Bowling For Soup to release A Hangover You Dont Deserve
It’s the perfect title for the return of Texas' reigning punk cowboys, Bowling For Soup.
Artist: Bowling For Soup
Title: A Hangover You Dont Deserve
Release date: 09/24/04
Bowling For Soup
Buy at: Amazon
"Drunk Enough To Dance is like when you go to a wedding, and fifty percent of the people are so sloshed that they're dancing, but those are the people who shouldn't even be on the dance floor and usually aren't," explains Jaret Von Erich, Bowling For Soup's outspoken frontman, guitarist, and worst instigator. "If you see any one of us dancing, then we are [just] drunk enough."
Beer is a common ingredient in BFS's recipe for fun, which also includes lambasting each other's moms, exposing their privates, and otherwise embarrassing themselves or their audience. They've certainly had plenty of practice. Having spent the better part of the last seven years playing bars all over the Lone Star state perfecting their unique brand of joke-rock, these guys know how to work a room. Now, with their second Jive release, the boys of Bowling For Soup are ready to pound their message home with 18 tracks of unabashed punk-pop that's quirky, reverential and downright, ass-whooping funny.
They've already played with the best of the best (including virtually every number band, from Sum 41 to Blink-182, Catch 22 to SR-71) and have crisscrossed the country dozens of times (they're on their fifth van in four years and it’s already pushing100,000 miles) but Bowling For Soup had meager beginnings. In fact, the group started as a two-man outfit consisting of Jaret and guitarist Erik Rodham Clinton, who played acoustic numbers for tips and specialized in 80s hair metal covers. "Those shows were about comedy as much as they were about the music," Jaret recalls. "I'd basically make fun of Eric for 4 hours, we'd play some covers and some of our own songs, take our money and go home. That's how we were able to quit our day jobs—we prostituted ourselves." Their affinity for covers would become a hit with the local crowds, as the guys were known to play everything from The Descendants to Bon Jovi. Soon after, guitarist Christopher Van Malsteen joined the party followed by longtime friend, Gary Wiseass, who replaced the band's original drummer in 1999.
From his home base of Wichita Falls, Jaret calculated BFS's assault on the state with military-like precision. The band's founding member, he was, by default, the brains behind the banter, and figured that since competition was so stiff for club dates in Dallas, the closest major-market city, "why not focus on the smaller towns—the size of Wichita Falls—and build it that way?" They started venturing outside their city limits to places like Abilene, San Angelo and Lubbock a couple of times a month. As BFS's social circle widened, they were able to hook up with groups like Hagfish or Beef Jerky (a Dallas hip-hop outfit) for supporting gigs, but it didn't take long before BFS was headlining. "We financed our first big tour in 97-98 by our ourselves with a credit card. We slept in the van, some nights we'd play to 20 people, but it was one of the greatest times ever. It was like Camp!"
BFS had released their first album, Rock On Honorable Ones!, in 1997 on the local independent FFROE label. Two years later, they had sold 10,000 copies of it and were hard-pressed to manufacture more (the album was already on its fourth run). They decided to record an EP instead and, with money borrowed from Jaret's Grandpa, they released Tell Me When to Whoa in 1998. On it was a track called "The Bitch Song," a sarcastic, if not somewhat autobiographical take on that girl you hate to love. " I can't really write about anything but girls, because I really don't know about anything else," Jaret confesses. "Even today, although I'm married, it was tough getting here."
"The Bitch Song" got noticed, not just by local fans and radio stations (including Dallas' immensely influential KDGE), but by A&R scouts at labels around the country. "They started flying in," explains Jaret, "every label guy wanted to take us out to eat." But the band was most taken with Jive, not only because of the label's unparalleled success, but also because they were to be its first rock signing. "We were into it because we knew we would be the guinea pigs, and that was the way we had always done everything—by the skin of our teeth."
BFS's first Jive release was 2000's Let's Do It For Johnny, on which a new version of "The Bitch Song" was included (and released as a single) as well as a cover of Bryan Adams' classic "Summer of ’69." The band also made its first video, a hilarious take on life in the big house; it's highlights include Chris in a tutu, Chris naked and lots of sloppy tongue (Jaret was the lucky recipient on those shots). With the exception of Eminem, it may have been the least PC video of the year. To promote the album, the band geared up and hit the road, covering the US in its entirety, the UK three times over, and the European festival circuit. "We're road warriors," Jaret says with pride, "I'm out there with my three best friends, we never argue and we have a lot of fun. It really is just like camp." But he also admits that it can get tiring "at about week six, you kinda get to the point where you're like, 'maybe I don't wanna see the sun twice today.'"
The days of the weekend-benders may be over for BFS as the guys now regularly play all-ages gigs and radio shows, but that doesn't mean the band's slowed down much. In between the release of their debut and the recording of this follow-up, they found time to contribute original songs for use in several movies (among their credits: Britney Spears' Crossroads and the animated film, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius) and write 17 other tracks for Drunk Enough To Dance. Produced by Butch Walker (Lit, Injected, SR-71), formerly of Marvelous 3, the album once again showcases Jaret's witty way with words ("Girl All The Bad Guys Want", "She's Got a Boyfriend"), but also reveals his more sensitive side ("Cold Shower Tuesday's" and "Out the Window"). But, no matter what the topic, there's guaranteed to be hooky melodies and an irresistible spunk.
As for the future, they're looking forward to presenting the video for "Girl all The Bad Guys Want," a spoof on today's nü-metal stars which spares nobody (especially Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst and Staind's Aaron Lewis, whom Jaret "plays") and touring the world. "There's talk of a mainland Europe tour and we're all giddy about the prospect. Although, I'm a little worried about Holland. If we take Chris to Amsterdam, I'm afraid that we'll never get him out of there. We're gonna be having tryouts in London the next day going, 'We need a fat guy!' But, there aren't any fat guys in London, so we're in trouble. We'll have to go to Greece."
"A Hangover You Dont Deserve" by Bowling For Soup - release date: 09/24/04..