Gosh, I can’t believe it’s been a month and a half since Europe. I feel like I have so much to write about, but, also, it's all kind of a blur!
June 4, SBAM Festival - Austria
The fact that we ended up here is just nuts in the first place! There is a bit of a story here.
MANY moons ago, I was introduced to this graphic artist dude named Stefen. Stefen did several merch designs for us and I just thought his art was insane! So much so, that I had him draw up the first ever Bowling for Soup Crest, which would be our 15th anniversary tattoo. We actually got this tattoo IN the studio while making Sorry For Partyin’. So it is a huge deal for all of us!
**SIDE NOTE** - There is a 30th anniversary version that will be shown very soon! :)
Alright, so Stefen and I lose touch and honestly, he is just kinda off my radar. Little do I know, he is creating a whole punk rock scene in his home country and starting a label that releases HUGE punk bands’ material throughout Europe and the world.
Stick with me…
Kelly Dollyrot and I start making the Jaret and Kelly album, Sittin’ In A Tree, in 2017. We are looking for fresh art and Kelly mentions this guy that has done stuff for them. As soon as I see the cover he sent I knew exactly who it was! Stefen SBAM!!!
So now, fast forward to 2023, and we find ourselves in Austria, playing at a festival, Stefen’s festival, with the likes of Zebrahead, Rancid, Frank Turner, Flogging Molly, Less Than Jake, The Mensingers, Anti-Flag, Stand Atlantic and the list goes on!
And what a day it was! The show was incredible! Such a good energy the entire day!!
Very proud to say that we are now partnering with SBAM to get past and future vinyl to all of you guys in Europe!! Stay Tuned!!
June 23 - Ft. Cavazos - Killeen Tx
Military shows are always fun. But when you hear artists talk about how rewarding they are, they aren’t just saying it because they feel like they have to. There is just something about entertaining the men and women that defend our country safe and free, but also, entertaining their families…making their kids smile. It’s a HUGE deal for us, which is why we have committed ourselves to these kinds of shows since the beginning.
We have history at Ft. Cavazos. It used to be called Ft. Hood. We played Single Soldiers Day on this base in around 2000, I think. It was ourselves and The Nixons - a band that we had grown up admiring, then befriended, and still play shows with to this day.
One of the reasons I will NEVER forget this show is at the end of The Nixons set, they would, and still do, invite everyone on stage to sing the last chorus of “The Happy Song.” Backstage, we had come across an arsenal of Gatorade cups. Stacks and stacks of them! So we started launching the stacks at the band as they played! The cups would stay together in the air and then spread out like a firework on the way down! It was Beautiful!! Ray Luzier, who now plays for Körn, was the drummer at the time and was slapping at them mid-song! Here is a photo of then bass player Ricky Wolking laying in the aftermath, and me and singer/ songwriter Zac Maloy trying to keep it all together!
It was a hot, fun, and awesome day. One I will never forget!
Now the funny thing about Vanilla Ice is all the connections we have. Keith Reber, the current drummer for Jaret Ray Reddick, was his drummer forever. As were two other friends of ours. My mother-in-law went to school with him in Paris, Texas. All of these folks call him Rob.
Gary’s wife Annique was in heaven! She is a ’90s sorority girl, so she couldn’t help but be the happiest person there!
Our show was a fun one. I often watch as people that don’t necessarily know our band “come around.” They go from not paying attention to nodding along…and then one of the hits shows up…and we have them! And I LOVE IT!!!
By the way, this was Bowling For Soup’s first trip in the van I bought to do the country shows. The van is named Rick. And we love him!!
Chris even “Chris-enned” him with an air freshener!
I will catch you up more soon!