Bowling For Soup LP So Upbeat, 'It's Like Being Licked By Puppies'

Singer calls album 'happiest collection of songs ever put on [a CD].'

Earning another Grammy nomination would be nice, but Bowling for Soup's big goal for 2004 is to meet their favorite celebrity — Nick Lachey.

"We're gonna meet him and he's going to love us," singer Jaret Reddick said. "He's funny and laid-back; we're funny and laid-back. He likes Miller Light; we like Miller Light. He's obviously into hot chicks; we're way into hot chicks. And here's the coolest thing about Nick that I'm excited about for when we become best friends: He goes on little adventures all the time! He's gonna be like, 'Hey, dude, let's go bungee jumping today!' "

Musically, pop-punkers Bowling for Soup have less in common with Lachey, but the band does salute his home state (sort of) in one of their songs, "Ohio (Come Back to Texas)."

The tune, which calls out Ohioan Drew Carey but not Lachey, is one of the many lighthearted looks at love and life featured on Bowling for Soup's seventh album, released last week.

"It's the happiest collection of songs ever put onto compact disc," Reddick bragged last week. "Seventy-one minutes of pure rock goodness."

"It's like being licked by seven puppies," added guitarist Chris Burney.

In other words, the album's title, A Hangover You Don't Deserve, is hardly fitting for a collection of tunes that includes "Shut-Up and Smile," "Get Happy" and "Trucker Hat."

"We [got the title from] talking about the various types of hangovers," Burney explained. "The most common is the hangover you actually deserve. You do a lot of drinking, come home and go to sleep and you wake up and your head hurts. Then you have the one where you drink two beers, take some vitamins, a couple aspirin, put the little sleep thing over your eyes, you go to sleep and wake up the next morning and it's like a herd of buffalo kicked you in the head. That's the hangover you don't deserve."

The follow-up to Drunk Enough to Dance (seeing a theme here?), which featured the Grammy-nominated "Girl All the Bad Guys Want" (see "Who The Hell Is The Grammy-Nominated Band Bowling For Soup?"), is highlighted by Bowling for Soup's latest single, "1985."

Like several of the 17 tracks on A Hangover You Don't Deserve, it's packed with pop culture references. "She knows every line/ 'Breakfast Club,' 'Pretty in Pink'/ Even 'St. Elmo's Fire,' " Reddick sings in one verse. "She rocked out to Wham/ Not a big Limp Biscuit fan."

"It's about a lady who is stuck in that era," the singer explained. "A lot of the references didn't happen in 1985, but it rhymed better with 'preoccupied.' ... I love the '80s. Life was a John Hughes movie. It was a really happy time. I'm glad I grew up then. As dreary as music and movies got in the '90s, I wouldn't have wanted to go through adolescence then."

"1985" is also meant to bridge the gap between parents and the "14-year-old girl who comes to our show and thinks her mom is really uncool, but [the mom] was listening to the same stuff we were, growing up," Reddick added. "And though she probably still does listen to it, most moms who bring kids to rock shows are pretty cool."

For the video, Bowling for Soup wanted to parody all their favorite '80s videos, but their budget limited them to a few.

"We knew we wanted to do the Mötley Crüe thing that was going to take a lot of money, so we went with ones that even kids would recognize," Reddick said. "The George Michael ['Faith' parody] was very easy 'cause all we had to do was rent a jukebox. We were going to hire a stunt butt for that scene, but I cast my own butt."

"I had a sit-down with the director and said, 'Man, you really gotta check out his butt. It's great,' " bassist Erik Chandler chimed in.

After touring for more than a year behind Drunk Enough to Dance, Bowling for Soup returned to Denton, Texas, and wrote some 40 songs. The band then moved in to producer Butch Walker's (Avril Lavigne, Sevendust) house in Atlanta and recorded the album in two and a half weeks.

"It was really fun to make," Reddick said. "It was really laid-back. We just hung out a lot, didn't do 16-hour a days or anything."

"You were in trouble if you didn't have a beverage in your hand by 5," Chandler said.

Hence the hangovers.