Greg: I absolutely love it. Something about it being such a great music town, it’s always got a cool vibe every time we’ve played here.
Mick: What are some of your favorite venues you guys have played here?
Greg: St Andrews is one for sure, we’ve played St. Andrews for 10 years, every year.
Bryan: It’s kind of our mainstay. We’ve played Clutch Cargos in Pontiac a handful of times too, but St. Andrews it’s a great vibe in there. This place (Magic Stick) is great too, we love playing this place.
Mick: With the amount of content you guys have in your catalog now, how do you decide what to pick and choose to play on any given night now?
Greg: Well, this is the first tour we’ve decided to stick with the same set for the entire tour which is kind of colossal for us.
Bryan: Let me tell ya man, its shaved at least an hour a day off our lives cause its such a part of the routine, writing the set list, having these conversations about what to play. It’s pretty difficult when you have over 100 songs recorded. What do you play, what do you take out?
Greg: We played our discography shows last year and we played all of our songs in eight cities and so we decided to do it completely differently. Usually we take requests and try to play everything, we’ve always done that for years and years and years. Its almost been kind of difficult.
Bryan: I guess we try to pour a little bit more energy in to the overall production of this show. We’re gonna call it the Comet tour, write a specific set list as Matthew Gere, the guy who is selling our merch, was so inspired by this new record that he said “I want to make a series of videos for the songs.” He took it one step further and had this idea of having all these TVs on the stage, and during the set Matt is behind my bass amp programming the videos that you’re seeing on the TVs. They sort of correspond with the songs that were playing and for that reason that locked us in to the set list, one rehearsed choreographed set. A lot of bands do that but it’s never really been our style.
Mick: So Matt is responsible for the YouTube videos I’ve been seeing for the Comet album?
Bryan: Yeah, he made the video for Static, DFA, Ship In A Bottle, etc… He was just like, yeah, I’m gonna go for it.
Mick: So he’s sort of the fifth member on this tour?
Bryan: Yes, he has a very important role on this tour.
Mick: So how long have you guys been out now on this tour?
Greg: We did a run down south for a couple weeks, took a break for a week or so, now we’ve been back out for about three weeks, starting on the west coast and making our way east.
Mick: Any thoughts on doing an acoustic album in the same vein as Ghost On a Boardwalk or Uke Check Girl?
Greg: One thing we did talk about that would be fun doing some acoustic sets kind of spontaneously here and there. We’ve found some cool things just by not trying when people call out requests and we just play a song acoustically, its kind of cool. I think the idea of playing a set live and recording it acoustically maybe might be a really cool album.
Bryan: Theres one out there now actually, Generation Records which is a cool ass record shop in New York City, they recorded it and released it on vinyl. There is stuff out there already, but with a little more effort I think we could come up with a cool collection of our songs that would translate well acoustically.
Mick: How has the reception been with the recent release of Comet?
Greg: Pretty good. It’s been really good actually.
Bryan: We’ve been getting a lot of love, it is cool seeing people singing along on this tour already to the new songs. Some of them are bubbling there way to the top as being favorites.
Greg: It’s been a gradual curve from nobody knowing the songs until like the last week or two you can see more and more people singing along, being familiar with the songs.
Mick: You guys strike me as a band that’s more about doing a killer show every night, making new fans, entertaining old fans, just bringing it every night more than you care about record sales.
Bryan: The live show is pretty much the central crux of the Bouncing Souls, the records are more of just us trying to capture that energy. We’re a live band!
Mick: How did you guys approach writing the latest record, Comet? Change it up at all?
Greg: We just went with the group effort. That works pretty well for us, hashing it out together. What was really different this time was bringing it to Bill Stevenson in The Blasting Room which was a cool different thing we brought to a Bouncing Souls record.
Bryan: its just one big learning process. We don’t really have a formula at all. Our songs are all over the place, every one of our records is different.
Mick: Listening to a random sample of your songs, I can hear that you switch it up a lot, never sticking with the same old stuff like some bands do with the same old sound.
Bryan: I think that’s great for a lot of bands, you know, I want Motorhead to sound like Motorhead, Slayer to sound like Slayer. I don’t know what it is about us, maybe we’ve just never found something that we felt like hey, this is it. We’re just fishing around, having fun with it. We don’t care. We’re not uptight about what it turns out to be.
Mick: On Comet, you guys seemed to take your sound back to How I Spent My Summer Vacation. How does this album compare to previous ones in terms of the amount of time writing and producing it?
Greg: Pretty short actually.
Bryan: Yeah that was actually kind of the point. We kind of went down the road of working with Ted Hut who’s a great song writer and producer. It got pretty cerebral. It got to a point where it felt like we had lost some of the original go down in the basement, turn on the amps, and just see what happens. We decided with this album before we even started writing that we needed a record that was not going to be over thought, not toiled over, just see how fast we can write 10 punkl songs.
Greg: And with that thought, we intentionally didn’t give ourselves a lot of time. Just a couple of short writing sessions, then a short recording session.
Mick: Does the broken heart symbol with the crossbones have any meaning or is it something you just drew randomly?
Bryan: It was a bit of juxtaposition of symbols. At the time I drew it I was living in New York City and had a pretty New York City centric point of view. I was pretty obsessed with New York City, and having lived there for 15 years during that time it’s all over the lyrics and the artwork. The broken heart is a symbol that to me just means someone who just puts their heart out the all the time and leads with their heart. The crossbones is sort of just that pirate vibe, just a fuck you thing, a symbol of strength maybe.
Mick: Tell me something about The White Castle.
Bryan: It’s our home away from home!
Greg: We’ve been traveling in it since 1996, its got bunks, been everywhere with us. It’s a Ford E350 box truck diesel, and we just built it to carry people with a lounge in the back.
Bryan: It bounces you to sleep (laughs).
Mick: So how do you guys deal with social media these days? Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc..?
Bryan: we’re trying but part of me prefers Instagram, because I sort of think in pictures, communicate in pictures personally, it’s a good tool. It’s worth a thousand words as they say. On this tour with Facebook we’ve been a little bit more proactive and a little less lazy, been putting up a lot of pictures and having fun with it. Especially on those long drives, when you’ve got 94,000 people liking your page, you post a pic and come back 20 minutes later to read a thread of comments, its kind of fun.
Greg: Like Kate’s birthday pics today.
Bryan: We just put one up today for Kate, aka Kate is Great, our tour manager, basically the brains of the operation and the glue that keeps us all together. So we surprised her with a couple of gifts and found someone who baked vegan jelly donuts that look like spring rolls. The Luther guys hooked her up with like 40 spring rolls.
Mick: How do you guys deal with piracy in the digital age?
Bryan: We kind of leave that up to people. We leave that up to the world. We do our part, focus on creating and making a good moment, bringing a good party on the road. Were just happy that crowds come and want to sing a long and dance, that gives us energy, that’s the wind in our sails. We don’t worry about it. If more people can discover us in that way with less commitment then yeah, that works for us. Back in the CD days you maybe you wanted one song or to see if you liked a band, but it was $18 bucks for a CD. I think iTunes and the other markets out there are the way to go. That’s what I’m using these days, I’ll grab one song or a whole record and check it out. It’s cool because you can discover some great shit that way.
Mick: You guys emerged from New Brunswick, NJ. What’s the scene like there these days?
Bryan: It’s somehow always been a music town to some degree since it’s a college town and bands keep coming out of there. Gaslight anthem came out of there, the next generation after we left. We beat it out of that town after about four years. The whole band went to NYC for a handful of year and then sort of settled in the Jersey Shore, or Idaho in Greggs case.
Mick: Seaside Heights was one of the best summer vacations going there growing up.
Bryan: Like the show Jersey Shore, when I was a kid growing up being a skater, there was an 80’s version of that too. But it was the real deal. It’s a Jersey thing.
Mick: I hate that show and that staged reality crap.
Bryan: It just shapes opinions of those of us who live there because I live on the shore and I gotta hear all that fucking Snooki crap.
Mick: Thanks guys, anything else to shout out to the crowd tonight?
Greg: I am always looking forward to playing here, I can’t wait!
Bryan: I know we won’t be let down man. I already know its going to be a good show!
Mick: Thanks a lot for your time guys, see you out there.