Dan Campbell, ook wel bekend als ‘Soupy’, is de zanger van The Wonder Years. In de jaren zonder blink-182 hebben enkele bands het stokje van de grootheden overgenomen. Een van deze nieuwe vaandeldragers heet The Wonder Years.
My name is Dan or Soupy, whatever’s easier for you.
Soupy, is it something you’re used to now?
Yeah, I’ve been called Soupy since I’ve been seven, maybe, so it’s almost been twenty years now. I am pretty used to that, haha.
When you introduce yourself, would you rather say ‘Soupy’ than ‘Dan’?
I try to say ‘Dan’ now, because I am now 25 and Soupy sounds a little… I don’t know. Especially when I’m trying to meet people that you have a certain respect for, trying to be professional.
Mr Obama, I’m Soupy.
I meet president Obama once or twice a week, so that’s nothing new, haha.
Did you name yourself after the amazing series called ‘The Wonder Years’?
I don’t know what you’re talking about(grijns). For legal reasons I never heard of any show. We had the advice to say it, so I always say it, haha.
‘Suburbia I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing’ doesn’t necessarily sound very different from ‘The Upsides’, but it seems like you made a lot of progress.
That was kind of the idea. We didn’t want to go 180 on everyone, but we didn’t want to write two similar records. We had brought in Nick, so now we play another guitar and keyboards, it adds another layer. We tried to do some different things in songwriting, as dynamics go. Like quieter parts, faster parts etc. We also put some interludes on the record, things we hadn’t done before then. We also recorded with a different producer, he added more of a natural sound to it. We made some changes, haha.
But how is it different from the overall sound?
I think it’s richer, darker. More dynamic. You could say it’s a richer and darker version of ‘The Upsides’.
In that way it isn’t too much of a big step from ‘The Upsides’.
Yeah, haha. I just didn’t want it to sound like the second part of that album.
With new songs, isn’t hard to adjust the setlist without having to remove older songs?
Yeah, we have some problems with that. We are playing short sets and are trying to play half and half, new songs, old songs. Mix it up. People are responding really well to the new songs too, I am really happy with that.
The band once said that every record is ‘a break or make record’.
Every record better be the next step up, we don’t want to take any steps backward. For us it’s like important to write the best record we can write.
Doesn’t that put a lot of extra pressure on yourselves?
Yeah, but I think the pressure is good. The pressure keeps us going, keeps us working as hard as we can work. It’s a healthy pressure.
You were on the ‘Pop Punk’s Not Dead’ tour along with the likes of new Found Glory, Man Overboard, Set Your Goals. Apparently that’s poppunk. But a band like Set Your Goals tend to hardcore now and then.
I think it’s up to Set Your Goals. I think they call their band melodic hardcore a lot of the time, which is a pretty accurate definition of them as well. SYG do a lot of cool stuff which a lot of bands aren’t doing.
How would you define yourselves?
We try to keep it simple. We just say we are a pop punk band. I don’t want to… The genre terms are so… Like, people argue about them for so long that we don’t even bother. We just say ‘You can call it his if you want to. Here you go.’ But I’ve seen people arguing some ridiculous things about genres before and getting really heated about it. So, we… You can call it pop punk if you want to call it pop punk.
What’s the weirdest genre you’ve ever been named?
The most annoying we’re getting called like… ‘Happy hardcore’ is a really annoying one. Isn’t that a kind of techno? I don’t understand it. I think that they think that a pop band with hardcore influences must be happy hardcore, but it’s actually techno. ‘Easycore’ is really annoying, ‘beardcore’ is very annoying. ‘Popcore’… Anything with ‘core’ in it. There’s nothing really ‘core’ about our band, haha. I’m sure Black Flag would be upset that ‘core’ is attached after so many things.
The whole pigeon theme around the band, ‘My Life As A Pigeon’ and Hank the Pigeon, it’s awesome.
Yeah, I really like pigeons! We are really into animals, it’s cool. Because there is a pigeon in every city in the entire world and nobody wants any of them there. But they stay there and flourish there. The whole world wants the pigeon gone and the pigeon stays anyway. It’s a big ‘F#ck you!’ of an animal, I love that.
It’s a bit of a metaphor for your album.
A little bit. It works for us a little bit, especially in our earlier days where we didn’t feel as wanted or included in our life. The business side of this as we would have preferred it to be. We were going to school, which made touring more difficult, obviously. And when you’re not touring full time, a lot of people aren’t as interested in your band but we felt we were working really hard. We were developing a big fanbase despite that. That’s kind of our pigeon-y thing. We were going to be there whether we were asked to be there or not.
What do you think about Nickelback?
Ehh… Canadians… Hahaha. Ehh… They do what they do, haha.