Bowling with Bowling for Soup

Andrew Hampp

Jaret Reddick (far left) and the guys of Bowling of Soup are ascending to Cleveland Saturday.

Credit: Andrew Hampp

Despite their band’s name, the guys of Bowling For Soup are not the biggest of bowlers.

Just ask lead singer Jaret Reddick, who said he and his bandmates have gotten used to the general assumption that Bowling For Soup is a bunch of expert bowlers.

“At first, we were sick of it,” Reddick said of the band’s repeated requests to knock down a few pins. “But now, it’s kinda nice. I mean, we got to bowl for free and, hey, bowling alleys have beer.”

The band’s mutual embracement of both bowling and music will converge Saturday when they participate in the Freeway Lanes Super-Bowl in Solon that afternoon and play a concert at Cleveland’s Odeon that evening with American Hi-Fi, Riddlin’ Kids and MC Lars.

The cause for all the confusion surrounding Bowling For Soup’s name can actually be traced back to Steve Martin. Reddick said he was listening to a copy of the comedian’s 1978 album Wild and Crazy Guy when a skit came on about a game show entitled “Bowling For Shit.”

“I just thought it was a funny name,” Reddick said.

The band had to alter the name slightly, however, to avoid the obvious offending of fans. They decided to replace “shit” with “soup” for convenience’s sake.

“You could put it on fliers,” Reddick said simply of the new, edible name. “Plus, you only had to change three letters. It (came out of) no particular interest in soup or bowling. But it’s good because now fans will buy soup and donate it at our shows, so it’s good that they’re supporting us for a good cause.”

Another cause Bowling For Soup have thrown their weight behind is giving their fans more bang for their buck with their albums. Both Bowling For Soup CDs, 2003’s Drunk Enough To Dance and 2004’s A Hangover You Don’t Deserve, feature a copious amount of songs, coming in at 16 and 18 tracks long, respectively.

Reddick explained his musical generosity by citing his frustration with some of his favorite bands who’ve taken completely opposite tactics.

“Bands like Weezer,” Reddick said, “will put out albums with only 10 or 11 songs, and it’s still an amazing album, but you’re left wanting more. I know I’m losing money with the more songs I put on the album, but I want the fans to get their money’s worth.

“In some reviews the critics will say, ‘Oh, this song could’ve been left off…’ And I realize there are some fans who are gonna buy the CD and find only four or five songs that they like. But there are plenty of others who are coming to the shows and asking for songs we didn’t even plan on playing.”

Needless to say, fans can expect Bowling For Soup to draw from a wealth of material on their current tour, which marks their first co-headliner with American Hi-Fi.

“Another great band from Texas,” Reddick, a Grapevine, Tex. native, said.

And speaking of touring, Reddick disclosed that this summer will mark his band’s first year off from the Vans Warped Tour, which they’ve played for the last two consecutive summers. A separate tour with another, as-yet-uncofirmed co-headliner is in the works, he said.

In the meantime, Bowling For Soup will also be seen in Wes Craven’s long-awaited werewolf movie Cursed, opening Feb. 25. The band filmed their scene nearly two years ago before a large majority of the original film was shelved and completely re-shot.

“We’re in the first, minute of the movie,” Reddick said with a laugh. “We definitely made the final cut.”

Contact pop arts editor Andrew Hampp at [email protected].