Rob from Bowling For Soup Exclusive
When did you decide that a career in music was for you?
I guess it was kind of gradual. I wasn’t really exposed to anything but the Beatles and Eric Clapton and CCR until I was like 11. I always wanted to play an instrument, but never really thought of it as a career until I got into punk rock bands like NOFX and Bad Religion. It just seemed way more exciting then.
Who are your musical inspirations and why?
I’ve got a bunch of different inspirations for different reasons. As far as songwriting goes, I’ve always looked up to all the 90s Fat Wreck-Chords bands like No Use For A Name and Strung Out. I’d say overall, the tie for my all time favorite band would be between NOFX and Beastie Boys. As far as on-stage inspiration, I’ve always had a soft spot for blink-182’s charm and fun.
Can you tell me 3 things about yourself that people might not already know?
Uhhh… I really like Spider-Man; like, quite literally since I was born. I listen to the Glenn Miller Orchestra every morning when I wake up and have breakfast. I cannot eat in total silence; like, I absolutely refuse to.
What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?
Yikes… that’s a lot of shows! In all honesty, I tend to forget the actual show itself, and really just remember the day; where we were, who we saw, things like that… but an important one that comes to mind is that last time we played Brixton Academy in London and sold it out! That was a huge deal to us.
What has been your best achievement to date and what would you like to achieve in the future?
As far as my music career goes… joining Bowling For Soup! I’ve never had this much fun being in a band in my entire career, and have never been able to accomplish so much with any other band. I don’t really think too far into the future as far as this goes, and just focus on what lines up on the calendar, if that makes sense.
Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?
You’d honestly be shocked at how boring and uneventful “backstage” is. For the first however many hours of the day, it’s just the crew in and out of the green room for like snacks and Diet Cokes and Red Bulls until the rest of us get in there and do pretty much absolutely nothing until show time. The ironic part is that when we were all younger and actually had to do all the work ourselves and had less time for ourselves is when we would party more!
What has been the best gig you have been too as a fan and can you tell us about it?
Probably seeing the Eagles. There’s not much to say other than that they’re the freaking Eagles!
What things make you happy and what things annoy you?
Generally speaking, it’s the same answer to both: being left alone! Ha!
What things do you like to do when you are away from music?
I don’t really have any hobbies and I’m not really into any sports or anything, other than trap shooting. I try and do that once a week with my buddy when I’m home. I like blackjack and I live really close to a casino, but hardly ever play. I don’t think I’ve even been there in like 2 years.
What would your ideal day consist of?
Well, it would definitely be longer than a normal day. I can’t start a day without coffee, so that’s a start. I’m sure a bunch of junk food and beer would be involved, too, because who doesn’t like that? So, I guess what I’m saying is: an all-inclusive resort.
What has been your experience during the Covid 19 situations.Can you tell us how this has affected you
personally, how it has affected you professionally and maybe a story from this time or a message for people out there?
I felt pretty useless for a while, because my professional livelihood has been built around large crowds of people, and they were not letting us do that for a while. In retrospect, it was pretty nice to have 16 months off and not really be expected to do much, but also, I get restless very easily, so that got old real quick.
How would you answer the question Who are you and what are the differences between you as a music artist and you away from music ?
Hi! I’m Rob! I’d like to think there are no differences. I don’t really put on a persona or anything. I enjoy being myself, and I enjoy bringing that to our shows. I’m as much of an idiot backstage and at home as I am on stage, just louder.
What was the first record or song you purchased and why?
I think it was “So Long and Thanks For All The Shoes” by NOFX. I’d heard some of their songs, and saw that really cool looking Neapolitan looking CD cover at the store, so I went with that one — and I’m glad I did!
If you wrote a book about yourself what would it have in it?
I’d imagine it would have a bunch of embellished examples of how handsome and fantastic I am …if I wrote it.
When did you decide that music was going to be the career you continued with for the rest of your life and what made you come to that decision?
I don’t know if I ever decided it was what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. I don’t think I want to be 80 years old and on stage… but also, who knows? That’ll be up to 80 year Rob, and I haven’t gotten that far yet. I just know that I’ve worked in this field for a very long time, and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon, at least.
Did you enjoy music at school and were you any good?
I played trumpet in the school band in elementary school and a little bit in Jr. high, but I don’t think I was all that good. I started playing drums and guitar right before high school on my own time with my brother and some of our buddies, and that felt a lot better to me.
What was the 1st performance you did in front of people and what was your first gig you did and can tell you tell us about it?
My first performance in front of people was probably the school band when I was like 9, so I don’t remember really much of any of that. The first gig I think was some kind of open mic night at a bar with a backline, and the first band I was in did a couple of silly covers. I was probably like 12 or so, so we played and immediately left.
What does music mean to you?
I don’t think it’s something that is supposed to be taken too seriously. It’s entertainment. It’s fun. It’s pretty much a party! I’m sure I would have given a totally different answer when I was a teenager.
Take us through a rough timeline of your career so far and what would you consider to be your personal highlights and achievements?
In 1998 or ’99, I started a band with my brother and our buddy Ian. We had no idea what we were doing, but ended up doing lots of really cool shows and even some tours; we were kids. After that I went and started another band in high school with some of my buddies and we ended up sticking together for a while and touring the country until we broke up and I joined a band called the Ataris for a while. I also joined a band called Patent Pending and sort of juggled my time between the two. We won a billboard music award and got to play the award show on TV, which was pretty wild. We’d been friends with BFS and done a bunch of touring with them throughout the years and became really close friends. When Jaret called me asking me to fill in for the band, I jumped on it, and the rest is history.
What is your favourite way to listen to music and do you ever listen to your own music?
Favourite way to listen to music? Quietly! I don’t listen to my own music unless it was like just finished being mixed or something.
What has been one thing you have done during your music career that you regret or wish you could go back and change?What would it be and why?
Absolutely nothing whatsoever.
What can we expect from you through the rest of 2022?
Lots and lots of BFS! Jaret and I are about to do an acoustic tour in the US in February, then BFS is doing a full band tour in the UK in April; bringing along Lit (one of my favorites!) and our pals the Dollyrots. Right after that, Jaret and I are doing that same acoustic tour, but bringing it to the UK. It’s going to be awesome! It’s still early in the year as of right now, but I can tell you that our calendar is really starting to fill up!