Greg Attonito speaks to eGigs

singer of The Bouncing Souls on Wednesday 2 May 2012

photos of this show
Egigs chats to The Bouncing Souls singer Greg Attonito after their sold out Manchester show.

Bouncing Souls
How's Europe been treating you?
It's been great. It hasn't been too long, we did Berlin, and the Groezrock festival was a total blast. We had an acoustic set that was amazing, way better than we thought it was gonna be.

Have you had much time off to enjoy the sights?
Let's see, we had a good day off in Little France. We got to stroll around, that was a place I've never seen and then I got a little time to walk around Paris, so that was good.

Have you played an acoustic set at any of the other festivals?

Any plans to?
Not on this tour. We've started doing more acoustic sets in general, but that was the first one we've done at a big festival; it was really good.

How did you find the crowd reaction to it?
It was totally awesome, I mean, we didn't expect it to be so big. We've done acoustic sets and there's a hundred or a couple of hundred people tops, that's kinda what I expected but it was packed out of that tent, so it was just a blast.

Did you watch many of the other bands?
Let's see, what did I do… No, I didn't, I was gonna hang for Rancid but I was like you know what? I gotta get some rest! It was a long day for us because of the two sets and in between those we just did interviews pretty much nonstop.

Do you choose what time to go on?
When we do the club tours like this roughly the club usually has an idea of when they want the show to be and when they usually do shows. So you kinda like go with what people are used to seeing, sometimes they want you on earlier and sometimes they want you on later because they want people to drink all night. We're like "No, we're not going on at 12.30!" So it's a little bit of give and take.

Your ninth studio album 'Comet' is released on June 12th; is that date special like 'the number of the release' (06/06/06) for the Gold Record?
It happened like that but without us doing that on purpose. We finished recording and we were leaving the studio and then Kate (Hiltz, BS Manager) did the math in her head and said it was probably good if we have everything done we can have a release date in June. Tuesdays usually the day we always release a record and that falls on June 12th. So it just happens that it's 12/06/2012 which is very much sort of mathematically corresponding to 6/6/06, which is really awesome.

It is released on Chunksaah Records and Rise Records, who are releasing Hot Water Musics 'Exister'. How did this come about?
The Rise Records guys are big Hot Water fans, and that was how the interest was generated to release their new stuff. Kate had been talking to Jason (Black, HWM) and we were thinking about where to release our record and he said “why don't you call those guys?” She did and they were really psyched, and we were psyched at how psyched they were to release our record. We just met them at Groezrock for the first time.

What's it like working with Bill Steveson?
It was great. It was great on all levels. It was like a learning experience to see how he records, and how much of a mad scientist he is creatively! As a fan of the Descendents it was awesome, and as a friend of Bill it was really fun.

You've been playing a few new songs like 'Baptized' and 'Static' on the tour. How are the crowd reacting to them?
Pretty good; it's always a little bit like you can sense the audience is kinda like just checking it out. It takes a little while to feel out, you know, you can feel whether they like it or not. It takes a little bit longer to come back from hearing the record and really see which songs pop out and which songs they really like. So I'd say there's been a decent response but it's hard to say what popular in the pack.

You've been on tour with The Menzingers quite a bit; tour buddies for life?!
Yeah, we've got a lot of dates with them!

22 years and still going, do you think you can do another 22?
Yeah. I didn't think we would first of all, and now we're doing it I can't see us stopping. It'd a matter of the pace slows, then speeds up. We're on an up speed; we're like hitting the gas now, new record will be coming out, we'll tour the rest of the year, then we'll slow down a little bit like we always do. We all have our own lives… I don't see any reason to actually stop.

An English guy from Nottingham taught you the 'Here we go!' chant…

Do you find it chanted more in one country than another?
Yeah, It's a very familiar little thing in England, everyone knows it. In the rest of Europe I think people catch onto it pretty quickly. It lives in England thought for sure, that's its home.

Would you do some solo shows whilst over here?
Yeah… I've done one in London. I've just finished a children's record with my wife which sounds awesome and we're really excited about it. The release date is August 14th and it's coming out on Fun Fun Records, which is Mike from Aisan Man's new kids music label. The record is so much fun. All my time that I'm gonna have in between Bouncing Souls stuff I'm going to commit to doing the kids music, for the next 6 months to a year. So this August Shanti and I are going to do a couple of record release gigs in New Jersey and New York, and then probably later in the year along the West Coast. Maybe next year I've had a few offers to come over and do some solo stuff...

Is that with Chuck Ragan on his Revival Tour?
We've talked about it a few times, and talked about Shanti and I doing some shows together, but that's about all it's ever come to, because I'm like here's my list of things I wanna do and there's only so much time in the day. But I would love to, maybe next year or the year after, we'll see.

You and your wife Shanti Wintergate wrote and illustrated the kids book 'I Went For A Walk', it was very well received; any plans for another?
It's interesting that you ask it because we're actually launching a new website for the book and Shanti just finished turning the book into a digital version of the book, so it's gonna be available on the website so you can just stream the digital version. We're also going to have a 'pay what you want', like if you just wanna download it and pay whatever you want.

Is that with the illustrations as well?
Yeah, with the illustrations and everything; the full book, the digital version of it. So we're launching a new website and the digital book on May 14th. We're also gonna like, probably when we do the kids record shows we might have a book reading too and bring it along with the new kids record. So yeah, we have a ton of stuff going on, we love the book, the books so awesome, I'm glad we're kinda like putting some life back into it because we really, really worked hard on it in 2007 when we went on tour along the East coast.

Was that the tour on the Vespa Scooters?
That was a different tour! In 2007 we just drove in our car and went to schools and read our book and played a couple of songs, along all of the East coast and the West coast. It was great. We got the book distributed; we sold a good amount of copies, but it's really tough to sell like a physical book now, it's so much easier, it really is. You can't deny the convenience of it.

It's not the same as a real book though to me...
I know, I know. We're hopefully gonna figure out maybe, to get more life into the book, by having it available digitally, because people will be able to read it and see it more, and maybe we'll have like 'order a special edition and get a real book' if you want one. But yeah, the Vespa tour was a blast! It was a whole other deal. Actually we have a documentary, we're gonna put that online too.

Excellent. Thanks, and enjoy the rest of the tour!
Thanks Danielle!

Bouncing Souls

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article by: Danielle Millea

published: 03/05/2012 17:05