The Bouncing Souls

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The Bouncing Souls
The Bouncing Souls performing on February 16, 2009 in Rosario, Argentina.
The Bouncing Souls performing on February 16, 2009 in Rosario, Argentina.
Background information
OriginNew Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresPunk rock, pop punk, skate punk, Oi![1]
Years active1989–present
LabelsRise, Chunksaah, Epitaph, BYO Records, Pure Noise[2]
MembersGreg Attonito
Pete Steinkopf
Bryan Kienlen
George Rebelo
Past membersShal Khichi
Michael McDermott

The Bouncing Souls are an American punk band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, formed in 1989. By the time of their acknowledgment by the national punk rock scene, they had reignited a "pogo" element to New Jersey punk rock by playing fast light-hearted songs, a model followed by various other local bands.


The four original members grew up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey and played in smaller bands while attending Ridge High School.[3] Although they decided to forgo college, they made the decision to move to a college town; New Brunswick, NJ, which is the home of Rutgers University. New Brunswick had a reputation for supporting underground music, and over the years had seen not only musical acts but actors enjoy professional success. The Bouncing Souls not only became a staple in the New Brunswick music scene, but also helped other bands gain an audience by opening up for them in the clubs around town, as well as parties and shows they put on themselves. The band's name is a derivative of Doc Martens shoes, specifically their advertising slogan "with Bouncing Soles". Doctor Martens air-cushioned soles are a staple of punk dress.[4][5][6]

Their first full-length album, The Good, The Bad & The Argyle was released in 1994 on Chunksaah Records, their own label. The album was a compilation of several EPs the band had released previously. Two tracks of this record, "Candy" (popularized by The Strangeloves and covered by many other groups) and "What Boys Like" (originally by the Waitresses) served as homage to 1980s new wave while simultaneously striking a humorous jab at homophobia. Their next album, Maniacal Laughter was released in 1996. Half the album was written in a week. It led to a high-profile tour with Youth Brigade that got the attention of Epitaph Records.

The Bouncing Souls signed with Epitaph in 1997 and released The Bouncing Souls later that year. While it contains some Bouncing Souls classics like "Cracked", "Kate is Great", and "East Coast Fuck You!", certain tracks on the record are anticlimactic in comparison to their lo-fi earlier recordings. Greg himself stated on Do You Remember? 15 Years of the Bouncing Souls that "It's a CD of unfinished songs". Hopeless Romantic followed in 1999. Hopeless Romantic has been heralded for admixing poignant lyrics with their melodic rapidly paced punk style.[7][8] Soon after the album's release, personal problems arose between the band and long-time drummer Shal Khichi which resulted in his departure from the band. He was replaced by former Skinnerbox, Mephiskapheles, and Murphy's Law drummer, Michael McDermott.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation was the first album released with the new line-up. By now, the band had become viewed as seminal to the modern punk sound, with a new generation of fans discovering their earlier releases[2] as they toured with newer bands as well as larger punk acts such as Hot Water Music. 2002 brought a b-sides album, The Bad, the Worse, and the Out of Print and an acclaimed split with Anti-Flag as part of the BYO Split Series. In 2003, the band released their sixth album Anchors Aweigh, as well as their first DVD, Do You Remember? 15 Years of the Bouncing Souls. In 2005, they had two live releases, a double CD album, simply titled Live, as well as a DVD, titled Live at the Glasshouse, which was the 19th entry in Kung Fu Films' The Show Must Go Off! series. The band released their seventh album, titled The Gold Record on June 6, 2006, or 6/6/06 which the band has called "The release of the beast", in reference to 666, which is known as "The number of the beast". Also, due to their first full-length record being a collection of previous releases, many fans also consider this to in fact be their sixth studio album, and thus 666 is also partly in reference to this. They then headed out on the 2006 Warped Tour in support of the record, and again three years later, in 2009.[9]

In 2008, while at the Vans Warped Tour stop in their home state of New Jersey, the band helped Music Saves Lives raise the blood supply by signing a guitar for the non-profit to auction off.

In 2009, the band released a series of sixteen digital songs and four 7" EPs as part of the 20th Anniversary Series. Twelve of these songs were being released into an album titled Ghosts on the Boardwalk which was released on January 12, 2010. In 2011, the band was the first to be featured on SideOneDummy's The Complete Control Sessions series of live recordings. The band's contribution to the series features six songs, one of which is a Misfits cover.

The Bouncing Souls released their ninth studio album, Comet on June 12, 2012 via Rise Records, their first album for that label. The artwork and track listing was released on March 12, 2012, along with the album's third track, "Static," which is available to be streamed online.[10]

On 25 June 2013, The Bouncing Souls confirmed that drummer Michael McDermott would be leaving the band in order to 'pursue other musical interests'. The band later added they don't know what's next for them, whilst suggesting the remaining members will continue performing in the band.[11] McDermott would later join Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.

On September 26, 2013, George Rebelo of Hot Water Music and Against Me! officially joined the band as the new drummer during a secret show at Asbury Lanes.

The band released their tenth studio album, Simplicity on July 29, 2016. On March 15, 2019 the band released the 6 song Crucial Moments EP along with a new book to celebrate the band's 30th anniversary.[12][13]

On October 23, 2020, the Bouncing Souls released their eleventh studio album, Volume 2. The album contains songs from their previous records re-recorded in new styles, along with a new song, "World on Fire."[14]


Studio albums



  • Greg Attonito – vocals (1989–present)
  • Pete Steinkopf – guitar (1989–present)
  • Bryan Kienlen – bass (1989–present)
  • George Rebelo – drums (2013–present)


  • Shal Khichi – drums (1989–2000)
  • Michael McDermott – drums (2000–2013, has occasionally joined the band to play a few songs at shows since his departure)



  1. ^ Oshinsky, Matthew (April 26, 2017). "Paste Sessions: Watch The Bouncing Souls Play Rare Acoustic Set". Paste.
  2. ^ "The Bouncing Souls".
  3. ^ Rockland, Kate. "The Band They All Ache To Become", The New York Times, December 5, 2004. Accessed September 12, 2019. "The Bouncing Souls are true sons of New Jersey and have the tattoos to prove it.... Fifteen years ago, at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, the Souls were just your typical sweet, pierced, rock 'n' roll outcasts. And because they were high school wretches -- honestly, aren't there any punks anywhere who were captain of the football team? -- they say it was satisfying to film their video 'Gone' (2001) in the halls of their old school."
  4. ^ "Dr. Martens Official". Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  5. ^ "50 years of Dr Martens". The Guardian. October 30, 2010 – via
  6. ^ Records, Epitaph (July 16, 2003). "Check out a new interview with the Bouncing Souls!". Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  7. ^ [1] Archived March 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Bouncing Souls – Hopeless Romantic". Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  9. ^ "Bouncing Souls – Hardcore Til Death". Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  10. ^ "The Bouncing Souls Release Date + Track Listing + Single – News Article". Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  11. ^ "Our brother and band mate Michael... – The Bouncing Souls". Facebook. Archived from the original on February 26, 2022. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  12. ^ Makin, Bob. "Makin' Waves: 30 Years of Crucial Moments with the Bouncing Souls | The Aquarian". Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  13. ^ "Bouncing Souls announce 30th anniversary tour, EP & book, share song". Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  14. ^ "The Bouncing Souls Bring Back Surprising Renditions of Fan Favorites on Volume 2". October 20, 2020.
  15. ^ "The Bouncing Souls". Retrieved March 11, 2020.

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