The Bouncing Souls

Interviews | Feb 24th, 2005

Bouncing Souls

The Bouncing Souls is a very creative band name…….. how did it come about?
I took it off the back of my Doc martens boots. They have a tag in back that says: “with bouncing soles” but it’s all about the “Soul” for us, so.. there ya go. I was a crazy skinhead in my younger days and Docs were a sacred boot back then. Later I learned that nothing is sacred.

I know you guys are originally from New Jersey………. where is/was your favorite place to hang out and why?
Now whenever I go back to Jersey, it’s to visit Kate is Great down at the beach. Our label, Chunksaah Records is pretty much run by our beloved Kate(isGreat) who lives in Asbury. There’s now an office(of sorts) for Chunksaah Records and me and The Pete sometimes go down there to do mail-order stuff with Kate and hang at her house. Our friends Matty and Wig also now have a business there printing shirts for bands, it’s called DogWig printing so we all hang in Asbury sometimes.

Would you prefer to get around driving a car or a BMX? what kind of bikes do you all have…. and how often do you ride?
I tell ya, I am now a multi-vehicle guy. I have my good ol’ Redline BMX, but now I have a 1977 (punk!) Honda 550. So I fly all over the city on a motorcycle too. As long as I got some kind of wheels under my feet I feel better, walking seems so damn slow!

What is it like on tour with the Bouncing Souls? What do you guys usually do on your off days?
An off day usually just means we’re driving all day actually so we don’t often get that big of a break from the routine. It’s always exciting if we have some need to go to like a giant Wallmart or Big K. Just walking around one of those places like “we need this, right?” Hey let’s get this! Yo we need that!” and just being retarts and bumming lives in middle-America. Giant truck stops are fun too, Everytime we stop driving, like every 4 hours or whatever, people just file out of the truck and do the ‘zombie walk’ around all the aisles of junk food, then everyone gets in and we have a ‘chip party’, there’s like 5 different kinds of chips, the newest Doritos flavor, some shit like ‘Flavor-Rush’ Lays chips or whatever, then all the drinks, coffee, someone’s got beef jerky, it’s really kinda foul. By this time a couple people are always stoned as hell, which makes this scenario so much more fun. (we smoke out the vent while the truck is moving). We have rituals like these throughout the day. They add up to just ways of passing time, sometimes everyones together, other times people do their own thing. I go off and stretch and do some kung fu to keep in practice and in shape. Everyone has walkmans and lays in their bunks listening to their own music, two people up front driving, listing to totally bad retarted shit on the radio cuz we have no tape deck, wearin ‘Ambervisions’ we bought at some truckstop, looking silly. at night after the show most of us usually get drunk and watch stupid shit on TV at some hotel room, sometimes we go out to a bar or something after the show or just hang around the club and party, sometimes we split right away and drive.

Epitaph is one of the scenes biggest labels! What’s it like being on such a major label, and how has it effected you guys as a band if it has?
It feels the same as it did when we worked with BYO, it’s not so big I can’t call the president of the label and tell him exactly how I want to do things with my band. As they say in their own words, they work for the bands and not the other way around. And that makes all the difference, we call all the shots. The people there are all super-cool and really chill, there’s a good vibe there.

Are you a fan/opponent of Napster and why? It seems like the line is split evenly between many bands. What are your feelings on it?
Napster is cool, I think it’s fine but there is some truth to the concept of hookin up bands somewhere down the line cuz it is their shit. But it doesn’t matter to us either way we never think about it, I’m rooting for any and all music saturation on the internet, it evens out the playing field and screws the old system up, where no one could get their shit out there with out some major label signing them.

Were any of you in band prior to the formation of the Bouncing Souls and how did the band start?
It was always me and The Pete doing covers and shit together but The Souls was the first real band we ever had.

How hard do you find it to carry on a relationship while on the road? Do you?
I tell ya, it takes a special kind of lady, my girl is so into her independence that she actually likes to get rid of me. Still, when the tours are really long it’s rough, it’s hard to maintain a sense of any homelife at all, we start to miss each other and I feel bad and she resents the whole thing but hey you know, its the band first, I hate to say it.Like I said, it takes a special kind of lady. She knows the deal, and is cool with it and still wants to be with me, and we’ve developed a pretty smooth routine to it.

Who are the members of the band and what do they play?
I’m Bryan, I play bass, The Pete plays guitar, Greg sings, and Michael hits the drums.

As you know the “boy bands” are attempting to take of the entire music scene in general! What are the Bouncing Souls doing to prevent this from happening?
Slingshots. We can take out their eyes with slingshots..

Do you hang out with other bands from the label or the scene? If so….. who do you hang with and what do you guys do? (if it’s appropriate for a website)
I think this a question where if I started naming bands, I would forget someone or some shit and piss someone off, this is the same reason we don’t list bands thanks on our records. However, most bands we tour with have ever toured with become our circuit of friends. A bond develops I can’t describe, but we have so much in common with a lot of people in bands, cuz we live the same strange and crazy life. So yes, it’s like a worldwide circuit of friends actually.

What’s the most memorable experience you have as a band member for the Bouncing Souls?
Aah, this is another question like: ‘what’s your favorite song?’ or ‘what’s your favorite band?’ that I can’t exactly answer. these years of Bouncing Souls life sorta have blended into one big memorable experience. It’s been a lotta crazy shit, you’d have to get me talking like flow-of-conscoiusness with a couple friends and a joint, then all kinds of insane stories would come out. Actually, speaking of that, our friend and merch-guy Rob Santello is releasing a book soon on Chunksaah with all stories from tour. We’ll post something on our website about it soon ( so check that out.

What can we expect to hear on your upcoming album?Is it different than the rest? If so…. in what way?
To me, I think it’s the best record we’ve ever done. It’s everything we’ve learned along the way, good stuff and mistakes. It rocks harder and sounds better, there’s not a bad song on it. It starts off with a kickass oldschool-like 7-Seconds-like hardcore-a-la-84 four-chord rocker about music and feeling good. I’ll give ya some lyrics: (first song, first lyrics) “I put that record on just to make a sound, the rhythm hit it got my movement off the ground.. the soundtrack to what I want to be, it I wanna change the world, it’s gotta start with me..”

Please tell something about the band members that no one else know?
Uuh, let’s see.. Pete had scabies, I think in like 91…also a lethal case of foot fungus which he gave to me on so many tours(same shower) Hmm.. McDermott played in Mephiskaphales, Skinnerbox, NYC Ska mob, Stubborn All-Stars, Murphy’s Law.. I have two reconstructed knees which I shredded skating vert. Greg surfs whenever he can, so do I but I don’t really bother as much. Me and Greg snowboard and we’re ok but not that great. Pete is still with his highschool sweetheart, it’s over ten years now. In 28 days from now, I will have completed iron palm training, which among other things, entails 100 days of total abstinence from sex, booze, drugs, etc. I’m about to flip my lid any second now. We all really like Bruce Springsteen, excluding “Born in the USA” and a few other cheesy songs.