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20 Questions with Jaret Von Erich, 10/22/02



Bowling For Soup’s Singer Jaret Von Erich

If you’ve watched MTV lately and been lucky enough to actually catch a video, you might have seen Bowling For Soup’s video called "Girl All The Bad Guys Want." As they say on the street, these guys are "blowing up." We also might add that Butch Walker produced their latest CD and one of Jaret’s all time favorite CDs is by the Killer Dwarfs! That’s enough reason for us to do 20 Questions with lead singer Jaret Von Erich, who is a self proclaimied Sludgeaholic and wrestling fan! Now if they go Gold or Platinum, we can take credit for a little bit of that. Enjoy!

1. What are you currently up to? This is your only chance to promote your shit.
We are finishing up some radio shows in Canada, and in the US and then will go to the UK for most of October. Things are starting to get busy, and the song is doing well. Drunk Enough to Dance came out in late August, so we will be supporting it for a while.

2. Butch Walker was given co-writing credit on two songs. Exactly how much did Butch contribute? Were those songs that he had already written and then you just add a few words, or was it 50/50?
Both were songs he had started on his own and thought we should work on together. "Girl all the Bad Guys Want" was farther along than "Life After Lisa." I came in early one day and he showed me what he had for "Girl…," which was the intro riff, the vocal melody and some of the lyrics. I added the bridge and changed a few things, and we actually finished all of the lyrics while tracking. We just bounced words back and forth, and when we liked a line or two, we laid it down. There was some pretty funny shit that we thought the label would never go for, and we knew early on it would be a single candidate. "Life after Lisa" had a concept, and a start on the melody which changed a bit after we started in on it. We wrote the music, lyrics and melodies in about an hour, and then got drunk.

3. You guys had a song in the Britney Spears movie Crossroads. Have you ever met Britney before and how much dough did you guys get paid for that?
We didn’t get to meet her. We actually had the opportunity, but passed and thought we would see her when we shot our scene…she was off that day. I got 800 bucks and the guys all got about 400. They were all pissed..

4. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
I hate that some of the singers that could never pull off their own songs are still trying, but I give them props. The whole two bands touring as RATT was troubling, and I hear that Warrant is horrible live now. Does anyone still go see FOGHAT? They should ride off into the sunset.

5. Rate the following singers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being somebody who sucks and 10 being a vocal God.
This is a hard one, because many of the choices are fucking unbelievable frontmen, or just plain ROCK gods, but I wouldn’t say VOCAL god. This is the best I can do based solely on vocal rating, and taking being able to sing LIVE into account, SO, the highest rated may or may not be my favorite:
Deryk from Sum 41 = 6
A.Jay Popoff = 7
Vince Neil = 4…but I fucking love him
Jani Lane = 2
David Lee Roth = 8
Axl Rose = 3
Ozzy Osbourne = 5
Russ Dwarf = 8
Sebastian Bach = 9
Jon Bon Jovi = 9

6. On your website, you said that the Killer Dwarfs "Big Deal" is your 4th favorite album of all time. Of all the records in the world, how did "Big Deal" end up in your Top 10. Please explain.
I saw them on that tour in a small club in Lawton, Oklahoma. It was an awesome venue that all bands went to because of the huge army base there. They blew my mind with the amount of fun they had, and their vocal harmonies. I bought that album, and I still listen to it all the time. It really does fucking rock. It is one of those inexplicable albums that influence me to date.

7. It also lists that you hate the following bands: AC/DC, Creed, Godsmack, Limp Bizkit, and Led Zeppelin. Creed, Godsmack, and Limp Bizkit is understandable, but not too many people hate AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. What’s your problem with those two bands?
I have just recently become an AC/DC fan again. I think they put a bad taste in my mouth early because my brother ran their records into the ground. He used to turn them up really loud in his car, and I found the vocals ear piercing. I actually don’t hate them anymore. I just never got Led Zeppelin. I mean, I like some of their songs, and I do appreciate the fact that they influenced so many, and contributed to what music is today and all that shit, but I don’t get it. Of course, I still liked Black Sabbath when Mob Rules came out, and I catch a lot of shit for that, so what the fuck do I know?

8. Your guitar player, Christopher Van Malmsteen, is one fat dude. Hey, that’s cool, but are you ever worried that he’s going to drop dead during a show from a heart attack and what’s his current weight at?
No idea what he weighs, but I am sure it is a bunch. I get asked about this a lot and the truth is, the guy is happy the way he is and lives his life the way he wants. I do worry about him, but I know he is doing what he wants to do, and that is so much more than most can say. He would say the same if you asked him if he was worried that my dick was going to fall off due to the hectic masturbating schedule I keep.

9. You guys toured for years in a van all across the country. Tell us 5 things you learned traveling the country in a van.
1. If you don’t get along at home, someone may end up dead on the road.
2. Condiments are hard to have in the van. No dips for chips and shit like that. It is even hard to have ketchup on fries.
3. It is amazing how un-funny farts become in a van with seven guys after a few days. Sure, the sound will always get a laugh, but multiple farts by fat guys get people pissed off fast.
4. It is important to learn to drive, eat, talk on the phone, roll down the window, and read a map all at the same time.
5. Shower = GOOD.

10. Rate the following chicks on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a total mess and 10 being a hottie.
Gwen Stefani = 6
Avril Lavigne = 4
Debbie Gibson = 6
Lita Ford = 5
Anna Nicole Smith = 2
Dolly Parton = 5
Tara Reid = 7
Pamela Anderson = 6
Rosie O’Donnell = 1
Jewel = 6

11. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
This is hard, because there are many, and most can kick the shit out of me. Being controversial is not bad all the time, so I don’t want to pick the easy road here. I hear the guy in the Vines is a fucking psycho. Maybe someone should knock the shit out of him.

12. The last of Jaret:
Last CD you purchased = Eminem – The Eminem Show
Last rock star you met = Aaron Carter…does that count? If not, Tom from Jimmy Eat World.
Last magazine you purchased = STUFF
Last movie you saw = Spiderman
Last time you went bowling = about 2 months ago
Last fight you got in = Never been in a fist fight
Last live wrestling event you went to = 1987
Last 80s hair band you saw in concert = Poison
Last porno you watched = Aged to Perfection
Last time you had the shits = Last week

13. Is the song "Life After Lisa" about Butch’s ex-wife?
It IS about real life situations for both of us, but whether or not he was being that specific from his end, would be a question for him. The song is pretty true to life for both of us though.

14. Which do you prefer and why?
Aaron Lewis or Phil Lewis = I actually prefer Huey Lewis.
Mice or hamsters = Hamsters: because I am scared shitless of mice.
SR-71 or Injected = I like them both the same: haven’t heard enough of either to make an educated choice. Both singers have great hair though, I think.
Table dances for $10 or Private lap dances for $100 = Table dances for 10 bucks, because you can buy them for your friends and get to see how well your money was spent.
Quiet Riot or Tesla = FUCK, that is tough. I listened to Quiet Riot so early on, but Tesla was with me for years. We got to open for Quiet Riot and they were nice guys. Shit…Tesla!
South Park or Ren & Stimpy = Easy one: SOUTH PARK. Still the funniest thing on TV, and one of the greatest movie accomplishments of all time!!!
Britny Fox or Kix = KIX: Because they fucking worked at it for years and got a long deserved break. Remember the ads they used to take out in Hit Parader. No one knew who the fuck they were, but we all knew the name. I love stories like that.
Tom Green or Jackass = Tom Green – The Original. Before everyone started to recognize him, he did the funniest shit I have ever seen. And who didn’t want to make their dad’s car into the Lesbian Mobile?!?! GENIUS!!!
Bloodhound Gang or Insane Clown Posse = Bloodhound Gang – Jimmy Pop is funny, and uses it to get chicks. Props!!!
Completely shaved chicks or chicks with a landing strip = Landing Strip: If I want to see a bald one, I will change my nieces diaper.

15. What rock star has the worst wig you’ve ever seen?
Kevin Dubrow spends about 600 bucks on his weave a month, and up close, you would think he spent $6.00 a year. Horrible, but he can still sing his ass off!!!

16. Yes or no, has Jaret ever:
Had you ass kicked by a member of Pantera = No
Spent a night in jail = No
Had hair extensions = No
Seen Christopher eat at Subway = Yes
Met a Von Erich = Yes
Woke up in a puddle of your own piss = Yes. Many, many times.
Touched another guy’s dick = Yes
Masturbated to a photo of Mandy Moore = No
Rode a mechanical bull = Yes
Actually bowled for soup = No

17. Do you think you’d have more success if your band had a number at the end of the name, like Bowling For Soup 182 or Bowling For Soup 41?
We put our number in the middle. It was supposed to be "Bowling Four Soup," but they fucked it up on our first batch of t-shirts.

18. Are you a long lost member of the Von Erich brothers or just a Von Erich stalker?
Just a fan. They were my heroes growing up. Kevin still lives here in Denton, TX, and his daughter is in college here. She has e-mailed about how cool her dad thinks it is that I use their name because they were my heroes. He was supposed to come to a show last year, but has problems with his knees. It was enough that he expressed interest.

19. Does it frustrate you to see bands like The Strokes, The Hives, The White Stripes, and The Vines all having success and critics saying how great they are, while you guys get no love?
No, because most of those guys are doing some cool shit. We never expected to be a CRITICS choice. I don’t even know how to play the guitar. Fuck it…as long as the kids like what we do, we are happy.

20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Ozzy Osbourne = Ozzy was the reason I got into music, and people don’t react to me saying that the same way anymore. When I heard "Crazy Train" in early 1984 it was over. I knew I would never be the same. And now, he is fucking retarded, and I have a hard time believing that so many people used to be scared shitless of him.
Kid Rock = Likes beer, and I hear he has a big wiener. I hope so, because I think we all felt sorry for the NEXT GUY after we saw the video of Tommy Lee.
Nikki Sixx = Smart Mother Fucker, who created an amazing band that I still love. Great tattoos as well.
Gene Simmons = I met Gene Simmons about 5 minutes before he went on stage during the farewell tour in Dallas. He is bigger than life, and very intimidating, and perhaps has one of the smartest business senses in music. You think he was thinking about the show? Nope? He was talking with some guy about how much merch. per head they were doing, and let me tell ya, it was a bunch!!!!
Lars Ulrich = Dildo
Carson Daly = Doing something right, because all the chicks love the guy.
Sum 41 = Nice guys. Having the times of their lives, and it shows. Good for them.
MTV = I miss Headbangers Ball. I miss videos. I am not sure what else to say.
Aerosmith = Will go down in history as "The Greatest Rock and Roll Band Of All Time." Mark my words. You heard it here first kids!!!
Butch Walker = Musical genius, nice guy, great friend.

If you’d like to drop Jaret a line and tell him he sucks because he hates Led Zeppelin or that he rocks because he loves the Killer Dwarfs, you can do so at jaret@bowlingforsoup.com. For more info on Bowling For Soup you can go to www.bowlingforsoup.com.

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