Bowling for Soup are one of music’s really misunderstood acts. I’ll never know why, but certain segments of the media seemed to give up on them somewhere between “1985” and “High School Never Ends”. And it’s a shame, too, because it means that they, along with their readers, may have missed out on the Texan band’s finest hour.
I was among the first the review “Fishin’ For Woos” prior to its UK release, and this put me in an odd position when it came to the acoustic tour that was just around the corner. I’d already heard Turbulence, I’d already fallen hopelessly for it, and was crossing my fingers for it to hit the live scene. And it did. Quite understandably, it was met by an outpouring of tears rarely seen at a BFS show.
A long time ago (but in this galaxy, thanks very much), I spoke to Jaret Reddick about the song, and he had this to say:
“I saw people crying every night…Most were hearing the song for the first time. It moves people…It isn’t that it is a sad song, it really isn’t. It just deals with REAL emotion…”
If you’re yet to hear the song, I refer you to the video below. It’s a tear-jerker, alright. And not something a lot of people will expect from Reddick and co. For those who only followed their earlier singles, the release of ballads like Turbulence and “When We Die” may seem a little out of character for BFS. Reddick thinks otherwise:
“I have been putting ballads on songs for a long time…”You and Me”, “When We Die”, “where to Begin”, to name a few….”When We Die” was a single and video, so our fans are familiar with THAT side of us…”
Between The Lines was intended to expose the raw nerves beneath the melodies. In the case of Bowling For Soup, it would take more than a few hundred words to strip back the piss and fart jokes, so that’s a matter best left alone. As for Turbulence, Reddick tells me the writing process was one of glorious serendipity and whimsy:
“My next door neighbour a few years back was a pilot. Once I asked him, ‘when you guys are going through a bumpy storm and it’s just nutty and passengers are freaking out and such, do you get scared’” and he simply said ’it’s just like driving a car….It’s just bumps in the road.’ He didn’t mean it to be as poetic as I took it, but that really stayed with me. When Linus of Hollywood flew in to do the album in Dallas, we had a few days for last-minute writing. I told him we had a ballad, but that I thought we could write a better one. He said, ‘I was thinking on the plane about how cool it is that everyone is going to the same place…and turbulence is something we all feel together at that moment…and then we go off to our lives when we land.’ We wrote Turbulence in about 45 minutes…no shit!”