It’s hard to believe it’s been a whopping 17 years since the Texan born Grammy Award-winning quartet Bowling for Soup first penetrated the global pop-punk scene.

Renowned for chart-topping hits such as ‘Girls All the Bad Guys Want’ and ‘High School Never Ends’ they’ve remained a key name in the punk world, not so much for their non-conforming looks but more their slapstick school boy humour and jackass-esque videos.

This summer sees them celebrate the release of their 11th album - ‘Fishing for Woos’ - this time under their own independent record label Que-so Records.

Music-News’ Victoria Dillingham was lucky enough to secure some time with Bowling for Soup’s founding member and frontman Jaret Reddick ahead of the band’s appearance at this year’s Download Festival in Donington Park.

Music News: Tell us about your new album ‘Fishing for Woos’?

Jaret : ‘Fishing for Woos’ was released kind of out of necessity and follows ‘Sorry for Partyin’ which was the last album we released with the record label Jive with whom we parted company. Jive dropped around 10 bands/acts mainly due to lack of manpower, of which we were one. We had confirmed an eight month tour and just three weeks into it didn’t have an album to tour with. We had to work really quickly which meant me locking myself in a room for the whole of May to write new material under our own label. It was about taking back control and ownership of our work. So far it’s been one of the best albums for us in terms of critical reviews and we’ve had some really great feedback.

Music News: How does it differ if at all from previous albums?

Jaret: I think because of the time frame in which we had to write and record it, we’ve had less time to get hung up with keyboards etc and as a result it’s more traditional Bowling for Soup than our last few albums which is great! Again due to the time restriction we’ve stuck with guitars, bass, drums and piano and it’s classic Bowling for Soup.

Music News: What’s your favourite track on the album and why?

Jaret: I love all of them! Songs I like kids, you love them all equally, but you might like one more at different times. You just got to make sure when Christmas comes around they all have the same number of gifts. ‘Lets Pretend We’re Not in Love’ is one which nobody understood but me. Producers we’re like “I’m just not sure about this one Jaret” they just didn’t get what I was trying to do with it but I was adamant it was going on the album. Now they’ve seen the reaction to it, I think they’re starting to get it and have realised it was the right move. I also love ‘Smiley Face’ and both ballads ‘Turbulence’ and ‘What About Us’.

Music News: You’ve been together for 17 years now, what’s your secret to staying and playing together as a band?

Jaret: It’s not really a secret. We’d been a bar band for a number of years before we decided to really make a go of it. Once we decided this is what we wanted to do and worked out the role each of us wanted to play, we gave it 100%. We travelled everywhere together in a van for the first nine years before we got our tour bus, which brought us closer together. You learn lot about each other through being in close confinement and we became closer than family. We understand each other and when the four of us come together magic happens, whether we’re in the front lounge of our tour bus or the front of a van. I think we are blessed between us to have the right amount of ego and the right measure of talent.

Music News: What do you think makes you different from the other US pop-punk groups that emerged during your time in the music business?

Jaret: We came out after Blink 182 but before Sum 41, and Green Day of course came out years before us. There were a lot of what I’d call ‘fun’ punk bands around and I think as we’ve grown a lot of the bands have gone in a different direction. I think we’re one of the only bands of our time alongside maybe The Offspring who have pretty much followed the same route we started out on and have remained consistent in the music we produce. We still have a good time when we play and our audiences seem to have a really great time when they come to see us. That said I’m still a huge fan of all of the bands I have mentioned and respect and support the directions they have taken.

Music News: Who inspires you musically Jaret?

Jaret: Like most people, I grew up listening to what my parents listened to. I’m not saying it made me like this amazing singer, but the kind of music they listened to was always filled with great harmonies. We’re talking the likes of The Eagles, Waylon & Willie, Kenny Rogers right the way through to the pure disco numbers by the Bee Gees. My parents always had music playing and my Mum was always singing.

Then when the age of hair metal hit and I heard Ozzy’s ‘Crazy Train’ I remember thinking to myself, this is better that Michael Jackson! I then started listening to The Motley Crue and Ratt and so on and thought it was frickin’ awesome.

Nowadays I think it’s fair to say I’m inspired by great songs, regardless of the genre, it might be Run DMC, Miley Cyrus or Slipknot. When I hear a song that I think is amazing it really pisses me off, as I’m like “damn I wanted to be the one to write that” but at the same time it totally inspires me.

Music News: Who would you like to collaborate with and why?

Jaret: I can only answer that as a singer/songwriter . I’d love to do something with Billy Joe Armstrong, Dave Grohl or Tom from Against Me. All awesome guys I admire and think would be super fun to work with.

Music News: What are your thoughts on Dave Grohl’s recent accolade of ‘God Like Genius’?

Jaret: I remember listening to the Foo Fighters when they came out. I loved the first album, but I think it was the second record that made me think, man this guy is one of a kind. What he has done with that band is amazing. It would have been so easy to have fallen into the category of being the drummer from Nirvana that tried to start his own band, but to actually develop his own sound like he has and consistently keep coming up with so many great records album after album, that’s talent! He is such a cool guy too, it doesn’t surprise me that he received an award in recognition.

Music News: Is there anyone you rate in the UK and/or US charts at the moment? If so who and why?

Jaret: I’ve been so wrapped up in a creative bubble of writing and making music recently, I’ve not really had the time to listen to chart music but I can tell you who I have been listening to and enjoy. I love The Maine, Every Avenue, Rise Against and The O’s who are awesome and actually in the UK at the start of June.

Music News: I understand you’ll soon be in the UK yourself with the band ready for the Download Festival at Donington Park where you’ll take to the stage on Sunday 12th June. How many times have you taken part in the festival?

Jaret: I’m not sure, I think it’s our third…it could even be our fourth. We love playing Download. You guys have no idea how lucky you are in the UK when it comes to festivals. The atmosphere at a festival and the vibe in the crowd it like nothing else. You have so many cool festivals! Download was pretty much dominated by metal when it first started, but now there are so many bands that play including punk and rock. It’s frickin’ great and we love being a part of it.

Music News: Is there any other band you’re particularly keen to see yourself at Download this year?

Jaret: I’ve yet to check out the full confirmed line-up for this year, but I’m told I’ll be kept way too busy on the day we’re there. I don’t know about that though, I hope to see some of the other bands perform.

Music News: What can fans and those that attend expect from your set on the Sunday?

Jaret: As always we’ll be delivering a high energy rock ‘n’ roll show packed with most of our favourites and that people know, along with a couple of new ones from the album.