Up and coming band Army Of Freshmen are in the UK as the co-founders of the Get Happy Tour, I caught up with them at Southampton Guildhall to talk about rowboats to Ireland, and David Bowie's balls.

R13: How did you all get involved with The Get Happy Tour?
Aaron: We've been friends with Bowling For Soup for a while and we had an idea between the two of us to do something just for fun, instead of all the bands that are screaming and being unhappy and complaining a lot. It's just upbeat fun music where a kid can come out and just have a good time.
Dan: Parents don't need to worry about it, it's just going to be a good fun show with no cussing.
Owen: It's just all ages, let's go out and have good time.

R13: What's does an average day on tour have in store for you?
Dan: For me? You're looking at it!

(All laugh)
R13: Exciting stuff, eh?
Aaron: Get up around noon, get something to eat, take a shower, do some interviews, play a show, drink some beers, get some sleep.
Dan: Then do it again
Aaron: Eat some more food.
Owen: He eats a lot
Aaron: Yeah I eat a lot they drink their food.

R13: Where would you love to tour that you haven't yet?
All: Australia!
Dan: Jinx
Aaron: And Europe.
Dan: Yeah, Europe would be good.
Owen: We wanna go to Ireland bad!
R13: I wanna go to Ireland.
Dan: You're so close though!
R13: I know and I've never been!
Aaron: You can go for about 20 I think, it's like a train or something, underground.
Dan: No that's to Paris dude, that's the Chunnel.
Aaron: Oh, I don't know what I'm talking about.
Owen: There's a boat for 20!
Dan: And you have to row it yourself, but you can...oh, never mind
Owen: It's a raft, get on!

R13: How do tours in the UK compare to US tours?
Dan: Amazing!
Aaron: Big!
Dan: Yeah they're a lot bigger over here.
Aaron: A lot of big shows.
Owen: The kids are definitely a lot cooler, there's a lot of jaded fools in the states.
R13: Do you get a lot of scene kids in the States?
Aaron: Yeah, they're just spoilt they get every tour. I mean, every band wants to tour in the States.
Dan: Especially where we live, we're close to LA, so EVERY band comes through there and everybody has already seen everything and you can't impress anyone, it sucks!


R13: What's been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
Dan: Oh yeah! I do a handstand on my keyboard stand during the set and one time my keyboard stand actually broke while I was on it so I went crashing down and I almost broke myself, but the rock had to continue. That was embarrassing for me.
Owen: I gave myself a head butt on my keyboard and I almost got a bleeding nose. (Aaron laughs)
Dan: Chris our lead singer almost fell off stage once, that was pretty funny!
Aaron: Oh yeah! (laughs) I've fell down a few times, and our bass player fell down in Japan.
Dan: That was very funny, it was a huge, huge show.
Aaron: He fell down again recently and there's a video of it and the camera pans right off him and you here the loudest crash of all time. (All laugh)
Dan: You see his head in the shot and he just disappears.
Aaron: He falls right out of the frame!
Dan: You hear the bass making this really loud growling sound.
Aaron: My pants fell down once, that was awesome! I was playing guitar and I just had to carry on with no pants.

R13: What were you like when you were a teenager?
Dan: Boring!
Aaron: We were all hanging out together, we played sports in high school.
Owen: I guess we were nerds of sorts, we played some sports sometimes, every once in a while listened to Pink Floyd and wore tie-dye shirts. I wore flannels everyday.
Dan: Yeah we definitely wore some flannels, ripped jeans.
Aaron: Dan wore Uggs, he likes Uggs.
Dan: That was later, that was after...well, I guess I was 19. I had one pair of Uggs man!
Owen: He played water polo and wore Speedos.
Dan: We all were Speedos anyway, that's the norm.
Aaron: Speedos is the norm over here?
R13: I wouldn't go that far, well, maybe with old men.
(All laugh)
Owen: Speedos are the norm and there are 20 rowboats to Ireland.
Aaron: 20 rowboat to Ireland!
Dan: And you have to wear Speedos!

R13: Did you ever imagine yourself doing this kind of thing when you were a teenager?
Owen: No
Aaron: Not I had absolutely no idea, not at all.
Dan: Owen: I think Chris would answer that differently because it's been a passion of his his whole life.

R13: Who was your secret celebrity crush as a teenager?
Dan: Nicole Eggert.
Aaron: Oh, she's so hot!
Dan: I don't know if you know who that is, but she was on a show called Charles In Charge. She's still really hot, she was on Baywatch as well.
Owen: Mine was the Labyrinth and Jennifer Connelly, definitely and it still is.
R13: But also David Bowie in the Labyrinth, pretty hot!
All: Yeah!
Aaron: Except he has like this package, and you can't stop looking at it...I'm not gay!
Dan & Owen: Gay!
Owen: You can quote him saying "I can't stop looking at Bowie's balls!"
Aaron: You guys all know what I'm talking about! And you can quote me, I don't care!
Dan & Owen: Aaron Goldberg from Army Of Freshmen stares at David Bowie's balls!
R13: We've all been there, it's ok!
Dan: Not all of us!
R13: Why'd do you think I love the Labyrinth so much...(All laugh)

R13: What's your all time favourite film?
Dan: Of all time?
Owen: Oh god!
Aaron: You're making us pick one?
Dan: How long is that thing going to run for? We could rattle them off forever! Just go for it, go for your life!
Owen: Strange Brew, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas are these two Canadian beer drinkers and they get mixed up in these high jinx and they have to solve the capers, I don't know, it's just genious!
Dan: Office Space
Aaron: Oh yeah, that's a good one.
Dan: Fight Club
Owen: Shawshank Redemption is up there as well.
Dan: Awesome! We're never going to be able to pick one.
R13: I thought the Labyrinth would have been in there for you Aaron!
(All laugh)
Aaron: The Labyrinth!
Dan: You mean David Bowie in the Labyrinth!
Aaron: Anything with David Bowie's balls in it!
(All laugh)
Owen: I've got the Bowie's balls boxset at home...it's good!
(All laugh)

R13: How does it feel knowing that you've inspired a new generation to play music?
Owen: That's awesome, it's incredible.
Dan: It's pretty amazing, too good to be true.
Aaron: You don't really think about it from that angle when you're sitting down writing stuff.
Dan: We're just doing what we like to do and if that impacts on someone then that's even better, that's amazing. A big fringe benefit.


R13: When you see kids with tattoos of your band, do you take it as a compliment or does it freak you out?
Dan: I love it!
Aaron: Definite compliment, I think there's ten or twelve Army Of Freshmen tattoos now, we try to stay up on it and take pictures of them and put them on our website. It's awesome.
Owen: It's the most flattering thing ever that someone could want you on their body forever.
Dan: He's going to get a tattoo of Bowie's balls.
Owen: Yeah when he's on the rowboat to Ireland. Canoe to Ireland 15!

R13: Can you remember the first time you heard your song on the radio? How did you feel?
Owen: I do, it was 'Our Town'.
Dan: The first time I heard it was the CD release show that Kevin bought advertising for us, but I can't remember what song it was. It wasn't like a legitimate play.
Aaron: I don't remember it. I'm still trying to think of other ways to get to Ireland.

R13: This year marks your tenth anniversary as a band, have you got anything special lined up?
Dan: In October it will be, we haven't got anything planned yet maybe if you've got any ideas you can throw them our way.
Owen: I'm going to buy Aaron the Bowie's balls box set.
Aaron: We'll figure something out, maybe a black tie event, we could get the jackets with tails, top hats and canes, and swashbuckle Dumb And Dumber style.
Owen: Dumb and Dumber, great movie!
Dan: Anchor Man, Talladega Nights.
R13: I haven't seen that yet.
Dan: Oh you have to!
Owen: You have to, Ali G, Will Ferrell you got to see it.
R13: I saw Old School last night I wasn't too impressed.
Dan: Really? Old School's great!
Owen: You've gotta see it a few more times.
R13: I was disappointed, I thought it would be on par with Anchorman.
Aaron: No it's not, it's a little different.
Owen: Will Ferrell isn't the main man in it, it's more Vince Vaughan's thing.
Dan: No it's Luke Wilson's thing.

R13: What are the benefits of being independent?
Aaron: We don't have anyone to report to except ourselves.
Dan: We get to go everything on our terms which is awesome, but we also have to get the money to do everything on our terms which is not so awesome.
Owen: We own our records, we own our merch, so we do what we want.
R13: Didn't you have a load of gear stolen recently?
Aaron: We had a trailer stolen about a year and a half ago.
Dan: It was parked in front of Chris's house and someone stole it.
Aaron: The best part of that story is that the police said they knew who stole it but they wanted to bust them for drugs so they wouldn't raid their house on account of our musical equipment. They wanted to wait until they offloaded our musical equipment and then hit them for the drugs.
Owen: When they went into that residence they found our books, the paperbooks I kept, like record books, but not the laptop or any of that stuff that I use. Not they expensive stuff. They gave us the books back but it was like "well, where's all the equipment then?"
Aaron: They also don't like it if you call them the fuzz, just so you know. I almost got arrested because I called him the fuzz, he was like this short (about 5 ft) and he poured my beer out right in front of me and I was really upset so I called him Fuzz and he was like "Don't you ever call me fuzz!"
R13: Do you ever have days when you wish you were on a record label?
Aaron: Oh definitely, I'd like it for the fact that the record would be available. Distribution is the main thing we have a problem with, kids can't find our records. A lot of kids are good at going online and getting what they want, but you couldn't just walk into HMV and find it.
Dan: And for the marketing, there's only so much we can do connection wise, so that would definitely help.

R13: What's been your proudest career moment to date?
Dan: Getting reviewed in Kerrang! today was pretty awesome, that just came out so we're pretty excited about that.
Owen: We're on Scuzz too, so we're happy about that.
Dan: One of my favourite moments was this huge festival we played in Japan called Summer Sonic, and I'm a huge Alkaline Trio fan and we played and they were on right after us on the same stage. I was going to make love to them in a very non-gay way.
Owen: On that same day Davey Havoc from AFI was checking him (Dan) out.
Dan: Ha! He was it was so weird, he was looking me up and down, he had purple eye shadow, it was a good day!

R13: What do you still have left to achieve?
Dan: World domination.
Aaron: We'd like to do a lot more travelling, go to different countries. Get on some video channels.
Dan: Get our record distributed, not just in the States but also all over the world.

R13: What have you got coming up after the tour?
Dan: After the tour we have about a month off, we might do some touring in the States, but we're not sure yet. But we're definitely coming back here in May on the Good To Go tour, so you should come back for that.
Owen: Yeah, it's us, Wheatus, Punchline our buddies from Pitsberg, they've never been here before.
Dan: We want you to give them a proper British welcome, and give them biscuits.

R13: Thanks for your time guys, it's been great talking to you.