A Conversation With… Erik Chandler (Bowling For Soup)

Newcastle O2 Academy.  10/02/18.

Legends of Punk Rock Bowling For Soup were back in the UK celebrating ‘Drunk Enough To Dance’s’ fifteenth anniversary in February and with plenty of history in the band, 2018 is shaping up to be a pretty amazing year for them. I caught up with Erik Chandler to see what’s been happening and what’s coming up.


Jack: Hello Erik, awesome to meet you. How’s everything going?

Erik: It’s going well. How are you?


Jack: I’m pretty well, I’m sat talking to you. I actually just got up to Newcastle and am psyched for the gig tonight. How excited have you guys been to come to the UK?

Erik: Well, this is a really exciting tour since we’re doing our album, Drunk Enough To Dance in its entirety and you have to think about it this way. When you release an album, you ’re playing every track so some of these songs, we have not played since we were in the studio recording them fifteen years ago. But it’s been fun working them out and getting them into show shape.


Jack: Are are there any cheat sheets on the stage at all?

Erik: There may or may not be. There are a couple of little ones for the show last night but they’re all gone now.


Jack: And soon you’ll be celebrating your twenty-fourth year as a band right?

Erik: In June it will be twenty-four years.


Jack: Oh god, I cant think of doing anything for twenty-four years. And what do you make that in terms of longevity into your guy’s career?

Erik: We never had any idea when we started out that it would be going on for this long and that wasn’t the plan to be able to make a career out of it but we’re all extremely luck yot be doing this and still be doing it and having fun which is the most important thing about it.


Jack: But there’s always going to be some ups and downs along the way. I remember saying you guys wouldn’t be coming back to the UK.

Erik: Now wait, we never said we weren’t coming back to the UK. This is where you guys little rumour mills occur. We said we were taking some time and figure out how to do this and manage our home lives.


Jack Oh absolutely, I can imagine because you guys have families.

Erik: Yeah and there’s stuff happening everywhere. People having kids and people having personal issues and stuff like that where we were going so hard for so long so we needed to take a break and get all this other stuff sorted before we end up ruining our idea of the band before it doesn’t feel like fun anymore and becomes a job or a chore to do. And we took a little bit of time off and managed to do that, everyone’s got their stuff worked out now and we’re back in full force.


Jack: And the band released Drunk Dynasty via Crowdfunding. How exactly did you guys to do it like that?

Erik: Several years ago, it started becoming obvious that was the direction the music industry was going and if you can figure it out and do it well then it’s an amazing way for your fans to be completely interactive in the whole process of making the record. I remember it was originally supposed to be an EP but the idea was to do six songs and while we were in the studio we were recording so fast and kocking the songs out, we came into the studio one day and we thought new plan where the pre order from pegdemusic was in affect so we decided to announce instead of an EP, this is going to be a full-length album and you can still pre order it for the price of an EP at a reduced price which turned out to be a great way to give the fans soething a bit more than what they initially paid for andeveryone was really stocked to do that.


Jack: And has there been any more collaborations? I know you guys did Happy as Happy Gets with Kelly from The Dollyrots whom you guys have worked with a bunch of times. Has there been any more with anyone at the moment?

Erik: Not with the full band, Kelly and Jaret are work on a duets album at the moment but that’s not Bowling For Soup.


Jack: And is there anything you’re working on personally at the moment?

Jack: Personal I am writing new songs for my solo project but that’s a little bit down the road. We released a few years ago and bowling for soup will be really busy for the next several months so I’ll just be writing and we’ll get the songs together so we’ll get studio time figured out when studio time comes about.


Jack: I remember maybe about six or seven years ago, you and Jaret did Bowling For Soup Acoustic, would you ever do that again?

Erik: Absolutely, it’s just we haven’t had the opportunity to do that and so, it’s been a while since we’ve done it but it’s not off the table because we had a blast doing it and the reaction we had on the last couple of acoustic tours has been great. You’ve been into it but we’d love to do it again but that would be a little down the road if we were to do that again.


Jack: Looking forward into 2018, would you guys be coming back to the UK for any festivals?

Erik: That’s up in the air right now because it’s getting close to the time where it needs to be booked. We’re doing the final Vans Warped Tour in the States so we’d be able to fit festivals in with that schedule.


Jack: Oh, I’d probably say I’d love to come across and see you and that festival more than anything in the summer. It’s the final hurrah for that.

Erik: I don’t think it’s going to be the end of Warped Tour, just the travelling Warped Tour. There’s not been anything specific but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned into a centerally located festival like you guys do here because people in the states have figured out that that’s a great way to do it with Coachella and Lalapalooza.


Jack: I’ve seen pictures from all the different festivals and I’ve thought right we’ve got download and Leeds and Reading, Slam Dunk so at least we have those.  You guys played slam dun, didn’t you?

Erik: That was great. We really had a blast, and it’s always fun playing those sort of festivals.


Jack: And is there anything you wanna say before we wrap things up?

Erik: Thank you for coming out to chat to me

Jack: And thank you for taking to the time to. It’s been awesome.


Here’s Bowling For Soup’s latest video for ‘Catalyst’.