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Interview: Bouncing Souls

Bouncing Souls

With their Chicago, Boston and NYC discography shows in the books and their Philly dates underway, Bouncing Souls may be getting a hang of the 100+ song catalogue they have been plowing through lately. It is actually 105 songs to be exact.

Regardless, the band have not been seeing the sights while visiting these cities, they've been hard at work relearning how to play all their albums. That is not all they have been up to lately though. The punk stalwarts also have about a "dozen" songs ready for their new album, which may or may not see a spring 2012 release.

Bassist Bryan Kienlen and I talked about those things as well as their unintentional mission to hit just about every NYC club (big and small) around today. Other subjects we touched on were: how to keep things fresh on tour, favorite albums to play live and how the Souls plan on going about recording their new LP. Check out the interview below.


You guys have been able to hang out in Chicago and Boston for 4 days each. Use the time to do anything fun?

It's funny, we had to spend everyone of those afternoons practicing those songs. We counted it. It's a hundred songs, no repeats. Then with the encore we do some songs off the splits. We end up with like 105 songs and we know how to play about half of them.


As far as touring goes. After so many years, is there anything you do to keep things fresh?

Well, this is a perfect example how we try to keep it fresh. As a result of relearning all those songs we're going to try and step out of the box with most of our setlists going forward.

I don't know, I think at this point we've found a balance where we always have fun when we go out on tour. We don't over do it too much. 


Out of the 8 albums, any particular one you enjoy performing the most?

I kind of like Night 2 & 3. Those are my favorite nights. That would be self-titled and Hopeless Romantic. Night 3 is How I Spent My Summer Vacation and Anchors Aweigh. It's like a three-way tie between self-titled, Summer Vacation and Anchors for me. As far as fun to play. Bass wise.


You guys are about to play Highline Ballroom tonight. In the past couple years you've played almost every NYC venue I can think of. Any venues you'd still like to hit? Was it your intention to try out different clubs?

That's a good question. I think it is another example of doing things for the sake of change and having fun at all different size venues. One thing that has always been true with us is that we have fun in all different ways. Whether it's playing a small or huge venue. They are kind of fun in different ways, so I think we've been doing that maybe subliminally.

Hold on. Let me try and name all the closed down NYC clubs we've played.

- Bonnie
- Champs
- Coney Island High
- Wetlands
- The Bank
- Bomb Street Cafe
- Tramps


Any progress on a new album?

Yeah, you might say we have a dozen songs that we can easily trim down to six great ones. We're going to write another giant handful of songs and then trim that down until we have what we feel is a great record. 

We're doing it all ourselves again. A return to complete DIY songwriting. The last couple we did with Ted Hutt. We've worked with a couple other producers over the years. Thom felt like we lost touch with something as a band by working with producers, so we wanted to write the same way we wrote Summer and Anchors.  

Also, a bit of a musical return to something fun. I don't know, music that is a little less thought out and a little more compulsive.


Would you see yourselves releasing it at singles every month again?

No. That releasing one song a month over 12 months was just a way to celebrate the 20th anniversary. Like a one off idea. We don't know what label we are putting it out on for sure. All we are really talking about right now is the songs. We figure we'll talk about releasing it soon, but we're focusing on writing now. We are hoping to get it out around spring time [2012]. All still in the talking phase.


A lot of your fans have been with you guys for over a decade. Can you think of any specific reason they keep on coming back to shows?

I don't know. I guess we are happy they do though, ha. I can speculate. I guess it's safe to say we have a bond. May it's hard to define, but it's really there.

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