Infectious Magazine’s Sami Marshall had the pleasure of talking to Erik Chandler, bassist for the always lovable Bowling For Soup, when Warped Tour 2017 made a stop in Orlando, Florida.
The two chatted about why being unprepared for Warped is the best way to prepare, the band’s 20+ year career, and being stuck at sea. Check out the exclusive interview after the jump!
You can catch Bowling For Soup on select dates throughout the summer on the Journeys Left Foot Stage. For tour dates and to buy tickets to Warped Tour, click here.
Infectious Magazine: How are you doing and how has Warped Tour been so far?
Erik Chandler: Warped Tour has been great. Today will be only our third show on the tour so far. The shows have been fantastic. We still managed to play yesterday, even though for the most part, it got shut down because of the weather. Luckily we were indoors, so we still got to go on. Everyone has been great! It’s really cool to be back and see a bunch of friends we haven’t seen in awhile. And already, day one, we made a bunch of new friends. That’s the cool part about Warped Tour. We just get to hang out.
IM: How long has it been since you guys have been back on Warped?
EC: The last time we did the whole thing was 2014. So not too terribly long.
IM: Is Warped one of those run of the mill tours for you, or does it take a lot longer for you guys to prepare?
EC: I think we like to prepare for a tour by being as unprepared as possible. I don’t know if there’s really any preparation that we actually go through, over than knowing we gotta be ready to be hot all summer. We also start to lower our expectations of daily levels of hygiene.
IM: Since you guys aren’t new to the tour, is there any advice you would have for first-time Warped bands?
EC: As far as I’m concerned, the best thing you can do is be at your merch booth. Not only do you get the opportunity to meet more people, but when you’re there you tend to sell more. And that’s a big part of having some money to make yourself comfortable out here.
IM: Yeah, that’s a huge part. Fans come to see the bands.
EC: Exactly! And if you’re there hanging out, that’s a cool treat for fans.
IM: Now this year, Kevin Lyman has brought the tour back to its roots. How do you feel about the lineup as a whole?
EC: I think it’s great! It’s very cool to see. We’ve been hanging out with the guys from Save Ferris since Tuesday, when we got here. We’ve been around the same amount of time as those guys, but this was the first time we had ever met. For some reason, the first day we locked up with them. We make sure we park next to them. Last time we were out in 2014, it was Warped’s 20th anniversary and our 20th anniversary as a band, and also Less Than Jake’s 20th anniversary. So us and Less Than Jake set up camp next to each other, and nobody under 30 could come sit with us.
IM: Do you have any must-see bands on your list for this summer?
EC: Yeah. New Year’s Day is freaking awesome! And the Save Ferris guys. I will be checking out GWAR at some point. I haven’t seen them in, oh it was the 90s the last time I saw them. And Barbed Wire Dolls. I got word to check them out yesterday.
IM: I noticed that you guys have been posting photos of fans who are still getting tattoos that represent Bowling For Soup, and as you mentioned, you guys have been around for over 20 years. Why is this connection with the fans still important to you and how do you maintain it?
EC: Well it’s a hell of a lot easier now with social media and whatnot to be super immediately and somewhat intimately involved with fans. For us as a band, we’ve always tried to be as involved as we could with fans, because it’s who we are. It’s like, if we’re hanging out, come join the party. We try to have a connection as much as possible. Sometimes you can’t and sometimes someone will get mad that we didn’t even say hello. Well we didn’t have the chance. You can’t physically do it every time with every person. But we attempt to as much as possible.
IM: Since you’ve had such a long career, what is one of the most important things that you’ve learned throughout this journey?
EC: Just make sure you still are enjoying what you do and the people you are doing it with. I know so many bands who go on tour and take multiple buses because it’s a comfort situation. They can’t stand to be on the same bus as other people in their band. What’s the point in doing that? If I didn’t enjoy the company of these other guys, even the people in our crew, then what the point in touring? That’s also a way to make sure you haven’t lost sight of what you’re doing. We’ve always said we’re going to do this until it’s not fun anymore and 23 years in, it’s still fun!
IM: After Warped Tour, what’s next for you guys?
EC: The next thing for the band itself, Jaret [Reddick] is going to the UK for a solo acoustic tour in September. After that the band will be doing Warped Rewind at Sea in October. So that’s pretty cool. I’m somewhat looking forward to that. I’ve never been on a cruise before.
IM: I was going to ask if you guys have ever done anything like this before?
EC: We’ve performed on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Persian Gulf. That’s the only experience I have being on a boat in the middle of the freaking ocean. And that was only for like 36 hours. Not even two days. But yeah, we’ll see. I’m assured by everyone that the claustrophobia will not set in because they are big enough that you don’t feel stuck somewhere.
IM: I don’t know if I could do it. That’s a lot of people in one area. But it does look like it’s going to be a huge party.
EC: Yeah, that’s gonna be cool.
IM: Do you have any final comments for our readers?
EC: Our new album Drunk Dynasty is out, as well as a live acoustic album. Both of those came out at the end of last year. So just be sure to check those two things out.
To hear more from Bowling For Soup, you can purchase a CD here.