind it?

There's a bunch of back and fourth about that. It's pretty simple really. We were on course to be one of those bands that just burns out. It wasn't really the band in its self; it was a lot of personal stuff.

Eric was going through a divorce, I was going through a divorce, Gary was having his first kid… we just saw it as being one of those things where if we keep pushing and pushing and pushing, and going to the UK twice a year, and touring the US twice a year and just being gone from home 200 days a year that we were going to burn out.

That was just us tapping the breaks. We thought that we were being clever by saying farewell instead of goodbye but apparently a lot of people took it literally even though when we were over there we were saying this won't be our last trip over here we've just got to go take a nap.

Bowling For Soup on stage. Photo: Kate James

Bowling For Soup on stage. Photo: Kate James - Credit: Kate James

But a couple of years later a lot of things had changed for us, Eric being in a happy relationship again, me being in a happy relationship again, Gary having his child then. It was the best decision we ever made. Once we started back on the shows, the first day it was like we were kids again. It's not glum faces - it's happy faces and happy people.

We're human beings and we just need to pace it you know, we are not getting any younger (laughs).

So do you think that the time away reignited it for you all and made you realise how much you love it?

100 percent, not just playing live but coming back it was fun to write songs again. I'd gone through this whole thing where I was like, I wanna write songs but I don't want to write Bowling For Soup songs and that was short lived because I think we caught it at the right time.

To have made that decision the four of us together and then to follow through with it and to come back from it stronger than we've ever been and I think better. It's all a factor of just needing that little break.

Not everyone can go on forever. It's sometimes just nice to have a bit of time with your family as well isn't it?

You see a lot of bands just go and go and go until they can't stand each other. That was the main thing for me. I want us to be happy people but I also don't want our band to fall apart. I don't want to do that to Bowling For Soup, I don't want that to be the legacy, I want us to decide the legacy.

Back in 2006 you went on 'The Get Happy Tour' with Army of Freshmen, who will be joining you again in February. How excited are you to be reviving this tour?

I'm really excited. I think it's been a long time coming and I think it's the right time because there's so much to celebrate.

So for us it's the 15th anniversary of 'Drunk Enough to Dance' and I believe it's the 10th anniversary of one of their albums, and then to be able to add the Aquabats! who are such a happy band as well.

We've got a lot of surprises and we are going to try to make it literally the happiest tour that ever happened.

Fans are also really looking forward to you performing your smash hit breakthrough album 'Drunk Enough to Dance' in its entirety. It's got some real crowd favourites on. Are you looking forward to this as well?

Absolutely! We really need to get in and start rehearsing because there's lots of those songs that we haven't played since we played them in the studio which was in 2001/2002.

We've got a little prep work to do but I'm excited. I don't cringe when I hear any of our albums, I love them all, but that one just has something to it. I understand why it's a lot of people's favourite.

Are there any venues on this tour that you are particularly looking forward to performing at again?

I'm excited to do the Manchester Apollo as we haven't done that since 2007, and that was also 'The Get Happy' tour, so that's a venue that we're super excited to be going to.

Birmingham is always such a great show because it's the freaking home of metal, it's always a fun time.

And actually Norwich, we added that show, we can't go to the UK and not play the UEA. It's a tradition and part of every tour that we do so I was glad that we were able to make that happen.

Last but not least, what's next for you all? Are there more tours planned or will you all be taking a break after you've finished this round of shows?

Nothing crazy tour wise. We've got a bunch of stuff mapped out here in the US, we're doing a thing over in South Africa later in the spring, but I think it's time to probably start thinking about some sort of new music.

We've got a lot of different ideas, and the fans all have their opinions. Our Bowling For Soup fan page is quite an interactive thing, it's probably one of the best communities I've ever seen, and we get a lot of ideas from that.

There are definitely a lot of possibilities as far as what we can do in the studio, but I guarantee that it will be a blast because next year we go into our 25th year as a band so we have much to celebrate.

For more Bowling For Soup check out Jaret's podcast 'Jaret Goes to the Movies' and follow their fan page on Facebook.

Tickets for the Norwich show are available from the UEA Box Office for £25 advance.