Downtown Crowd

Bowling For Soup: A Q&A with Frontman Jaret Reddick

Jaret Reddick is a musician, songwriter, actor and the lead singer and guitarist of the pop-punk band Bowling for Soup. You might know the group from their 2004 hit 1985.

As Bowling for Soup’s 30 year anniversary approaches in the coming year, the Texas-born band continues to rock together on both national and international tours. On January 23, Bowling for Soup will bring their Lovin’ the Sun tour with co-headliner Lit to Vinyl Music Hall in downtown Pensacola. We had a chance to catch up with Reddick ahead of the group’s upcoming show in Pensacola to talk all things Bowling for Soup and pop punk, as well as learn about some of his latest projects as the band continues to captivate audiences with their witty lyrics and high-energy live performances.

Tickets to see Bowling for Soup live at Vinyl Music Hall on January 23 start at $35 and can be purchased online at To keep up with the band and their latest projects, follow @bowlingforsoup on Facebook or @bfs_official on Instagram.

DTC: What was it like growing up in Texas and getting into the punk scene?

JR: Well, there really wasn’t much of a punk scene when we were growing up—it was kind of just all stuff that we either saw on TV, or heard on albums [that were] passed down. The way that music used to spread [was by] somebody giving you a cassette or something. All of us had pretty normal childhoods, we ran around and shot BB guns and got dirty and rode motorcycles. I think all of us got bit by the music bug around the same time, and the kind of music that was drawing us in was what would later be [known as] pop punk. We didn’t really realize that we were helping to create [the genre] at the time. It was a good childhood and a good early band life as well.

DTC: In what ways did growing up in the South influence your music?

JR: I think mostly lyrically, just because listening to what my parents listened to [became] the kind of music that I listen to. You know, you’re in the car a lot as a kid and you listen to what your parents listened to. So Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers and things like that, it’s all just storytellers. That’s really how I learned songwriting—I loved the stories behind their songs. I think that would be the biggest influence for sure.

DTC: You released your first country album, Just Woke Up, in 2022. What prompted you to write and record a country music album after creating pop punk and rock music for almost 30 years?

JR: Releasing a country record was kind of always on the table for me. As I said, that’s what I grew up listening to. As Bowling for Soup got busier and busier, it became something that I didn’t know if I’d ever get a chance to do. But, the pandemic—though it took a lot of things away from us—did was afford us some time to go back and do some of these things. During the first year of lockdown, I wrote a Bowling for Soup record and we isolated and recorded it. Then the second year started, and I was like ‘Man, I think I finally got the time to do this!’ and I’m really glad I did it. I’m actually on the road with my country band as I’m talking right now. We’re down in Corpus Christi playing and we’re having a ball doing it. It’s been a successful first year for us and I’m really glad to be able to write those songs. It’s just a whole other outlet for me, artistically and another side of me that I get to show people. It’s exciting.

DTC: What can people expect from a live Bowling for Soup show?

JR: The good thing about our shows is that you kind of don’t know what to expect; we don’t use a setlist and we don’t pre-plan our comedy bits, it’s almost like you’re just hanging out with your friends. It’s a lot of fun. We’ll be playing with Lit and The Dollyrots, and those bands are family to us. [I’m] really excited to get there. The tour is just going to be a lot of fun [and a] lot of laughs.

DTC: Can you tell me a little bit more about your relationship with the guys from Lit? Why did you decide to tour together?

JR: We started out as fans of them because they had a hit when we were coming up. We have seen them several times, but we also had a bunch of mutual friends. I guess we met them around 20 years ago. We’ve crossed paths many times and have become friends over the years. We’re fans of them as people and we’re fans of them as a band. I think it just affords the people coming to the show a really great night of pop punk, rock and roll and a lot of smiles. Our two bands playing together just makes a lot of sense.

DTC: Over the years, how have your influences changed or impacted your music?

JR: What actually influences me [has changed]. I think back to the early days of writing songs, it was music, television, movies and things like that. Now, life influences me. I’m a father of three, a husband, a dog owner, a bandmate, a friend and those kinds of things. I like to sing about my life. It’s WHAT influences me that changes. I sort of take from every little piece of my life and my experience and try to put that into what it is I’m singing about.

DTC: How did you get into voice acting after having been a singer for so many years?

JR: Well, I was an actor as a kid, so being able to be creative with my voice and my body is something that I have always been able to do. When I got the chance to start working on some of the shows that I was doing musically, Phineas and Ferb being the biggest one, I was able to just ask and say, ‘Hey, I think I would be great,’ or at least ‘I think I’d be able to pull this off.’ The guys from Phineas and Ferb gave me a shot and let me audition. I actually got a bigger part than [the part] I auditioned for. That then led to other doors opening for me because then I could just say, ‘Hey, I’m doing this and I’d like to get more into it.’ Really just some luck, some determination and not being afraid to ask is really what got me there.

DTC: What are your thoughts on the current pop-punk scene? And who are some of the artists that you enjoy that are coming up right now?

JR: I think it’s a thriving scene. It was a few years ago when Mod Sun and MGK (Machine Gun Kelly) sort of revitalized the young people to pay attention to it. Now, we’ve got blink-182 back together and music festivals like When We Were Young—there are just so many things happening in this genre. You’ve [also] got New Found Glory, Yellowcard, Story of the Year and Bowling for Soup all out celebrating albums that came out 20 years ago. It’s just a good time to be in pop punk. I love a lot of bands that are coming up in this time, and I’m rediscovering some bands that maybe I didn’t listen to the first go around. There are TikTok bands like Loveless, who are out there doing it and kind of doing it in new ways, which is super cool. Then there are bands like CLIFFDIVER, Don’t Panic and Eternal Boy that are doing it more of the old-fashioned way and getting out there, grinding on the road and making sure that they’re connecting with the fans. It’s fun from my perspective, to just be able to watch and to be fans of them and to take them on the road when we can. I’m just a fan of music and I’m a fan of people and it’s cool to see.

DTC: What are some of the new things that you or the band are currently working on?

JR: Well, [I have] lots of country stuff coming out soon. Bowling for Soup will also be touring next year. It’s 30 years of us being Bowling for Soup and 20 years of A Hangover You Don’t Deserve, so there’s a lot to celebrate. We’ll be doing a few international things in the spring months. Then starting next summer, it’ll all be [about] celebrating the life of the band and this album. Then on into 2025, hopefully [we’ll] be looking at new music!