There is something impressive about a
band that’s managed to stay together for two decades, without the help of radio
airplay, a single MTV appearance or even a crummy 30-second ipod commercial.
New Jersey’s Bouncing Souls, along with a
handful of brethren on both coasts, helped punk rock bridge the lean times
between the late 80’s, through the pop-punk explosion of the mid-90’s and up to
the current state of the genre. The band has always been fiercely independent,
holding true to the DIY ethics of the movement’s founding fathers, but has
still managed to record some of the catchiest punk rock songs since the
Front man Greg Attonito took some time
recently to entertain a handful of questions about the band’s legacy, the
occasional thoughts of splitting up and what’s next for the Bouncing Souls.
So 20 years. How have you guys been
able to stay together for so long?
It’s been hell, man. Those
guys never shower! Just kidding. We love the music, we love performing, we love
to get people stoked on music and life, and we love the adventure. Those things
always outweighed whatever difficulties we have had to face.
During that time, did the
band ever think about calling it quits?
I have thought about
it. More seriously sometimes than others. I think I somehow realized that I
will always be a Bouncing Soul whether I like it or not. Ha! So, it was a
matter of making things work personally and with the whole situation at any
given time in those 20 years. Constant adjustments need to be made and
sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s not so easy.
Do you have plans to make the 20th
anniversary series of singles you’ve been releasing all year available on one
Yes. We are talking
about how and when we will release it now. We will let the world know when we
know. It will be coming out on Chunksaah (Records). It’s just a matter of when.
You’re playing Warped again this
summer – how many times does that make it for you?
This is always fun:
part of ‘97, ‘98, all of ‘99, ‘01, ‘04, ‘06 and ‘08… whew!
What’s the best and worst thing about
The best thing is
spending some quality time with a broad scope of people and musicians that are
on the tour. We are an extended family on the Warped tour so it is kind of like
going to a summer camp/family BBQ where everybody knows you and is looking
forward to seeing you. The worst thing about is when you are on the entire
tour. It’s a long, long tour, but this year we are on it for 16 shows…ah
I’m assuming you get slipped CDs all
the time by young bands. Do you listen to them? Have you ever discovered any
great bands that way?
I listen to them
sometimes. I have not been blown away by any that I can remember.
Have your musical influences changed much
in the past 20 years?
They have broadened.
I’m open to more and more music all the time and the way I listen to music has
changed. Shanti, my wife, bought a two dollar record set in a thrift store that
is amazing. It is a four record set that was made for radio stations to play in
1977. It’s the top 50 number one songs of 1977 complete with Casey Kasem’s
voice introducing the songs with little anecdotes etc. To me, it was incredible
to listen to because it was like I was instantly transported to the shotgun
seat of my Dad’s Monte Carlo in 1977. But now all those songs sound totally
different to me. I hear all the instruments, the performances, and the
production quality of them. It’s really cool…so yes musical influences are
always changing and evolving with new music I hear and music from the past.