Before their triumphant return to Newcastle’s O2 Academy, I hopped on board the Bowling For Soup tour bus with the one and only Erik Chandler. We talked beer, sightseeing big beating sticks before one hell of a pop punk party. Thanks again guys for a great night!
MOSH- I know it’s on the second day and you’ve got to really clean but I’ve been sat downstairs for like 10 minutes and you have the cleanest bus I have ever been on. Is that something that you carry on throughout the whole tour by the end of it is going to be a mess.
Erik – It has a lot to do with our driver. But It’s actually very different. Here (upstairs) Because the buses here are bi level. So. The downstairs area is always really clean. Yeah I think everybody does a good job of. Clearing up after themselves and clearing away trash, washing the dishes and putting them away. Yeah, however here in the bunk area in the next few days it’ll start getting a little, more messy.
MOSH – I’m sure I’m not the first one to say but welcome back to Newcastle.
Erik – Thank you, it is glad to be back… It is glad to be back?
MOSH – It is glad!
Erik – It is glad to be back! I’m gonna stick with that, you can print the shit out of that!
MOSH – What’s it like to be back I know it’s been a long a long time since you’ve been here before.
Erik – You know, it’s wonderful to be back. When we did the farewell tour, you know it was it was never a goodbye and it was just a hey, We’ll see later, We’ll be back in a little while. We’re not sure how long we’ll be back, or when it will be that we’re back next. You know, but it was about a year ago that we started discussing. You know hey, It’s probably time it’s time to go back but let’s take our time and plan it wisely in and do it right. And see if we can, instead of doing you know where in the past we would have done 20 to 25, 27 shows. Let’s see if we knock that down to like two weeks instead of a month. Yeah and if we can make it work and worth our while and fans while to do only two weeks and if we can get ourselves placed strategically enough that anybody and everybody that wants to come to a show can get there reasonably. You know without too much hassle.
MOSH – This is my first BFS show, and I was just itching to come. I kept seeing it on the screens every day at Download, it was advertising that you were coming back.
Erik – We were super excited because we have been talking about it for several months at that point we had you know we really started the planning and then, I guess it was maybe a week and a half or so before download. We got the email and it was like it’s going to be advertising down so that’s when we’ll announce the tour, we should announce the tour at Download man! What better place to announce the fact that we were going to be coming back.
MOSH – So we spoke about the farewell tour, and I had a really witty question but it’s kind of been covered already. Let’s just make sure, it’s not because our beer sucks that you decided to leave us was it?
Erik – No no no, it is not because your beer sucks, your beer doesn’t suck at all!
MOSH – What a relief, what’s your preference?
Erik – Like at home. We have we have a brand called a Miller Light and that’s like the ‘band beer’, but I prefer more personally, like something that I would have at home, something more like a like a scotch ale you know kind of a medium brown, to a porter or just this side of a stout. When I’m not playing a show I prefer the sipping beer rather than, let’s face it, the chugging beer.
MOSH – If you could sum up what I’m going to experience in three words what would they be? What do I have to look forward to?
Erik – I can sum tonight up in five words. Rock and Roll, Train Wreck!
MOSH – So you played in Glasgow last night?
Erik – Yeah.
MOSH – And I imagine that’s been quite a long trip to get down here.
Erik – Meh, I slept the whole way *laughs* it was over pretty quickly for me.
MOSH – So what kind of first impressions did the Scots make? What’ve we got to fight against tonight to show that the English people have got what it takes to have a good time?
Erik – You know, I’m quite certain because we’ve always had a wonderful experience in Newcastle. I’m quite certain that Newcastle will match the reception that we had last night. But I will I will say that, you know about four or five songs in… Remember, we haven’t been on tour since the beginning of September last year and, It’s about 5 songs and I can get that inner smile and I was like “yeah this is this is why I do this” and I’m so glad that we’ve come back to this country because you just kind of feel that…We have the greatest fans in the entire world you know you just kind of feel the excitement and the ‘we’re so happy to have you back here’ attitude of things, and it was about.. yeah 20-25 minutes or, four or five songs in where I was just like: “ OH YEAH! ALRIGHT! WE MISSED YA! GOD DAMMIT! SHIT!
MOSH- Who in the band gets the most excited about coming back here?
Erik – I don’t know, I think it’s a shared thing. Because we’re old…
MOSH – Come on that’s harsh you’re not old! You have plenty of time left, look at the fuckers in Led Zeppelin they’re still about!
Erik – Well fair point I’ll give you that, but we’ve been around 20 years and everybody kind of pisses and moans until we’re actually on tour. Then everyone’s like “YEAH THIS IS GREAT!”. So everybody kind of bitches about it saying “ugh we’re gonna live on a bus for a month and BLERGH BLERGH BLERGH AND GRRR GRRR GRRR”. But after night one it’s a case of, “Oh my god, this is awesome, can we extend this? Maybe add a couple more shows on the end?”
MOSH – See I don’t see what the problem is living on these things, I think they’re cool as hell!
Erik – They’re amazing, simply for the fact that when we tour we don’t take days off. Days off cost money, and so we run this business like a business. So you know we…
MOSH – Everything you put out you want to get back kind of thing?
Erik – Exactly yeah! We need to play everyday, that way everything we’ve spent money on is getting paid for from the shows. That’s why we kind of get a little grumpy about touring because we think, we’re not going to be having any days off.
MOSH – It’s like one big intense shift pretty much?
Erik – Yeah exactly.
MOSH – For us it’s playtime and for you guys it’s work…
Erik – Yeah but it’s playtime too….
MOSH – I guess it’s like when you play to much you get tired of it and don’t wanna play anymore. You must have to find the right balance?
Erik – Pretty much. It’s like 3 days in Las Vegas isn’t enough, but five days in Las Vegas is way too much!
Erik – Lets put it this way, it’s like the best vacation of your entire life, that you are so happy to get home from, that’s what touring is like for us. Especially now because everyone has very settled home lives, and like we’re probably some of the most ridiculously normal people when we’re home. I mean, I’m a househusband. I make dinner for my girlfriend and having waiting for her when she gets home, even though I might go out in the afternoon and have a couple of beers, I still have it ready for her when she comes home from work. I take out the trash, make sure the dog gets to the park every day. I’m even part of the neighbourhood watch and all that stuff. *laughs* It’s so silly, because I have an app on my phone, and every time there’s any questions in the neighbourhood I’m outside with my big beating stick and mag light like: “Alright! Where are these youths that are up to no good!”
Erik – “Stealing Bicycles and lawn mowers, going through peoples trash cans and shit”
MOSH – You’ll have been to the UK a bunch of times before, I don’t even wanna guess how many…
Erik – I’m gonna take a shot at around 40. You know, I stopped counting at 28 and then since then I’ve been guessing, so I’m putting it between around 35 and 40.
MOSH- Is there anywhere that you’ve not been yet in the UK? Or anywhere that you’re really desperate to go back to? I won’t judge on your geographical knowledge, can be anywhere from Stonehenge to Buckingham Palace…
Erik – You know I would really like, it’s funny that you said Stonehenge; I’d really like to get the chance to pay the money and go inside. I’ve been by several times and we’ve parked up and taken pictures outside through the fence and been like: “Oh look, there’s a bunch of rocks!” But I’d like to experience properly. That’s the problem most of the time with being on tour; you physically don’t have the time or the luxury to do stuff like that. When we were over here the summer before last to play Download, I actually came here with my girlfriend three days before the festival and we stayed in London. She wanted to take the bus trip up to see Stonehenge, but she being the person that was booking it, she didn’t book it in time so on trip day we didn’t get to go. So I said: “Look I’ve done this before, but you wanted to see the sights, lets take the double decker bus tour of London?” and she said: “But that’s so cheesy and super touristy!” And I was like: “Yeah, but you’re going to see everything” and we were about half an hour in and she looked over with a giant smile and agreed it was worth it. I really want to go back over to Sherwood Forest. Me and my good friend Ryan Hamilton were over here doing an acoustic tour and we stopped in Sherwood Forest and shot a live video, but then we had to jump back in the car and be on our way. Things that I’ve seen teeny pieces of I’d like to go back and do for real you know?
MOSH – So you’ve brought quite a few friends along for this trip, are these all acts you know personally, did you hand pick them yourselves?
Erik – Yeah, everyone here is family pretty much. We’ve been working with them for years. Lacey pretty much being the newest addition to the bunch, but Chris the drummer has been doing artwork for our merchandise for years. That’s how we go introduced to his band actually.
MOSH – That is a cool fucking story in all honesty
Erik – It was like: “Dude you guys fucking rule, lets go play some shows together”. I’ve had Lacey on tour with my solo project and I’m pretty sure they’ve been out with Jeret and People On Vacation too so it’s fantastic to have those guys with us again.
MOSH – That’s the thing I really like about the rock community, we’re all together as one. You getting a future support act from your merch designer is really brilliant.
Erik – Yeah, well it helps that they’re a great band. I mean if they passed us a CD and it really sucked, we might not have considered it, but that’s how we have that connection, and we happily can take them out on the road with us. The Dollyrots, we met them over the fucking internet, through mutual friends. All of a sudden some banter started between a few people, which then spread through the whole band. Then we did a show together and actually met them, after seeing that they rock we said: “let’s do a tour together” and look at us now. We’ve had them on pretty much every tour that we’ve done for the last four years. Just because they’re really great people, they’re family. I mean Luis and Kelly’s kid River he’s kind of the tour mascot now. He’s the new Sherman, when Sherman isn’t here he’s the tour pet!
MOSH – So the last time we got a new Soup record was way back in 2014. The greatest hits re-master, that’s two years ago! Now that you’re back, when are we getting more?
Erik – Uh, so we have discussed the fact that we will be going back into the studio at some point this year. I cannot discuss in detail what we will be doing in that time, but I can confirm that there will be studio time with the members of Bowling For Soup doing something music related 2016. That’s as much as I’m allowed to say.
MOSH – You brought back a lot of the old tracks on that last record
Erik – Yeah I mean that record was a collective retrospect of the first 10 years of our career, being able to re record some songs and be able to present them in the way we always wanted to. Kind of like, here’s what they should’ve sounded like, maybe I don’t know if it was down to lack of technology or our lack of experience that kept them from sounding that way, and we we’re really happy with how they turned out on that record.
MOSH – I guess we’re going to get a lot of those classic tracks played tonight then?
Erik – Of course, we never forget the classics
MOSH – And we’re all going to have a fucking good time am I right?
Erik – You’re absolutely right man, we’re going to have a great time!
MOSH – It’s been a pleasure thank you so much.
Erik – It’s been a pleasure for me too, see you next time!