The True Believers were out in full force Tuesday, February 10th, 2004, as the Bouncing Souls mad their triumphant return to San Luis Obispo. In the midst of the "True Bromance Tour", the Souls, along with Hot Water Music, Randy, and Let It Burn, had the sold out crowd at Club Slo Brew rocking and moshing all night. Punks and jocks and every other type came together this night to celebrate what matters most in music; honesty, great songs, and being true to yourself. Before the show, Central Coast Teens sat down with lead singer Greg Attonito and bassist Bryan Kienlen.
Very special thanks to Greg and Bryan, Christina, Hillary and Hector at Epitaph Records.
Please visit BouncingSouls.com.
Central Coast Teens: Tell how the Bromance Tour is going and how did it come to be called that?
Bryan: We came up with that, we went across Canada together with Hot Water Music and there was so much romance, it was like, every night carrying on ya' know?
Greg: We Love you Man!
Bryan: We love their band, they love our band, so we have this mutual respect and we sorta discovered that we're like family, right away we hit it off and had such a great time every night, so we put another tour together as soon as possible.
CCTeens: We're also looking forward to seeing you on the Warped Tour again this year, any favorite memories from past Warped Tours?
Bryan: We've done like five of them so it's sorta like a part of our life, ya know? Its sort of like summer camp, I know its been said, but it's the closest thing I can liken it to, you go away and your part of this weird tribe of carnies for a whole summer, its kind of hard to do but it's the funnest thing ever, and you get to see all your friends.
CCTeens: You guys have known each other for some time now, is touring the world and being in a major rock band all that you imagined it growing up?
Greg: Not really, because when you're a kid and you see it you think it's like, all money and chicks, ya know, but its not. The chicks, yea, but not so much money. (Laughs) For me it was always a dream of seeing the world as an adventure and seeing it for what it was, experiencing it for what it was. So the stereotypical things are there but there's much more to it, its how you perceive life, how you look at it.
CCTeens: What have been your favorite places outside the country?
Greg: Places that I never thought I would see, Australia and Japan, just being there, it was great.
CCTeens: Was there a major event or personality that made you decide to make music your career?
Bryan: It was always something to do, that was all it was, it was like, we started in High School as something to do after school, we all hung out after school anyway, so it was like, "lets skate the ramp" or "lets jam", he plays guitar, I'll play bass, so that's all it ever was, some form of hanging out and having fun. There was no moment when it changed from that, it just morphed over 15 years to what it is now.
Greg: There was definitely motivation by not wanting to do a lot of other things, that's really a big part of the motivation. Being creative and making music you're really determined. I wanna live a life where I am followed by my creative self, I'm not going to allow the world to destroy that part of myself, I'm going to turn it around and thrive creatively.
CCTeens: The Bouncing Souls are on tour more often than not, of all the shows that you have played which one or two stand out and why?
Greg: As far as one show, The Conan O'Brien show was great, it just happened, it was a fun thing to do, it was different for us, it was a new feeling.
Bryan: To answer your question though, right when you were asking it, I was trying to think of one, and I thought of a million at a time, it's impossible, it kind of keeps happening, you know what I mean? There's so many too, I can't even count how many tours, much less shows, and all of them are special, every night you act like it's the last one ever.
CCTeens: How was the Conan Show?
Bryan: Conan was amazing. Like I said, we were so nervous, it was surreal. You come out in front of the studio audience, and there's the people sitting in their seats, and you look over and the studio is so much smaller than they make it look on T.V., like we were standing about 8 feet from Conan's desk on the stage with our gear, while he's holding up our CD announcing the band, and I'm like, Conan O'Brien is saying "The Bouncing Souls", it was really weird, us in that world, such a cool thing to have experienced though, definitely one of those things where I can say "I've played Conan O'Brien" or when we played with the Ramones, its another one of those, you can say forever "I've played with the Ramones"
CCTeens: The band is touring behind the new CD "Anchors Aweigh", any personal favorites, and did the songs translate to tape how you envisioned them while you where writing them?
Bryan: They definitely did, for sure, now that we produce the records ourselves, like the last two we've been really hands on with the production, It's such another part of the creation, ya know?, tweaking every knob and making it sound the way you want , so we're really happy with the production. I guess we all have personal favorites, I love the song "Anchors Aweigh" actually, its one of my favorite ones on there.
CCTeens: Any interest in producing other bands in the future?
Bryan: It's fun, I don't know, see where life takes me. I'd rather be producing my own songs but, I would do other people's to if I had the time.
CCTeens: You started your own label Chunksaah, and now you are with Epitaph Records, how important is it to stay with an independent, and do you see any advantages going to a major label?
Greg: Now less than ever. Maybe a couple years ago, we actually talked about it, but so many artists who have been on major labels are putting music out their selves now, or getting on independent labels. Like why do it? The technology the way it is with the internet, you can put out your own record and sell it your self, there's so much other options.
Bryan: I think one of the advantages of being on an independent label is that we have total control, creative control, and that is something we would never, ever, ever consider giving up. It seems with a major label, you have to play their game. We only play our game, and we're making up our game as we go along, and so it was never something we would do, it was never an option. We can feel free, and I don't think I could feel free like that, and I'm not really even that interested........I can speak for the whole band in that we were never that interested in ......nobody ever wanted to get huge fast, anyway. We want longevity, where are those bands now, you know what I mean? Their huge one day, like MTV, you're the shit this year, and then just as sure as that happens, your going to be like, last years shit. I don't ever want to be that. I'd rather stay under the radar and develop.
CCTeens: With the internet as a major factor today, and record company downsizing and layoffs, where do you see the record business going in the coming years? How do you think it will change the way bands do things?
Bryan: That's a good question, and I don't know if I can answer it. It's still morphing now. It seems the internet has leveled the playing field, ya know? The artists have more power, A & R people aren't the big shots like they used to be, it used to be the A & R guys from a major label were like some kind of God. It used to be "Oh, please listen to my demo" or "I know somebody who knows that guy", now its like, kids don't worry about that crap, they just record their stuff on the computer with like, Pro Tools and burn some discs and sell them themselves at a show, and that's how it should be, sell it on the websites. So it puts the power back to the most creative people I think, I hope it keeps going in that direction. Forget all those old dinosaurs.
CCTeens: Any advice for young musicians just starting out?
Greg: Turn off MTV. Don't worry about what's popular; don't even pay attention to that.
Bryan: Don't be a follower. Don't be Emo this year because Emo is cool this year. Play what you want to play... Whatever that is.
Greg: Live your life, the way you want, don't try to follow what you read about, or what's cool, or all that garbage.
Bryan: Stick with it if that's what you wanna do, ask yourself if that's what you really wanna do, in your heart. And then have the guts to stay with it.