Bouncing Souls talk exclusively to eGigs

talking Stonehenge, Black Flag, touring, tattooing CM Punk, and more on Friday 22 March 2013

eGigs meets up with a chilly Bryan Kienlen, Greg Attonito and Pete Steinkopf of the Bouncing Souls before their Leeds show.

It's been 10 months since you were last on these shores; I and many others are glad you have returned so soon. You have toured a lot over the last year...
Greg: It's going good.
Bryan: Busy...

After this amount of time have the crowd reactions changed in relation to tracks from 'Comet'?
Bryan: It's been cool to see people singing the new songs, you know? There's been a lot of that this time, which is cool, we didn't do any kind of promotion or anything, just put it out on our own with Rise, but we didn't do the full deal.
Greg: You never know how something new is gonna go, and it' going really well.

Is there a crowd favourite from the album? Personally for me it would be 'Ship In A Bottle'.
Bryan: Cool.
Pete: That's one of 'em.
Bryan: That's turned out to be one of 'em for sure.
Pete: 'Coin Toss Girl', and the song 'Comet'. Those are the biggies so far.

It's fun to follow your adventures on the web through facebook, like your stops at Stonehenge and Brighton. In all these years have you never visited these places before?
Bryan: Yeah, we've visited Stonehenge before...
Greg: Yeah, we visited Stonehenge at like three in the morning, it was totally awesome.

Did you get to go near to the stones?
Greg: Nah, not all the way up to them.

During the Summer Solstice you can go right the way up to them and sit on them.
Greg: Really?
Bryan: That would be very cool.

Is there anywhere in the world you would wanna visit and haven’t yet or maybe not even get the chance to?
Pete: I wanna go to Russia.
Bryan: I also would like to go to Russia.
Pete: South Africa.
Bryan: Have we been to Budapest?
Greg: Yes, we have.
Bryan: It's been a long time since we were there.

How have your requests for songs for the set lists been? Is there a noticeable variety around the UK?
Bryan: Yeah, there's been total variety. It's been good for us because we have more songs than we can think of at one time to write in a set list so...
Greg: It's good to get ideas.
Bryan: And input, yeah.

I don't know many bands that do that...
Greg: I don't know why they don't. we have a lot of songs... I don't know.
Pete: You get stuck in the same songs so it's good to get other people's opinions and be like, yeah, that song is cool, we should play it, didn't think of it.

It shows you have good range as a band, that you can cover any song without practicing.
Bryan: Not all of em! Some of them we can't play at all! That happened last night, somebody asked for 'Sarah Saturday'. We said ok, we'll try it. We sort of half played it. We'll try anything once.

Do you have any festivals lined up yet for this Summer in Europe?
Pete: On the mainland, but not here. Not in the UK this year. Germany.
Greg: Hurricane and a couple of other big ones.

You are playing at Punks In Vegas in the US, which looks an awesome festival. It has one of the two reformed 'Black Flags' playing. What are your thoughts on these two reformations?
Bryan: I'm excited to play with any version of Black Flag that I can, or to see any version that I can. I'm really looking forward to it, it's gonna be awesome.

You're not on tour with the Menzingers this time!
Greg: We toured with them a bunch last year, it was good.

How is it touring with Cheap Girls and Luther?
Bryan: It's been great so far, had tonnes of fun.
Pete: Good dudes. Good music. Good bands.

You or the other bands have not had any trouble with stolen equipment this time? It was plaguing you last year.
Bryan: Yeah, it was a bit of a plague last year.
Pete: 2013. No more stolen shit.

CM Punk from WWE has been on your stage.
Bryan: He's a super cool guy.
Greg: He was kinda like, getting all wise-arsey up there, it was kinda awesome.
Bryan: He's a big fan of the band, so we had him write a whole set list. He came out to Jersey and was there on the night we played it. I got to tattoo him, filled in a couple of spaces his arm with some things. He's just a cool guy.

You've been doing some tattooing up in Glasgow while you've been here.
Bryan: Yeah, just tattooed there. I've been working professionally for five years now.

Has anyone else who is known more than the average Joe outside of music joined you on stage?
Greg: So many people join us on stage.
Bryan: Leeds own Sweeney, for example. He had a band called The Dead Pets. He's our favourite guy from Leeds. He's crazy. This is how crazy he is... he now lives in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania.
Pete: He got married.
Bryan: He had a band out there with Rick Barton from the Dropkick Murphys called Everybody Out. I don't know what he did after that, he's just out there married. Getting along with the Pennsylvanian natives.
Greg: He must be so wacky to them.

I have to ask about The White Castle van.
Bryan: It's been our home on wheels since '96 but she's getting on in years man, she's on her second engine.
Pete: We've let her be for a little while, gonna let her sit. Start taking it easy on her, just walk her, don't run her! Change her diet.
Greg: Let her sit in the sun for a little while.
Pete: Take her to Perto Rico!
Bryan: Park her somewhere warm.

Who comes up with the ideas for the Comet videos, and who films them?
Bryan: Matt Gear, who sells our merch, was just inspired and took it on himself. He made the 'Ship In A Bottle' video.
Greg: ... 'Static' video.
Bryan: Just right off the bat.
Greg: Then he put together the 'Comet' video too.
Bryan: Since we released 'Comet' and toured the record Matt, in addition to selling our merch, is doing a slide projection.
Greg: ...During the live show. Really awesome.
Bryan: He's just up there on the ladder setting up the projector, it's all very precarious!
Greg: It's been really good, the stuff that he does.

What was it like in the early eighties and nineties in New York around St Marks, at the Holiday cocktail lounge?
Greg: It's actually closed now.
Bryan: Just closed. Lives on in history. The neighbourhood was completely different when we first started hanging around there, which was I guess around the turn of the late eighties into the early nineties. It was a lot more dangerous and a bit like Mad Max, you know. A lot more squatted buildings, more interesting characters, more danger, everything you want as a kid. There's still a couple kicking around there but it's gotten very gentrified.
Greg: Manhattan's become more of a mall.
Bryan: Everything changed over the course of the Nineties, like Times Square.
Greg: ...It's owned by Disney.
Bryan: It's such a bummer.

So sad that all the places with these memories are closing down. Was CBGBs slowly declining as well?
Bryan: Nah, it was CBGBs right up until the end you know.

Is it still strong over there, the punk scene?
Bryan: Not really, no. It ain't what it used to be, not in the city. Manhattan used to support a punk scene though because there was the Coney Island High, which was another venue in St Marks, and CBGBs. They close all the clubs and there's nowhere for it to exist you know. But it's not about the places anymore, I guess you've just gotta know where it's going on, and that's where it is, because it's still alive, it's just taking different forms and it'll keep on doing that. It's a hard thing to do, grab something as its moving.

Such a shame. Well thank you for your time.
Bryan: Thank you!
Greg: Thanks!
Pete: Thanks!

Voice your opinion in the eGigs forums...
article by: D Millea & P Fitzsimmons

published: 22/03/2013 12:38


more about Bouncing Souls
more about Cockpit, Leeds