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Reel Big Fish

Reel Big Fish



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Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA (USA)

About:

Huntington Beach based Reel Big Fish were one of the more successful bands to emerge in the third–wave ska explosion of 1997. The ska–punk act formed in Huntinton Beach as a trio consisting of vocalist/guitarist Aaron Barrett, bassist Matt Wong and drummer Andrew Gonzales. This early incarnation of the band played mostly party–ready rock, a quasi–ironic hair–metal influence that would show throughout the band's career. Reel Big Fish soon developed into a ska act, going through many early horn players before solidifying with Scott Klopfenstein (trumpet, vocals), Grant Barry (trombone) and Dan Regan (trombone) and Tavis Werts (trumpet). The band recorded and self–released their debut Everything Sucks in 1995.

Everything Sucks' underground success landed the band a deal with indie Mojo Records, which by 1996 became a joint venture with Universal. Mojo president Jay Rifkin and former Oingo Boingo bassist John Avila co–produced Reel Big Fish's breakthrough Turn the Radio Off. The 1996 release broke into the mainstream through the success of the single "Sell Out." By the summer of 1997 Turn the Radio Off was one of several records to pull ska music into the American mainstream. Why Do They Rock So Hard– followed in 1998.

"Sell Out" would prove to be the thematic template for the band's future work, as an increasingly cynical view of the music industry continued to emerge through Barrett's lyrics. The mainstream's interest in ska music quickly evaporated and the band's ambitions were suddenly shackled to an out of style genre. Reel Big Fish found themselves trapped by their record deal as well, as Mojo was sold to Zomba/Jive Records in 2000. Jive, better known for prefabricated boy bands, would prove to be an awkward home for the Mojo acts. It would be nearly five years before Cheer Up! emerged from Jive, and another three before 2005's We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy. Rumors of the label micromanaging the band's sound persisted, fueled by very radio–friendly and decidedly ska–free singles from the releases. If it was any indication, the band's embittered cynicism towards the process became their predominant lyrical theme.

As of January 2006 the band found themselves free of a major label contract for the first time in more than a decade.

Related Bands

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Reviews

Reel Big Fish Candy Coated Fury

Reel Big Fish

Candy Coated Fury (2012)

Rock Ridge Music

Reel Big Fish / The Aquabats live in Dallas

Reel Big Fish / The Aquabats

live in Dallas (2011)

live show

Reel Big Fish / Streetlight Manifesto Live in Huntington

Reel Big Fish / Streetlight Manifesto

Live in Huntington (2011)

live show

Streetlight Manifesto / Reel Big Fish Live in Spokane

Streetlight Manifesto / Reel Big Fish

Live in Spokane (2011)

live show

Reel Big Fish A Best of Us...for the Rest of Us

Reel Big Fish

A Best of Us...for the Rest of Us (2010)

Rock Ridge

Reel Big Fish / The Aquabats live in Sayreville

Reel Big Fish / The Aquabats

live in Sayreville (2010)

live show

Reel Big Fish / The English Beat live in Dallas

Reel Big Fish / The English Beat

live in Dallas (2009)

live show

Reel Big Fish Fame, Fortune and Fornication

Reel Big Fish

Fame, Fortune and Fornication (2009)

Rock Ridge

Reel Big Fish Live! In Concert! DVD

Reel Big Fish

Live! In Concert! DVD (2009)

Rock Ridge

Reel Big Fish / Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer Duet All Night Long

Reel Big Fish / Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer

Duet All Night Long (2007)

Reignition

Less Than Jake / Reel Big Fish live in New York

Less Than Jake / Reel Big Fish

live in New York (2007)

live show

Reel Big Fish Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free

Reel Big Fish

Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free (2007)

Rock Ridge

Reel Big Fish Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album [2-CD/DVD]

Reel Big Fish

Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album [2-CD/DVD] (2006)

Rock Ridge

Reel Big Fish We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy

Reel Big Fish

We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy (2005)

Jive

Reel Big Fish/Lucky Boys Confusion/Rx Bandits live in Minneapolis

Reel Big Fish/Lucky Boys Confusion/Rx Bandits

live in Minneapolis (2004)

live show

Reel Big Fish/Mêlée/Littlest Man Band live in Syracuse

Reel Big Fish/Mêlée/Littlest Man Band

live in Syracuse (2004)

live show

Reel Big Fish/The Starting Line/Sugarcult live in Glasgow

Reel Big Fish/The Starting Line/Sugarcult

live in Glasgow (2003)

live show

Reel Big Fish Live At The House of Blues DVD

Reel Big Fish

Live At The House of Blues DVD (2003)

Kung Fu

Reel Big Fish Cheer Up

Reel Big Fish

Cheer Up (2002)

Jive

Reel Big Fish/The Starting Line/The Kicks live in Hollywood

Reel Big Fish/The Starting Line/The Kicks

live in Hollywood (2002)

live show

Reel Big Fish/The Starting Line/The Kicks live in Chicago

Reel Big Fish/The Starting Line/The Kicks

live in Chicago (2002)

live show

Reel Big Fish/Goldfinger live in Portland

Reel Big Fish/Goldfinger

live in Portland (2001)

live show

Reel Big Fish Why Do They Rock So Hard?

Reel Big Fish

Why Do They Rock So Hard? (1998)

Mojo

Reel Big Fish Turn The Radio Off

Reel Big Fish

Turn The Radio Off (1996)

Uptown / Universal

show more

Interviews

Picture of Reel Big Fish

Aaron Barrett of Reel Big Fish

Monday, April 24, 2006 at 7:05 PM (EDT)

Picture of Reel Big Fish

Dan Regan (Reel Big Fish)

Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 8:00 PM (EDT)

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