Evan: What is your name and what do you do in the band?
Greg: My name is Greg and I'm the singer.
Evan: Where'd you guys come up with your name?
Greg: The tag of Dr. Martin's boots. It says bouncing souls
Evan: And that was it? That was your whole inspiration behind it?
Greg: That was it. We wanted a the name and we thought that'd be kinda cool.
Evan: How long have you had this current lineup?
Greg: It's been 3 years with Michael who plays the drums, before that it was Shall for 10 years.
Evan: So you guys have been together for 13 years and you've only swapped one member?
Greg: The first time the four of us played together was '87 but we didn't actually play shows until '89 so however long that is... You do the math.
Evan: Where are you guys from?
Greg: We are from New Jersey originally. The three of us and now Pete and Papillon live in New York, Michael lives right outside Philadelphia, and I'm in LA
Evan: What inspires you- I mean, are you the one who writes everything?
Greg: Well it's really the four of us. It's a form of expression. It's a pretty even collaboration I think in a lot of ways.
Evan: Well you personally, what inspires you to write?
Greg: For years.... it's kinda been like.... just trying to find out my whole point of existence. You know, like figure out who I am in relation to everything else, like my relationships and just writing about it. You know to understand it and to leave a piece of myself. I think that was the goal from the beginning even if I didn't know that. I would just write out how I felt about things, and just ended up hashing it out into songs. Me and those guys, we just go as we go. It's kinda like a never ending process. Life always creates new obstacles and new challenges, and we find out different ways to get through it. Expressing it through music is a great way to do it.
Evan: So you guys have been around since '87, playing together since '89. So you guys have been around for a while. What are your thoughts on these new bands saying they're punk rock and sounding exactly like each other and not really saying a whole lot? Because I know to me, punk rock's always been a really personal, emotional raw thing. I mean, it bothers me. But I'm always curious about what the bands actually think.
Greg: Yeah I mean, I've had all different kinds of thoughts about it. You know different emotions about it. From being kinda aggravated by it and also, not caring about it most of the time. Just not giving it much of a thought. I guess being a musician, and being someone who really loves and appreciates music with feeling, I guess part of me wishes that more people out there were just making awesome music with a lot of feeling. And there is. You know what I mean? But um, it seems like it's easy to market a package and the whole type of easy cookie-cutter type of style and they'll shoot straight to the top. And that's where they are because it seems the vast majority of people are shallow I guess. And in a way, that's a bummer. But that's the way it is. I accept that. For right now. Because it really changed how we do what we do. I mean, I live for that. The musical feeling. I love to write it myself, and I love to experience someone else's music as a listener too. It's all out there. Like I said sometimes I get annoyed, sometimes I let it go. It is what it is.
Evan: What do you think about bands that start out as one thing and change to another? Like bands that start out raw and emotional and are making really good records, and then change to what the masses want from them to make money?
Greg: Well, it just shows you where they're at. You know, as people. And if that's the choice they make, that's what they want. For themselves. So if you expected something else form them, then you're gonna be disappointed. Otherwise, people make their choices and there's really nothing you can do about it. Except say oh well. It's a bummer, but you gotta move on.
Evan: What were some bands you really looked up to when you started? Did you guys sound like you do now when you started or did you change a lot or what?
Greg: No we changed a lot. Like, I love like Bob Marley, The Replacements, Fishbone, and Bruce Springsteen and The Damned. And when I was getting into it. It's wasn't punk. Like, I didn't even think of the word. It was like music. I went to shows, and I went and saw the band. We'd see Yellowman one night; we'd see the Meat Men the next night. And the next night, government issue. Ska, Punk, Reggae whatever I would go. I didn't have this concept of what I was wearing was in relation to the whole scene. I just was like a kid in jeans who would go to a show. It's an amazing thing when I think about it now. Over the year's I forgot about it. Especially becoming a part of music, and the business end of it. It's like, you gotta sell records and you get that done, and then you forget. I think the more time that's gone on its gotten back to that. That's how I like to be. I'm gonna be that way. The great thing is, I can be that way. I totally enjoy it. I enjoy the good bands, and then there's shit too. But that's the way life is.
Evan: So for as long as you've been touring, who do you think has been your favorite band to tour with?
Greg: It's been awesome just getting to tour with the bands that we do. Bands like 7 Seconds, The Descendents, Green Day, Fugazi, Bad Brains, all these classic bands that we've gotten to tour with. 7 Seconds... I said 7 Seconds already. Those are just some of them.
Evan: I saw you guys here on warped tour 2001 at the Thomas & Mack. You guys had your shirt and ties on. If you could tour with any band right now, who would it be?
Greg: One of the bands that I've loved touring with is Hot Water Music. We're actually doing another tour with them, mostly because we all get along so great. That's what makes the tour great, and musically. I just picked up The Sound's record. I thought it was really cool. Have you heard them?
Greg: And, the other Swedish bands, I haven't... It seems like that they actually have an understanding of English. And their lyrics are kinda real and I like that girl's voice.
Evan: Wait; was that a jab at Millencolin?
Greg: No not Millencolin. That was more at like... I don't even remember their name. I like Millencolin, I like The Sound
Evan: Have you ever had a problem with a band that you've toured with to the point where you'd never tour with them again?
Greg: Ummmm... I don't even know. I can't think of anyone.
Evan: There's no backstage altercations that have happened over the years?
Greg: Well, there's always something backstage. I just can't think of anything.
Evan: Do you guys bring family on the tour? Who do you bring?
Greg: On the longer tours, someone's always visiting. I was just home in LA with my wife. She came along for a few shows, and I was home. That was great.
Evan: Is that the hardest part of touring? Leaving your wife?
Greg: Yeah it is. I mean now. There's good days and bad days and she's a musician. You can check out her website which I'll plug right now.www.shantimusic.com. There's good days and bad days. She's a musician so she understands touring. It's great to be married to someone, and I love her so much, that we can get along. We can be apart, and see the positive side of it. Then we can get back together, and it's great when we can get back together.
Evan: Has she ever gone on a whole tour with you?
Greg: She came to Europe for a tour.
Evan: Where'd you guys go there?
Greg: We toured all of Europe for like 3 weeks or so.
Evan: Where's your favorite spot there to go tour in?
Greg: As far as shows we really love England. In Germany we do pretty well. As a country I like Switzerland. I like Holland. I think their government and their whole system...- They take care of their people there a little better. Like in Germany you go to a rest stop or a truck stop, and there's a guy or a woman in the spotlessly clean bathroom. And that's there job. They make tips. But that person can take like a month long vacation. They make like 30k a year. They live in a nice place and they're like happy, because they're doing a job. The job has to be done. It's important. But it's not like you're looked down upon and are like "Ah I gotta get out of this place." Because they take off to Costa Rica for a month or something so they're happy. It's like a whole different mentality. You go over there and you're like "Whoa. What the fuck is going on?" So when I got home, it really opened up a lot of doors for me, traveling to other countries. I mean they have their own issues too for sure, and I love being here but it's cool to see it. How other things work.
Evan: On the subject of government now, where do you stand?
Greg: I have such a problem with the government that's in power right now because I really believe the entire thing is so self serving. It's all just a big fraud. They try to play it off like "We're trying to do this for the people" but it's just like so self-serving. Whatever their intentions are, one way or another. Be it oil or making money. They're trying to take control of things, one way or another. They've made it so apparent. I'm really unhappy with it. It's just a sign of America.
Evan: Is that pretty much the opinion of the rest of the members of the band also or is that just you?
Greg: More or less yeah. We brought a book along, it's called "Addicted To War", and it's about the American military. It tells a truthful history of the military in kind of a funny way. It's got a sense of humor and it spells it all out. And you read it, and you're like "If this is true, everybody is so fooled." And you live in a nation of people that are just so conned. And it's pretty fucked up. And there's the element of traveling around the country. And I see people and I talk to them about it, and they don't believe in it. And it's like, where is that element of people who are like, I don't believe in this right now. They're there. But it never seems to simmer out of the underneath other than people just talking about it. It's like, we'll see what happens. I express how I feel about it.
Evan: I heard rumors about the Rock Against Bush Tour that Fat Mike from NoFx is starting. I heard that you guys might be on that. Is there any truth to that?
Greg: That's a rumor.
Evan: That's a rumor? There's no truth to that at all?
Greg: No it's a possibility. Yes the Rock Against Bush Tour is underway to some degree of being created. And we are on the list, probably, as being a possible band. I don't know anything more than that.
Evan: But if the offer was extended -
Greg: YEAH. I'd definitely totally support that. It sounds really cool.
Evan: Have you heard anything from speaking directly to him? Because everything I've heard has been rumors. Like I heard it's gonna be free and on college campuses.
Greg: Um, yeah that's what I heard too. He's getting some support as a political... There's some kinda thing you can file and get political support and get money donated as a political group. It's non-profit, and they'd finance the tour.
Evan: I definitely want to check that out if it ever comes to be.
Greg: Yeah there's supposed to be a compilation too.
Evan: Yeah I heard about that. I was surprised to see some of the bands that were on it. Like I read that Good Charlotte was supposed to be on the CD and that made me sick actually.
Greg: Well yeah me too. But if you take the time to really think about it it's great because people are gonna buy it.
Evan: Yeah that's true but I'm kinda biased because at warped tour 2001, we were interviewing Good Charlotte, and you were on tour with them so you know them a lot better than I do, but this guy I was with introduced himself and said "Hi I'm Frank, I'm running for Jesus in 2006." And they told us all to burn in hell and they got all mad.
Greg: So he got all mad at you.
Evan: Yeah so I'm not only jaded at the fact that they're annoying, but the fact that they told us to burn in hell like that. Did you get along with those guys?
Greg: They were friendly. They loved the bouncing souls. They were like we love you guys. So they were real nice to us and you know. I can't be like they're dicks or anything like that. They were like nice kids.
Evan: Out of all the tours you've been on, what's had the most debauchery going on? Just the craziest things.
Greg: Yeah the amount of drinking with Hot Water Music probably turned up the tour a few notches.
Evan: So all you guys drink?
Greg: No. I Don't.
Evan: Not at all? No drugs no alcohol? None of that?
Greg: No. Maybe it's the fact that I'm constantly exposed to it all the time that I lost my interest?
Evan: So you stopped or you never did?
Greg: I did. For a while. I just feel better when I don't do it. So I don't do it.
Evan: What's your favorite city to play in the US besides your hometown?
Greg: Let's see. Detroit's cool. New York's cool. Philly and sometimes doing random shows in the middle of nowhere can be really cool.
Evan: Like in Iowa?
Evan: You get a good turnout out there?
Greg: Sometimes yeah. Seattle's awesome. We just played two nights there.
Evan: Bands don't do that out here. They're here for a night then they're gone. It sucks because most of the time the band I want to see is playing with a bigger band everyone else wants to see and it's annoying because of the kids that go to shows now. Have you noticed a difference in the crowds?
Greg: You know, for us it's always been we have an element of real young kinds, and then we have a few older people that come and see us now and then. We kinda have a wide base of fans because we've been touring for so long. So there's always a batch of young kids that are just getting into music, and they're here. They here about the Bouncing Souls and they come out. It's great. It's always cool to have new people and the old people too. Old people meaning still younger than me probably.
Evan: How old are you?
Greg: 32...or 33.
Evan: 32 or 33 wow... so 35?
Evan: Ok which of your albums would you say is most personal?
Gregg. All of them. They all are. They all represent me at the time. It's like here's what's going on in my life. Everyone puts their piece into it, and it becomes a Bouncing Souls record and I think that's really what they all are. I think that's why people respond to us. Because it's real and we're being who we are. So yeah...
Evan: Ok what's your favorite song to play live?
Greg: It changes. It always changes.
Evan: I've seen you live a couple of times and True Believer really gets people going.
Greg: Yeah true believer is awesome.
Greg: Anchors Aweigh is a cool one. It's tough to pick. Nothing coming to me right now. Kids and Heroes is cool. A lot of time it's new songs. You love em and then you hate em. And you rediscover them. Like today we discovered one off of Maniacal Laughter which is one of our earlier records called BMX Song. Which is a fun song and we haven't played it in years. Its cool to pop it back in.
Evan: So you gonna play it tonight?
Greg: No not tonight. I don't think we can really swing it. We didn't play it well enough. It's hard to try and remember all of it today. We're playing part of it tonight.
Evan: Well as a fan, when a band goes out there and plays something old and random, it's funny. Especially when they screw it up horribly and then talk about how bad they screwed it up afterwards.
Greg: That's true. That's fun.
Evan: I say go for it personally.
Greg: Yeah, well we're doing part of it. So yeah.
Evan: How long is your set usually?
Greg: We bumped it up from like 45 minutes to like an hour for this tour since we're headlining.
Evan: What's the longest you've ever played for?
Greg: Like an hour and 20 minutes. Some shows you wanna just keep playing.
Evan: You don't have time restraints at venues?
Greg: Sometimes. Evan: Do you here?
Evan: Absolute favorite song of all time?
Greg: Too hard to say. There's so many great songs.
Evan: Do you remember one that made you decide you had to get into music?
Greg: When I saw Bruce Springsteen at Giant Stadium when I was like 14, I never saw so many people singing along to Hungry Heart. There were thousands of people. It had a very strong impression on me.
Evan: So you think that was the moment?
Greg: It was one. It was incredible. Being there to see all those people sing.
Evan: If you weren't in music, what would you be doing what your life?
Evan: That's all you wanted to do?
Greg: I'm so bad at everything else. I'm not good at building stuff, or scientific stuff. I can learn I guess. But I'm not inclined to anything.
Evan: Would you have gone off to college?
Greg: I don't know.
Evan: Did you do well in school or were you like I'm gonna be in music this doesn't matter?
Greg: I dunno. I was one of those kids that was like smart in some ways, but I never gave a shit enough about school. I was too interested in messing around. They teach you so much stuff. I needed to be interested in something to really learn it. I would sit around and see everyone picking up on stuff and I'd be like. I cant it wont register in my mind. I had trouble with school in that way.
Evan: Well you said music was your passion, did you learn any instruments or do you just sing?
Greg: Well I fell into is as being a singer. But a few years later I ended up picking up a guitar started picking up things. I have a better understanding of how music goes by learning an instrument. And understanding how people are doing it. It's definitely been great. It's like therapy too. Sitting down and playing guitar. Playing a couple of chords it's like total therapy for me.
Evan: How many months a year are you touring usually?
Greg: That varies. The last year we've gone through a pretty good cycle that's like the same for the past 5 years. We put a record out. Go on tour for a year or so. Take some time off, then start writing again.
Evan: So you go on tour for a year at a time?
Greg: Yeah. Or so. We'll do a month, take a few weeks off. Go to Europe, take a few weeks off. It varies. That's how it's been for the past 5 or 6 years
Evan: Do you see an end for the Bouncing Souls?
Greg: It's always been the same answer to that question. We just go with what we're doing. We go one step at a time. We're doing it right now. As long as we're doing it, and we like doing it. It's working for us. Just one step at a time. That's the best I can explain it. I've never been like, here's the 2 year plan, here's the 4 year plan or whatever. I couldn't conceive life that way. I guess that's how I've always seen it. We do the best we can and see where it goes from there.
Evan: Would you ever do a side project like MFATGG?
Greg: If it molded itself to be something right at the time that was fun, then yeah I'm open. It's fun to sing on other peoples albums.
Evan: What albums have you sang on?
Greg: I just went and sang with Madcap on their record. Stuff like that's always fun to do.
Evan: Have you guys ever had guest vocals on your stuff?
Greg: Yeah we have, the guy from the vandals is on one of our records.
Evan: Any last words?
Greg: Thanks, and enjoy life.