Dig Baton Rouge

Soup’s On

By Tara Bennett

One of pop-punk’s most successful bands, Bowling For Soup are in the midst of celebrating being old enough to drink with their “Finally Legal” U.S. tour.

Since forming in 1994, Bowling for Soup has gone on to capture the hearts of music fans with their infectious, fun-fil

led attitude. Now, over 20 years later, their music still spreads from the stage when performing live, bringing everyone in the room together and leaving with a guaranteed smile.

The four-piece band of Jaret Reddick, Erik Chandler, Gary Wiseman and Chris Burney will showcase their fun, punk rock style in Baton Rouge at Lava Cantina on Sunday, September 6 at 3 p.m. with opening act Cody Canada and the Departed. The show will be a festive event that Reddick says he and the band are excited to return to the Red Stick.

“We’ve been bout six or eight times over the years,” said Reddick. “I’m excited to finally get back.”

Fans of the band and first-timers can expect a good time at the concert as you’ll never see the same show twice, including the set list and the shenanigans from the band in between sets.

“It’s very funny and spontaneous and very unrehearsed,” said Reddick. “It’s a good time…We don’t ever disappoint that’s for sure.”

Bowling for Soup has survived long after many bands of similar genres fell by the wayside and to celebrate 21 years, the band has released a greatest hits album “Songs People Actually Liked.”

Reddick says the band is still the same, nerdy guys the fans love without plans to change the formula, which is reflected on the greatest hits album.

“It was super cool, we kept everything intact, we left the integrity of the songs there, we didn’t change them up or anything,” said Reddick. “They’re all the same; it’s just sonically better and as far as our singing and playing, light years better.”

The band started their tour in June and for Reddick the experience has been “crazy and surreal.”

“You don’t start a band as kids thinking you’re going to be a band for 21 years,” said Reddick, who spent half his life touring, recording and repeating. “It’s pretty amazing, and we definitely owe a lot to the fans for staying loyal to us and allowing us to keep going.”

The band started in Wichita Falls, TX 17 years ago. Reddick found a connection to music in the stories country singers such as Kenny Rogers would tell through their music, and growing up he found further inspiration in bands such as Motley Crue, and The Ramones, which would pave the way for Bowling for Soup’s style. According to Reddick, there wasn’t much of a scene for their punk rock style back in the early 90s. There were punk rock bands, but there weren’t a lot of melodic punk rock bands, which Reddick said it was hard to find their spot at first.

“They really didn’t like happy, they liked angry, anti-establishment kind of thing and here we are singing about beer and girls,” said Reddick. “It took a while to sort of find a place, and we really didn’t find our home in the punk rock scene, we found our home in the live music scene in Dallas. That set us apart from the whole movement genre, and we played with different kind of bands.”

Now based in Denton, Bowling for Soup landed a dark-horse Grammy nomination in 2003 for their 2002 single “Girl All the Bad Guys Want.” Other well-known hits by the band include “Stacy’s Mom,” “Punk Rock 101,” “High School Never Ends” and “1985.”

Reddick credits two things as the drive for their career – believing in yourselves and having fun.

“Through growing up together, and life and changes, we managed to not only keep it fun, but we also managed to remain best friends,” said Reddick. “Those things combined with the fact that we don’t have any ego. We understand that Bowling for Soup is the sum of its parts, and we’re all equally as important as the other.”

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