Interview: Issue 60, December 1993

Bouncing Souls Interview: December 1993


In a better world, these Jersey boys would be punk-rock stars. Taking their cues from Operation Ivy and Rancid, the The Bouncing Souls then add portions of SOS-styled rockabilly, funk and straight-ahead rock to make something unique and memorable. The Bouncing Souls granted SLUG a brief interview before they nearly upstaged SNFU Nov. 17.The Bouncing Souls consist of Greg Attonito on vocals, Bryan Kienlen bass, Shal Khichiuitar and Pete Steinkopf on drums.

SLUG: is it fair to say you guys were influenced a lot by Operation Ivy?

Kienlen: I’m not sure it’s fair to them, but it’s fair to us! e We really liked Operation Ivy and their energy. We liked their punk aggression and they didn’t dwell on the negatives. They were always upbeat. That’s something we hope we can bring across in our music.

SLUG: Operation Ivy also started out in ska. How did you guys begin?

Attonito: Almost the same way. We were about half-and-half ska and punk. But we’ve kind of moved in our tastes. That’s not to put down ska, it’s just that it’s something that other bands do better.

SLUG: When you say that your tastes or styles have moved on, how do you think that changes your music?

Attonito: Well, we’re getting better and better at what we do over the last five years. But we’ll continue to evolve into what, I can’t say. It could be something completely different from what we’re doing now.

SLUG: I noticed that both of your releases are self-released. Haven’t you guys been courted by tons of record labels?

Attonito: We used to get lots of little bites and nibbles from labels, but nothing really materialized. We just figured if they weren’t interested then screw them.

Kienlen: Yeah, we refuse to solicit anything from labels. That’s only so much wasted energy that we could use for something else.

SLUG: On one hand, that’s bad because you guys deserve a lot more exposure, but at the same time, it almost makes your music more honest because you’re only accountable to yourselves—you also have started kind of a grassroots following with each show that you play.

Kienlen: It’s helped us to keep our focus and also helped us get some really loyal fans.

Attonito: Yeah, we’re probably writing even more for the fans than we are for ourselves. We won’t compromise for them.

SLUG: It seems like you guys are really happy doing this. All you really need  is a warm place to stay, food to eat and a show to play.

Kienlen: So long as the fans have an open mind and the food is pretty good, that would be okay. We’re not looking for huge success—-just some mildly adoring fans

SLUG: I understand that I think.

Attonito: Well, all my heroes aren’t on major labels. We’re not looking to make it on MTV. We just like catching the live vibe.

SLUG: You’ve gotten to play with some of those heroes, too. Do you think that really helps you as a young band?

Kienlen: It definitely makes it more exciting for us. We’ve got someone else to try to impress besides the audience. Live is definitely the most fun part of music for us, and probably our fans too.

SLUG: That doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t enjoy recording though?

Kienlen: Actually, that’s not really our favorite part. We haven’t had the best of luck recording. It just doesn’t sound like us unless we’ve got an audience.

SLUG: Don’t you have enough material for an album? Have you considered recording live?

Attonito: Most of the live records we’ve heard kind of blow. We’ll get around to an album one of these days when we get off the road.

SLUG: Yeah, well, when it’s treating you so well, it’s kind of hard to stop.

Kienlen: It would be nice to have a life and a home for a while. But this is really what we love.

SLUG: One of these days, guys, I swear. You’ll break it big.

Kienlen: And then you can write about us for Rolling Stone.

SLUG: Uh-huh. Yeah, sure.

Read more from the SLUG Archives:
Concert Reviews: Amuck in America
Concert Reviews: Jane’s Addiction and Primus