The track comes alongside a positive mental health themed video.
Continuing their 25 year celebration year by releasing their take on a variety of songs that are near and dear to them, Texan pop punk favourites Bowling For Soup present their latest cover. It’s a song especially close to the band’s hearts, and that of frontman Jaret Reddick in particular. The song in question is HRSA by their fellow Texans Blue October, a band that they have extensive history with.
There’s quite the story around this particular cover, so please watch the video, and then we’ll hand over to Jaret to tell the full tale:
“We met Blue October many, many years ago. Both bands are from Texas. We played shows together (I have a great story about a Yogi Bear cookie jar that I will save for another time). Then toured together. Then ended up with the same management company, that we still both share. Most importantly, we became friends…Family if you will. I always loved their music. But I think it was from as much of a curiosity standpoint, as it was just liking what I was hearing. And maybe that is why they are as successful as they are. The combination of both is something you just don’t find everywhere in music…Especially today.
The song “HRSA” is a true story. I think I was about 25 when I sat, sharing a bottle of Jack Daniels with Justin in a shitty hotel room, while we were both on tour supporting Sponge (The USA one…Not the UK one…That is Spünge). I asked him about the man in the song. And the nuns that prayed for him. I listened to all of it and I was fucking fascinated! This was REAL! Like, REALLY real!
Jaret’s perspective on the track HRSA has changed somewhat in more recent times, following his own mental health issues:
“Many of you know that a few years back, I developed my own mental issues. I experience my first panic attack. Then Anxiety. Then crippling anxiety. I went to my Dr. I went to counseling. Things got worse. I got on meds. I decided to leave this band. Still, things got worse. Bring on the meds.
It took about 2.5 years of counseling, talking to my doctor, and trying different combinations of medications to become a fully functioning version of myself again. In that time, I almost lost my best friends, both in and out of the band. I gained a LOT of weight because I stopped moving and replaced activity with food and beer. But I made it. I made it out the other side. And here I am.
Now, I listen to this song as a completely different listener. Now, on some small level, I guess I relate to it more. Instead of curious, I am understanding. And even with that, I can’t imagine the degree of things that Justin has fought, conquered and lived to tell his fans about. He writes books. He does storyteller shows. And he does it in a way that is more honest and open that I think most of us would ever be comfortable doing.”
This is a song that Bowling For Soup hope can help those either suffering from mental health issues directly or those that know someone who is dealing with those situations.
“I hope you get out of this song something that helps you. If it isn’t something to do with your own mental health, maybe you will see something you can apply to another person that you didn’t quite understand before.
Mental health is an epidemic. Especially in my line of work. If you need help, ask. If someone needs help, be there! Most of all….Talk. Listen. Be kind. Be understanding.
I love you guys.
HRSA is available on a variety of streaming and downloadable platforms now.
Tickets for their upcoming February ‘Together Again’ UK tour with Simple Plan and Not Ur Girlfrenz, are on sale now. A low ticket alert has been issued for several of the shows, so get your tickets while you still can!
10 Feb – Glasgow, UK – O2 Academy Glasgow
11 Feb – Newcastle, UK – O2 Academy Newcastle
12 Feb – Birmingham, UK – O2 Academy Birmingham
13 Feb – Manchester, UK – O2 Victoria Warehouse
14 Feb – London, UK – O2 Academy Brixton
15 Feb – Brighton, UK – The Brighton Centre