What more could a '90s kid ask for? We sat down with actor/musician Thomas Ian Nicholas (A Kid in King Arthur's Court, Rookie of the Year, American Pie) and Bowling for Soup lead singer and guitarist, Jaret Reddick. They give us an inside look at their budding bromance as well as their latest single collaboration, 1999.
EBW: It's so nice to talk to you guys and meet you face to face.
JARET: You too, man. Absolutely. We're both excited about it.
I can't even begin to tell you how surreal this is. But let's talk about you guys. I mean first of all, how did you two meet?
@ebaumsworld American Pie star Thomas Nicholas (@tinband) and Bowling For Soup frontman Jaret Reddick (@jaretreddick) tell us how they became friends. #americanpie ? original sound - eBaum’s World
JARET: We have a funny pre-story that Thomas actually didn't even realize. But we were trying to get him on my podcast called 'Jaret Goes to the Movies', which would end up being the reason we would meet. It's funny so my producer reached out to him and he was like, "Yeah, no I don't really do anything like from the past. I'm really focused on this one thing." And when you hear it from his mouth now, it's like, oh, well that makes sense. You were focused on this thing. You had worked really hard on and you're trying to do that. But like for me you know, second hand from my producer, I'm like, well f*** that guy.
And I had so many people tell me that you've gotta meet this Thomas Ian Nicholas, you guys are so similar. You guys are gonna be such good friends. I'm like no man, that guy turned me down. Well, I sort of follow him on Instagram and I got him to do an episode of 'The Rockstar Dad Show' to promote the other podcast.
And I was like, okay, this guy's like the coolest dude in the world. So when I was telling the rest of the cast from 'Jaret Goes to the Movies', I'm like we've got Thomas on. What happened to the fact that he didn't ever wanna talk to us? Apparently there was a bit of a miscommunication and I'll let you explain that Thomas from your perspective.
THOMAS: I vaguely put it together, but what was happening is I was doing 'Adverse' and it's a very serious film and a different turn for my career in what I'm known for in comedy. So my business partner and the director and the writer who had honed me into this completely different character were like, listen. If we're gonna get any respect with this film, you've gotta steer away from all nostalgia while we're promoting this movie.
And I mean, I've already done retro screening events and Comic-Cons, and signed pictures as Henry Rowengartner and done the whole nine. But he was like, when we're doing this, you gotta do this. And so that was my M.O. I just started turning down everything nostalgic while nostalgia was on the rise, especially during the lockdown. And it was hurting me. So that was not a fair representation of me. And par for the course, Jaret had every right to say 'F' this guy. What I was being instructed to do was right to a degree. 'Adverse' was well received by critics and audiences alike. And we opened up, big film festivals in Portugal.
I beg to differ though. I think if I had done 'Jaret Goes to the Movies', I don't think Fantasporto in Portugal would've been like "What? We were gonna have you open up this film festival, but you talked about 'American Pie' with Jaret Reddick."
JARET: Hindsight is 20/20 though, right? Like if I ever get arrested for a murder, and they're telling me not to talk to anybody or whatever, uh, they can go f**k themselves. I'm gonna tell everybody that I did not commit that murder.
THOMAS: But some of my best friends growing up were the ones that I had major beef with the first time I met them. I remember one of my best friends, I think he pulled the beanbag chair out from under me at acting class, and I nearly broke my tailbone. And we just hated each other, then we were best friends.
JARET: I mean, it was pretty instant. He wanted to talk through some stuff about coming into town and what to expect doing the 'Jaret Goes to the Movies' live event for 'American Pie.' I'm not a phone talker, but that phone conversation was like two hours long. And we came up with ideas for projects we were gonna do together-
THOMAS: Started talking about doing a podcast together.
JARET: Yeah it's called 'What the Hell is Wrong with Me?' and it's just about all the quirks that people have.
THOMAS: Oh right! Cuz we were talking about all the hoarding that I was doing. Why do I have all this sh*t that I'm moving? I'm a hoarder. I must be a secret hoarder. And then it was like, well that could be an episode of a podcast.
JARET: It's like this stack of drives that I have right here. I don't even have the cable to go in this thing. But there's a f**king stack of these things over here, and I can't get rid of them for whatever reason.
You guys are perfect together. So whose idea was it for you to cover Bowling for Soup's '1985'?
JARET: He says it's me, but I don't really know.
THOMAS: No, no, no, no, no. I'll tell you how it happened. So we did this live podcast. I was so stoked to be doing something with Jaret and Bowling for Soup. So then I was like I wanna play a show afterwards. Like, will he get up and play an acoustic show? I know Jaret doesn't normally do that for these events, but he agreed to it. And Jaret plays '1985' and you just turn and go, we should be singing lyrics about 'American Pie'. It was just an off the cuff remark. And so then we started trying to do it, but because of the one or 10 beers that we had during the podcast it kind of fell on its a**. The next day I dummied up some lyrics that I spent like an hour and a half working on. I texted them to Jaret, so he goes, "oh, that's really funny. We should make a TikTok video." And so again, you sparked the idea, but I followed it up.
JARET: He took the idea though, of me just messing around with it and actually wrote a verse and chorus in his hotel room and it went bonkers. That's when you blew up on TikTok, right?
THOMAS: I just recorded the TikTok of me doing the first verse chorus. And Jaret's like "Come to Dallas, come to my house, let's punch up these lyrics, you got some good ideas, but every line's gotta hit hard." And so we did that. I sang in his studio, he's like, "Bowling for Soup's gonna back you up." And then Jaret sang the harmonies. I couldn't even imagine that this would transpire just from Jaret being funny in the moment and I took it to heart, but here we are.
It's crazy. We were just talking in our pre-production meeting about how 'American Pie' was almost meme-worthy before memes were around. It was like you had "This one time, in band camp." And everybody was just quoting it every day in school.
@ebaumsworld Thomas Nicholas @tinband and Jaret Reddick @jaretreddick ? original sound - eBaum’s World
JARET: That's one of those ones where it's like "this one time." Those three words will never be the same. It's almost like when somebody says something about a van, "you live in a van down by the river." Or "you're killing me smalls." And so poor kids now, they're going into junior high and they're going to band camp and their parents and friends are like, oh, "this one time."
THOMAS: That's I think my favorite line in '1999' is leading into the second chorus. I think the line is "Michelle used Jim just like this one time at band camp. She used her flute to play some Pearl Jam, Green Day..."
JARET: If you're gonna do a parody, every single line has to matter.
THOMAS: All killer, no filler.
JARET: That's a very good way to put it. He came and our process was really good, and I was like we should just write a song for you.
THOMAS: We haven't recorded it yet, but it's one of my best songs that I've ever been a part of writing. It's definitely going on my seventh album. Which now I can say I've got one song with Jaret Reddick, one song with Ace Enders from The Early November. I've got it lined up to go with Tom Higgenson from Plain White T's, Lit, AJ and Matt from The Dangerous Summer. It's gonna be a good record.
JARET: Wouldn't it have been funny if you were like, "It's gonna be on my seventh album. I'm about to release my fourth one."
Like yeah, "We'll hold onto that one." So let's talk eBaum's World a little bit. Do you have any favorite memories about the site, viral clips, memes, anything you wanna shout out?
@ebaumsworld Jaret Reddick @jaretreddick of Bowling For Soup talks about his love for the classics. #ebaumsworld #gijoepsa #porkchopsandwiches #internetnostalgia ? original sound - eBaum’s World
JARET: Absolutely man I think it was when we were making 'Drunk Enough to Dance.' We stumbled upon those G.I. Joe PSAs and funnily enough we still quote those all the time. I mean, it's like, if at anytime you're like hey Gary asked for a drumstick. You're like "Don't give him the stick!" And you know, "Pork chop sandwiches." We saved all those lines from that still. And correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Homestar Runner on there at one point.
So Homestar Runner is separate, but that was all the same era.
JARET: We were going back and forth between those two. Bowling for Soup spent a lot of hours messing around on there. So a lot of time making our second biggest album - eBaum's World pretty much helped us get through that time.
That's amazing. Well the younger generations don't realize there was no YouTube back then. It wasn't something that existed, you know? It was eBaum's World, Homestar Runner, Newgrounds.
THOMAS: This is all before the days of like, you can access memes in your text messages. You can even like download 500 apps to generate your own meme. Right? That didn't exist back then. When we were still on AOL and Prodigy.
I don't know if you guys were ever fans of the soundboards, but I remember just totally loving the Arnold Schwarzenegger one.
JARET: Jesus, yeah. I forgot that that was on there. So as you say full circle for you, being a Bowling for Soup fan. It was in Newport, and Thomas had posted the '1999' little fast track video that we had done. I'm looking at it. I go, holy sh*t, eBaum's World just liked your post or whatever. I'm like running around "Gary, Chris! eBaum's World just liked this." And they don't get excited about anything, you know? That was pretty nuts. So I feel the same way. I've gotta be honest, man there's a nostalgic aspect of this for me too. And it definitely takes me back.
For sure. And I thank you guys so much for doing this. So Thomas, you actually covered the 'American Pie' soundtrack is that correct?
THOMAS: Yeah it was my 'Frat Party' album, which was my sixth album. I picked my favorite songs from the 'American Pie' soundtracks. But I also bent the rules a little bit. We did a cover of 'Stacy's Mom' which I know Bowling for Soup also has one, but we sang 'Stifler's Mom' instead.
And that was actually where I was going. You guys both covered that song, which I think is really just kind of cosmic that you did that and now you're just making music together, you know?
THOMAS: Yeah, it just shows that we're like-minded.
JARET: I didn't know the Stifler's mom thing existed. I knew he was in a band, and that he made music. I produced and wrote two songs on a Blues Traveler record that Thomas is on as well. But I didn't know about their Stifler's mom thing, people love that sh*t.
THOMAS: That was the best thing. When I opened up for Jaret and Rob in Baltimore, I said hey man are you playing 'Stacy's Mom' tonight in your set? And he's like, "No you can go ahead and do that one." So I opened with 'Stifler's Mom' and most of the lyrics are the same. But the crowd instantly was singing along with me. And I was like, oh my gosh, Bowling for Soup fans are the coolest audience that I have ever played in front of.
So is there any chance that you guys eventually do a tour together?
JARET: He's actually gonna come over to Ireland with us in December and do some dates, and then we have a show that he actually got me on in Hawaii in October. So I think that there'll be quite a few opportunities.
That's so cool. Well we'll definitely be following you on the socials and everything.
THOMAS: I think we need some crossover memes. Just saying. 'American Pie', Bowling for Soup, eBaum's memes.
JARET: We should do a deal, because so many pop punk bands were on the 'American Pie' soundtrack but we weren't. We should just start giving ourselves credit for that soundtrack. Even though we didn't do it. Every radio interview I do they're like, oh man, my favorite song is 'Stacy's Mom.' And I'm like, that's great. I'll let Fountains of Wayne know that you like it so much.
THOMAS: My plan is if we do 'American Pie 5' I'm campaigning. I might even just put it in my contract as part of my deal that they have to put a Bowling for Soup song in the soundtrack or they don't get me. They don't get Kevin without Bowling for Soup.
JARET: There we go. I love it.
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