The Bouncing Souls have a passion for life that is hard to see in other bands: even in their name that passion and enthusiasm is present. Their continued solidity is due to a carefree but responsible attitude to music that has led to the production of another quality album. In writing songs from the heart, the Bouncing Souls’ music is emotive and creative which lends itself well to the punk rock style the band has created.

Pennyblackmusic spoke to bassist Bryan Kienlen to discover what was behind the band and how their seventh and latest album, 'Anchors Aweigh',had come together.


PB: What bands originally attracted you to punk?

BK : Black Flag, Plasmatics, and the Dead Kennedys were my first three, on a mixed tape from my older sister.

PB: With 14 years of experience and 7 full-length albums behind you, to what do you attribute your longevity?

BK: It’s just a matter of the guts to do exactly what we want without being discouraged by everyone else doubting us and society basically saying we were crazy to keep going. To me it’s a simple choice when you realize how life really is too short to do anything but exactly what you want.

PB: Do you spend a lot of time in the recording studio?

BK: Just every time we’re recording something. A new full-length every year-and-a-half or so, and then random one-off’s like a song for a compilation.

PB: Having played so many gigs together, how difficult is it to tour with the same guys?

BK : We’re well over the stage of getting used to each other and learning how to co-exist. Now it’s as comfortable as living with family or a favourite roommate or something. I’m more comfortable on tour than anywhere else in my world.

PB: What do you find to be the most interesting part of going on tour?

BK: Every day is a new adventure; you never know what might happen. I never get bored because there’s always someone to hang with or something to do. I spend a lot of time partying on tour too.

PB: Do you consider yourselves original?

BK: Yeah, I think maybe the sum of everything we’ve done has created a new entity, The Bouncing Souls has a certain feel, sound and look that is original.

PB: At the time that 'How I Spent My Summer Vacation' was released in 2001 you coined it the best album you have ever written. How do you feel 'Anchors Aweigh' performs against it?

BK : At the time it was our best record and now I believe 'Anchors Aweigh' is. We always push ourselves and expand with every record. Anything less would not be worth the time. We always learn as we write and create new records, and take that knowledge into whatever we do after that. I think we’ve improved as songwriters.

PB: Which songs off the new album do you believe are the strongest?

BK: That’s like having favourites among your own children. But some do stand out I guess. 'Anchors Aweigh' is a great song to me. 'Night Train' was a bold manoeuvre that I think we pulled off. People seem to really like 'Kids And Heroes'. But isn’t it subjective? It’s a matter of personal taste too. Some people just want fast music to snowboard to or whatever and won’t like the slow ones no matter what. A lot of fans have certain expectations from us; they want silly songs about BMXs or Ole again and again. Every song won’t be a carbon copy of your favourites Souls song. It’s one big long life story, having many different episodes and chapters. This is what we’ve always done, write from the heart. That is our essence and will never change. Songs always change as our lives always change. We’re not faking the punk; we’re creating it from an original source every time. Real Souls fans know this of us and keep open minds.

PB: Is there any moment in the past that you wish you could go back to and change?

BK : Hell no, everything happens for a reason. All decisions good and bad serve as lessons to better us. It’s just not an option to think about at all. I don’t worry about the past OR the goddamn future.

PB: What do you see as the direction to take now for the band?

BK : Always the same, live life as it comes, day-by-day, make the most of what we’re dealt. Try to keep that P.M.A. (Positive Mental Attitude)

PB : Thank you.
















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