At first blush, Dan “Soupy” Campbell's lyrics and Charles Bukowski's poetry and prose have a whole lot of nothing in common. In The Wonder Years, Campbell backs up buoyant Melodic Hardcore/Pop Punk with defiantly upbeat verse, coping with trials, travels and tribulations by maintaining a silver lining mentality. Bukowski, on the other hand, was a downtrodden cur of a writer, providing one unflinching look at his fucked-up reality after another. Alcoholism, misogyny and other unsavory subjects were his forte and his world was never about to improve, so finding similarities between the two seems impossible until Campbell explains what he enjoys about Bukowski.
“He's so direct,” the vocalist says of the late writer. “If you read a Bukowski novel, there is no fluff, no metaphor; it's just him telling the story. The main thing from him is not to take the crushing disparity he portrays but to take the way he portrays it.”
Bassist Josh Martin, one of The Wonder Years' vital cogs, even devised a term for Campbell's lyrical style — Realist Pop-Punk. The tag was a bit of a joke at the band's outset, but Campbell now embraces it.
The Wonder Years perform Sunday with Fireworks, Such Gold, Make Do and Mend and Living With Lions. Go here to read Reyan Ali's full Sound Advice.