Reel Big Fish

Reel Big Fish

Infobox musical artist
Name = Reel Big Fish

Img_capt = Reel Big Fish performing at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, California on March 27, 2008.
Landscape = yes
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Orange County, California, United States
Genre = Ska punk, alternative rock, third wave ska
Years_active = 1992–present
Label = Mojo, Jive, Rock Ridge Music
Associated_acts = The Littlest Man Band The Forces of Evil The Scholars Jeffries Fan Club Spring Heeled Jack USA Suburban Rhythm Nuckle Brothers
Current_members = Aaron Barrett Scott Klopfenstein Derek Gibbs Dan Regan Ryland Steen John Christianson
Past_members = Ben Guzman Zach Gilltrap Lisa Smith Robert Quimby Adam Polakoff Andrew Gonzales Grant Barry Tavis Werts Carlos de la Garza Tyler Jones Justin Ferreira Matt Wong

Reel Big Fish is an American ska punk band from Huntington Beach, California, best known for the 1997 hit "Sell Out." The band gained mainstream recognition in the mid-to-late 1990s, during the third wave of ska with the release of the album "Turn the Radio Off". Since the band's founding in 1992 and their demo "In the Good Old Days...", the only original member remaining is Aaron Barrett.



The band's debut album, "Everything Sucks", was an underground hit and led to a deal with Mojo Records. The album "Turn the Radio Off" established the band in the ska punk scene, and they began touring throughout the United States. After the single "Sell Out" began breaking into the mainstream, including MTV, the album made an appearance on the charts. However, the ska revival was short-lived, and their 1998 album "Why Do They Rock So Hard?" did not lead the band into the mainstream. In 1998, the band appeared in the movie "BASEketball", performing in the stands to pump up the crowd. "Why Do They Rock So Hard?" was the last album for three members of the band. Trombonist Grant Barry and trumpet player Tavis Werts were either fired or left the band voluntarily, depending on the source. Drummer Andrew Gonzales left the band to spend more time with his family. Reel Big Fish then had a rotating cast of drummers and trumpeters over the next six years.


In 2002 the band fared much better on the rock charts, particularly because of the single "Where Have You Been?", which did not prominently feature the horn section. Former Suburban Rhythm drummer Carlos de la Garza played drums and ex-Spring Heeled Jack U.S.A. Tyler Jones tracked trumpet for two songs on "Cheer Up!" (because Werts had already done the majority of recording before his departure). De la Garza's last concert with Reel Big Fish was on June 20, 2003 at the House of Blues in Anaheim. That concert was later released as the DVD "The Show Must Go Off!". Jones played live in Reel Big Fish for some further time before being fired by Barrett for his excessive drinking. He was replaced by former Forces Of Evil trumpet player John Christianson.

On April 5, 2005, Reel Big Fish released their fourth album on Mojo Records; "We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy". Justin Ferreira (who replaced De La Garza) was on drums for the recording, but left before the album's release to join the Orange County band Takota (Island Records) and subsequently is listed as an additional musician on the CD. He was replaced by Ryland Steen.

Aaron Barrett has stated that "We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy" was "the third record in a trilogy" that began with "Turn the Radio Off". "The first one was about being in a band and trying to make it. Then "Why Do They Rock So Hard?" was like, 'we've made it, we're rock stars'. "Cheer Up" we made because we had to make it. But "We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy" is about us being old and jaded now." [ [ In Music We Trust - INTERVIEW: Reel Big Fish: Aaron Barrett discusses 15 minutes of fame, new record, and SKA's next generation ] ]

While on tour in early 2006, Reel Big Fish received a call from Jive Records, informing them that they had been dropped from the label, much to the band's delight. The band formed their own label and released a 3-disc live performance CD/DVD set, "Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album". This package became available on July 18, 2006 on the Internet and in retail stores on August 22. Jive later released a Reel Big Fish greatest hits album, "Greatest Hit...And More", because they owned the rights to all previous songs. The band did not approve of, or make any money from the album, and have spoken out against it.On February 20, 2007, the band released "Duet All Night Long", which is a split EP with "Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer". It features six cover songs (three from each band), with the vocalist of each band performing in the other band's songs (except in the case of Scott Klopfenstein singing in the song, "Say Say Say".) Reel Big Fish announced on their MySpace profile that they would be playing a summer tour in 2007 with Less Than Jake as their headlining partner along with support from Streetlight Manifesto and Against All Authority.

Reel Big Fish released their first studio album since leaving Jive Records; "Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps For Free" worldwide on July 10, 2007, on the Rock Ridge Music record label. On June 26, 2007, shortly before its release, the band announced in a Myspace blog that Matt Wong was leaving the band to spend more time with his wife and newborn child. He was replaced by Derek Gibbs who played bass in Jeffries Fan Club and Aaron Barrett's now defunct side project, The Forces Of Evil. Since Matt Wong was very popular with fans, some are skeptical of the new bassist's ability, but the band has stated that Derek is "Matt Wong Approved" and fans have nothing to worry about. Gibbs had been filling in for Wong on various tours since early 2002.

On December 19, 2007, the band announced that they would play the entire Warped Tour 2008. [ [ Warped Tour 2007 ] ]

Band members

Band members' other projects

* Scott Klopfenstein and Dan Regan were also members of The Littlest Man Band. [ [ The Littlest Man Band Official Site] ]

* Aaron Barrett, Derek Gibbs and John Christianson were also members of The Forces of Evil, along with former members of Jeffries Fan Club and other Orange County ska musicians. This band broke up in early 2005.Fact|date=April 2008

* Before they were members of Reel Big Fish, Aaron Barrett, Scott Klopfenstein, and Grant Barry were members of a band called The Scholars.Fact|date=April 2008

* Scott Klopfenstein was also a member of a ska band called the Nuckle Brothers.Fact|date=April 2008

* Dan Regan has a techno project called Black Casper. Notably, he remixed Reel Big Fish's cover of "Talkin' Bout A Revolution", incorporating different sound bites, including Ali Tabatabaee from Reel Big Fish's live DVD, "You're All In This Together".Fact|date=April 2008


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Official merchandise site]
* [ Official Myspace site]
* [ Interview with Matt & Ryland]
* [ Reel Big Fish] at Music Brainz
* [ Reel Big Fish] at Allmusic
* [ Interview with Aaron, John & Ryland] at The Music Magazine
* [ Reel Big Fish Interview Feb '08]

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