"We started in 1994 in Sweden," says Pridebowl singer Aaron Goulding. "I'm American and the other four original members were Swedish. After learning a few punk covers and adding a few originals, we were ready to play our first gig in the tiny town we lived in, Varberg, but we needed a name. After some long, weird drive through the country, the word 'Pride' popped in my head. Then I thought about how the Swedish bandmembers loved to bowl, since that town's six-lane alley was probably the only local place one could find people having fun on any given day. So we came up with the name 'Pridebowl' and said it over and over until it didn't make sense anymore. We really wanted a name that wasn't in the dictionary." Pridebowl's first album, The Soft Song, was released in 1997.
"In 1997, we were the first punk-rock band to tour China," says Goulding. "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.'" Goulding ended up reassembling the original Pridebowl lineup.