Back in 2013, Bowling For Soup announced details of their final UK tour. It looked as if we had seen our ‘last rock show’ from the Texan pop punk outfit.

However, a change of heart from the band sees them stating it was farewell rather than goodbye. Thankfully, the Bowling For Soup boys have been back on British soil for another round so to speak.

National Rock Review recently caught up with the band’s bass player Erik Chandler to talk about touring, the band’s recording plans and his forthcoming solo album.

NRR: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us here at National Rock Review.
Erik: Absolutely.
NRR: You played your first show of the tour last night in Glasgow. How did it go?
Erik: It went really, really well. I started to say surprisingly, but I don’t want to say surprisingly. There were issues with us being able to get together for rehearsals before this tour. We had the dates scheduled and then multiple people had personal things come up immediately and it was like oh crap.
Then we were able to get together for about 45 minutes to an hour one day last week, we went through some things. Then on top of that we’ve got a great deal of production on this show and because it’s all designed here we weren’t able to rehearse with it at all, so last night was kind of like flying by the seat of your pants.
Everybody sitting down and having a chat for like 10/15 minutes right before doors opened to do like ok this is how it’s going to happen and this is what’s going to happen here and blah, blah, blah, blah …All that being said, it seemed to go off with very, very few hitches. So we are kind of looking forward to being able to relax a little bit and settle into it tonight. Knock wood hopefully no huge surprises for us tonight.
NRR: You also played at a buskers night in Glasgow is that right?
Erik: Yeah, we got into town, all of us but two got into town on Sunday night. So a few of us went out to have some drinks and dinner and we went to a place that was recommended by a friend. We rolled in and you know there’s some people playing onstage and they switched over to the next person and I looked at one of our crew guys and I was like this smells very much like an open mic night. He was like should I go and talk to somebody and I was like no I think I can tell who’s in charge let me go and see if that’s what’s going on and it was.
He was like oh do you think you have the courage to get up and I was like oh yeah, can I borrow a guitar from somebody and he was like yeah, everybody’s using my guitar and I’m like awesome. Yeah, anyway so I got up and did three or four songs at the end.
NRR: Obviously, you guys are back in the UK. I know you said in 2013 that it was the last tour, why the change of heart?
Erik: Well it wasn’t so much a change of heart, we never said that we weren’t coming back it. The farewell tour was exactly that it was farewell, not goodbye, we’ll be back but we’re not sure in what capacity and or how soon we will be back.
There was a period of several years that we were here in one capacity or another like three times a year for several years. When we were touring over here, we were doing 22, 25, 27 dates in a row, no days off, and doing that in another country kind of wears on you a lot. Those of us with families and home lives to take care of, it gets hard to do that when you are working every day and not having a break. Like a day just to send e-mails to the kid’s teacher you know about such and such or whatever.
So we started talking about this tour about a year ago and it was like alright it’s going to be time to go back but let’s see what we can do. Can we knock it down to like two weeks, can we get ourselves spread out enough over the country and centrally located enough that everyone that would want to come and see us might be able to, so it’s not that far for travel and stuff like that.
I think we are all fairly happy with the routing that we got and there haven’t been too many complaints about you’re not coming to my town, which people over here are really, really, really good at. Like you are playing twenty minutes away and you won’t come to my town, and I’m like because we are only playing twenty minutes away, like two quid, jump on a train and ride twenty minutes and you are there.
Devon: I’ve got to ask you about your new stuff as well because you released your first EP a few years back and you’ve got a PledgeMusic campaign running at the minute to release your debut solo album. Could you tell us a little bit about that and the inspiration behind your solo album?
Erik: You know it’s very different from Bowling For Soup. I don’t know if these terms work well together, but it’s like a rock and roll, singer/songwriter album if that makes sense at all in the vein of maybe like Bob Mould or Evan Dando or Elvis Costello something like that you know.
So it’s more of a straightforward rock and roll vibe but it’s still kind of singer/songwriter songs and just written about my life and a very specific in my life, this group of songs. I actually didn’t realize until it was all kind of put together, and looked at them all together and I was like oh wow I didn’t realize that’s exactly what I was writing about.
NRR: What made you decide that now was the right time to release your solo album?
Erik: You know this project has been in the works for five or six years almost and now is the right time because it’s been in the works for too long. It’s like god let’s just get this out there and do it you know, but that being said I actually now have the band in place that I feel is the right group of guys to do this.
In the last four years, I’m on my second bass player and the second drummer, but that all kind of happened staggered and now the group that I have with me it’s only a three piece band and this group of guys once we first played together I was like ok, alright this is it. This is the perfect concoction of everything and everybody is right around the same age and we are all 40-45 and everyone has been a long time music professional, everybody’s had the major label experience you know and all that, so we all see things from a very similar aspect and so it made total sense once this group of guys got together to play.
NRR: Last year Bowling For Soup released the Song’s People Actually Liked greatest hits album. Is there any plans to do any more Bowling For Soup studio stuff?
Erik: Yes, at some point this year, later on, we will get back in the studio, but what we will be working on has not been exactly decided. We sit down from time to time and have meetings and like map out the next couple of years. This will happen here and this will happen in this general area and this will happen in this general area and maybe in the summer, we need to start thinking about getting back in the studio.
Maybe around April or so we will discuss what we might be doing, but let’s think about at least getting something down that we can give people to have something new and fresh, but what we are going to put down I have no clue yet. I mean I have a clue but I can’t comment one way or another, there are a couple of different ideas that we are trying to decide between.
NRR: What else does the band have in store for the rest of this year?
Erik: For the rest of this year, well we are heading into the studio to do something and that is pretty much it. We do our anniversary shows in Texas in June every year and we’ll have some sporadic kind of one-off shows in the States but there won’t be any major league touring as far as that goes after this is done.
NRR: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us, it’s been really great to talk with you.

It has also just been revealed that Bowling For Soup will be returning to the UK in October as part of an arena tour package with Steel Panther and Buckcherry.

Bowling For Soup
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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