Pridebowling for Popularity

"I met this Swedish girl in Newport Beach," says punk singer/songwriter Aaron Goulding. "I followed her home in 1993.... I met these other guys [in Sweden] and we started a band." Pridebowl did well in Varberg, a city of 50,000. "I came back home and this small Swedish label called Bad Taste Records wanted to sign us. I told them to send me a ticket and a contract." The label came through, and Goulding returned to Sweden, where he stayed from 1994 until 1998. Pridebowl released three CDs, four EPs, played Japan and Australia, and toured Europe three times.

"In 1997, we were the first punk-rock band to tour China.... But the whole time, I really wanted a name in America." In the States, meanwhile, similar bands such as Pennywise and the Offspring became popular. Pridebowl didn't get rich, but the band stayed together until 1998, when Goulding returned to California. After three years in Orange County, he moved to SD and launched the short-lived local band Hence the Name. Soon after, he resurrected Pridebowl, with himself as the only original member. The band toured Canada for two weeks in late 2003.

"By the time we got to Quebec, we started seeing posts on our website that said, 'The singer is the same but something's different.' There was a negative vibe. It wasn't what we wanted to hear.... The drummer wasn't right. And the bass player wasn't keeping up." So Goulding reassembled the original Pridebowl lineup.

The band recently recorded two tracks for a Mission Valley recording studio called Sushi Fish. That 20-song, 10-artist compilation is set to be released this spring and distributed for free at local surf shops.

"The bands keep the rights to everything," says Sushi Fish owner Matty Reynolds. He is paying for production costs to promote the bands and his studio.

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