First off, how does a band possibly stay together for longer than most marriages?
We are like brothers from other mothers. We have grown up together and created a lot of great collective memories with a lot of people who love the music. The music and the experience drives the fun and adventure. We all keep coming back for the the high of the music, the energy of the shows and all the camaraderie and friendship that goes with it. Maybe we should bring some more of all that into our friendships and marriages in life.
You've been releasing albums on a track-by-track basis. Why have you decided to do it like this and has it been successful for you?
We wanted to do something different, make it interesting, and release the music ourselves. It's been a good success in releasing the music without a lot marketing and advertising money. Releasing the songs over the course of the year has made it more fun for everyone I think. We have all been able to discover each song one by one instead of having them all at once.
What do you guys think of the current state of the music industry? How do you envision the current punk scene evolving in the next couple of years?
It seems to be in an intense state of evolution and re-birth. We are all figuring it out as we go. The spirit of what punk is will always there. The spirit of spontaneous creative energy sparking something new within us will never go away. It's just a matter of how it works it's way into the music business and what different styles it takes on. I realy have no idea what's gonna happen but it's gonna be fun to be along for the ride.
Warped Tour has been a staple of the Souls' career. How has it affected your career? Where do you think your band would be without Warped?? Where do you think the music scene you represent would be without Warped?
The warped tour really put the BS in front of a lot of people who didnt know us. It helped bring more people to our club shows over the years. That's what the Warped tour is great for.. It's a commercial for bands. For an inexpensive ticket price you can see a bunch of different types of music. I have no idea where we would be without Warped tour..some alternate non-Warped reality. Ha!
Being a veteran band, it's undeniable that you would influence bands. Do any bands tell you how you inspired them? How does it feel?
It happens everyday on the Warped tour which is pretty amazing. It feels good to be a big part of all of these kids lives. It feels good to have brought that kind of energy into the world and see what a positive effect it has had...it's not easy to find the words to describe the feeling and what it means.
Greg - Your voice has evolved SO MUCH over the last 20 years. Was it a change in diet/ singing technique that did it? Or do you just, as a matter of fact, rule?
Great singers are able to touch your heart and bring a tear to your eye. The emotional hearfelt feeling a singer puts behind the song is what draws us in and makes us feel uplifted, angry or whatever feeling is behind it. I love to feel the pure happiness of the soul through music. I always aspire to convey that happiness through music.
It took a lot of shows/recording/creating to learn what I have learned and I feel like I'm just beginning. Sometimes we let life rob us of our joy and we need some help to get us back on track. For a lot of my life I have allowed my mental garbage to get in the way of the pure happiness of a moment. I think thats why we always look to music. It has the power to support us emotionally through difficult times, clear our heads when we've gotten ourselves stuck in a mental rut, and slam us back to the glory of our moment.
I also have learned through experience to pace myself on tour and get a lot of rest.. I rarely drink alchohol and have pretty much lost my taste for beer. You have to be rested and healthy if you are gonna bring some good energy to a show!
Has/Will the band ever perform "I'm From There" live? If not, is it because of it's meaning or is it just one you guys leave out due to so many other gems?
We have tried it a few times.. A lot of times we forget songs exist. You never know..
Bryan, you do the cover art for most of the albums...will you be doing the art for the upcoming physical release? If so, what are your early ideas on what to include on the 20th anniversary artwork?
He has talked about a few ideas.. He is sleeping at the moment on our way to Wyoming...so you are just gonna have to wait and see. Ha!
Do you guys have any regrets with "Anchors Aweigh", which is clearly your darkest, most personal effort?
I don't have a regrets about that record but I did learn a lot about what I didn't want to do.. Or be around anymore. Self destructivness and running from reality only creates more misery so there was a lot of that going on back then. Still, it was valuable experience so there is nohing to regret about it.
How do any of you feel about Shal not being part of your 20th anniversary? Has there been any recent contact? Or is Michael the perfect fit?
Micheal is and has been the drummer for a long time now and that is going great. We keep in touch with Shal and he is doing well. He was and always will be a Bouncing Soul and our brother.
How do you feel about your current fanbase as opposed to your early fanbase circa 1989?
In '89 our fanbase consisted of our good friends, Wig, Ugly Bill and a bunch of random punks and skins that we hung out with. So..having a few more fans is nice. And we are all still buddies with Wig and Ugly Bill.
Have any of you guys visited the old Continental house in recent memory?
I think you are refering to the Commercial Ave. House in New Brunswick???? We stopped by there a few years ago. It was pretty much the same minus the skate ramp. It's cleaned up a bit and there's a family in living there now.
Has the current lifestyle been any easier or harder since the beginning due to the economy?
It's definitely tougher now financially than it use to be. When we started out it didn't matter as much when we were 20 years old and broke.. Now we have families and houses to take care of. I don't know if it's harder or easier, we are constantly being faced with new challenges as we live. It's up to us to decide how we perceive them.
Do you feel as though your DIY ethic contributed to your longevity? Do you ever think about if you had gone the major label route?
Yes, the diy spirit was and is part of the fuel concoction that makes the BS machine run hot. It's part of who we are and it reflects in the music and live show. Nah, I don't have to think about what would happen with us because I have seen what has happened with so many other bands...in most cases it hasn't been good.
Do you feel you've accomplished everything you wanted when you started the band 20 years ago?
All of my initial dreams have come true with the bands success and all of the experiences that have come with it. Now I feel the work we have done all these years has been great ground work in learning how to enjoy life and just be happy living the adventure of it. Money just passes through our hands but we are rich I experience. Everyday I find my experience is money in the bank and my retirement fund.
What are the odds of a Bouncing Souls 30th anniversary?
Pretty good. We dont plan on stopping EVER...after all we are The Bouncing Souls. We live forever.
Anton, thanks for including some of them questions for me...if anyone reading this are not familiar with The Bouncing Souls, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of How I Spent My Summer Vacation...right now!