For the seventh straight year, The Bouncing Souls are bringing the holiday spirit to Asbury Park with their Home For The Holidays showcase Dec. 26 to Dec. 29. Being an avid fan and supporter of these Jersey legends, it is one of my favorite times of the year, for it puts all music fans in the holiday spirit.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Greg Attonito, lead singer of The Bouncing Souls, about his thoughts on the showcase, art and more. Check it out below:
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me, Greg. I cannot believe the seventh annual Home For The Holidays showcase is about to go down. It feels like it just started! Does it seem real that it has been this many years?
Oh my god, no it doesn’t at all! It seriously kind of mixes together in my mind, for now they are all at The Stone Pony, it’s becoming more of a routine. One year we did it at the Grand Arcade, which was awesome, too! It has gotten bigger, though, for we only used to do three nights. Now we do four and everyone seems pretty excited on that. However, no, it does not seem that long!
For people who are unfamiliar, this is more than just a live concert; these are all-day affairs, involving some pretty cool causes and charities. Can you tell us a little bit more? I have been urging people to see chunksaah.com.
Yes, absolutely. Please visit www.chunksaah.com for all of those details so I can get the information all correct. We have so many cool things going on—photo exhibits at Russo Music, art shows at Asbury Lanes. We like to involve a lot of elements to go along with the shows and really make it a whole weekend affair. Definitely visit the website and check it out. Even if you cannot make a show, you can hopefully make one of our events!
Being a local music buff myself, I have to ask: How do you pick the openers each night? Is it the same process every year? You have so many good bands opening up this time around.
You know, I am kind of like you on that one; I am a fan of the openers, too. Pete [Steinkopf, guitars] and our manager, Kate [Hiltz], have their ear to the ground on that stuff, for they are really knowledgeable on that stuff. Everybody in the band and Kate kind of throw in their two cents on what we’re into at the time and then they take the ball and run with it. I love watching all of the opening acts and I am really looking forward to the many we have this year!
This all seems to happen rather quickly, though I am sure on your end that isn’t the case. What time of year do you guys actually start planning these showcases?
I’d have to say August to September. I mean, we are always thinking about it, brainstorming ideas on what we want to do. Again, plugging Kate, but she does a lot with this as well.
Musically, there are always ideas tossed around—that never goes away—but there is so much coordination and execution on the back ends for these events it takes a few months!
Kudos to all of you and Kate! Now, every year, myself and I am sure all of your fans sit on the edge of our seats to see who will be writing the setlists. Wrestler CM Punk, in my opinion, was a brilliant choice last year. This year, you guys took a “family”-like approach. Can you tell us a little bit more about the “OGs,” as you guys like to call them?
Yeah! We kind of had this idea that we wanted to involve the people that were the subject or titles of our songs. Most of our songs are about a specific person at times, so we thought that would be a great approach.
We asked a lot of people to get involved and write setlists, and then we decided to expand that idea a bit further. We asked people who were involved in our documentary [Do You Remember? 15 Years Of Bouncing Souls]—which came out many moons ago—then asked anyone who has been involved—roadies, crew, friends and anyone we considered to be a family. We’re really excited on this one.
You seem to be very into the holiday spirit! I even saw you are personalizing and designing holiday cards, which is super cool.
Thanks! I just kind of finished it all; I did it last year, too. I do a ton of visual art.
People love it. You know, it kind of answers itself. You get people who love the band, who want to surprise someone, so they get a personal message, a really nice design, and it makes a great gift. I love to do it. It’s cool for me
You have an art show at the Asbury Lanes on Friday, Dec. 27. Will some of the cards be on display?
Yeah, I have a ton of stuff to showcase. I have some paintings I do, incorporating some old school Asbury Park postcards, and a bunch of other stuff. It should be great.
I think it’s safe to say that these shows put everyone in the holiday spirit. For you personally, what is the most important part of these showcases?
It’s so hard for me to put it in perspective. It’s such a cool thing. For me, it ends up being hard work, so I see it differently. I sort of lose perspective sometimes because we’re working, but it takes me seeing how other people see it.
People travel from around the world to come to this thing, and that is so awesome. It’s literally a four-day family holiday party…literally! The emotions are the same. Half of it is hard work, but you love everyone (laughs).
That is so true! Now, this may be hard to answer, but if the fans keep on coming, will the tradition continue?
It’s something we talk about every once in a while. Anything can happen at any time. We have no plans not to do it.
As far as where we stand, we will keep doing it if our fans keep coming! We love it!
You can catch The Bouncing Souls at their Home For The Holidays showcase at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park from Dec. 26 to Dec. 29. Tickets are available now, and for more information on all of the events they are doing, visit chunksaah.com.