Shearer’s Spotlight: An Appreciation Of The Bouncing Souls


Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer?s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 countdown when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT tomorrow morning.

This week I?m being spoiled. Over a course of four days?tonight being the fourth?punk rock veterans and one of my favorite bands ever, the Bouncing Souls, will be playing their entire album catalog (two albums per night) at the Highline Ballroom in New York City.

If you?re not familiar with the Jersey punks, here?s a quick history:

The Bouncing Souls formed in 1987 and built an underground following by playing punk rock music infused with a humorous pop sensibility. In the mid-90?s, when punk bands like Green Day and Blink-182 were inking major label record deals, the Bouncing Souls decided to stay independent, even banning themselves from MTV.

Over 20 years later, the Bouncing Souls?who don?t look much different than they did when I first saw them perform live?are usually out on tour, playing packed-beyond-capacity venues around the world.

Here are three things a younger band could learn from the Bouncing Souls:

Prophets of Profit

In the 1990?s, The Bouncing Souls could have easily given any MTV-made punk band a run for their money, but instead took a D.I.Y. approach to defining success. Years later, the Internet has diluted the music industry, leaving most bands to survive off of income from touring and merchandise, a business model the Bouncing Souls have been successfully implementing for years.

Soccer Chants

When you want a song to reach the masses, it doesn?t hurt if you cop a cheer from the most popular sport on the planet. Over the years, the Bouncing Souls have tailored-made soccer chants??Here We Go!? and ??Ol?!??into their own punk rock anthems.


Throughout their career, when other artists were releasing self-indulgent, double-deluxe albums, the Bouncing Souls were putting out LPs that were shorter than episodes of Seinfeld. Not only did the Bouncing Souls avoid inner band conflict by trying to piece together lengthy, experimental studio efforts, but because they avoided making filler, listening back to their catalog now is like eating a cut of filet from the best steakhouse in town.

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