Archive for the ‘reel big fish’ Category

Reel Big Fish Interview

August 24, 2009

Interview By: Alan Oaks
Photo Credit: Damion Demeter

Interview with Scott Klopfenstein and John Christianson – 8.2.09 – @The Grove in Anaheim, Ca.

AO: Let me get my notes out…

Scott: And those are notes you used for Static-X?

AO: Yes, same questions. I’m just recycling everything. What’s it like being in Static- X?

Scott: It’s great. We mastered the black art long ago!

Jon: Sacrifice a chicken before we go on stage.

Scott: Chicken McNuggets!

AO: So, is this a full tour you’re on or just a couple of dates?

Scott: No, this has been a full month-and-a-half. That doesn’t even feel like a full tour anymore, a month-and-a-half. We did two-and-a-half months straight at the beginning of this year. 3 weeks we were in the US and the rest of it was in Europe and the UK. That was brutal.

We started the tour in CA, two and a half months later, we ended in Russia. And we did everything in between.

AO: How much of the year, when you’re not in the studio, is spent on the road?

John: Normally a lot. About six to eight months.

Scott: We actually haven’t spent too much of this year touring. This year will probably be about 5 months worth of touring which is like a “Vacation.” An unpaid vacation (laughs). A stressed out how-am-i-gonna-pay-my-mortgage… “Vacation!”

AO: Your latest studio project was Fame, Fortune and Fornication. Where did you guys come up with the concept of a cover album?

Scott: We’ve always talked about doing a covers album. The songs were kind of a surprise.

John: Yeah, originally Aaron wanted to do an entire Poison cover record entitled, “Open Up and Say… Ska.” But then we thought about putting some other songs on there and he picked some great tunes that he’d always wanted to do. Thought they’d make good ska songs.

AO: Did you collectively decided on all the songs?

Scott: It was just Aaron, but you know, I feel there’s something on there for everyone. I personally love the Tom Petty tune. “The Long Run” is pretty good too.

John: Although, the kids don’t really know what to do. They clap at the end, I mean, I think they enjoy it but they don’t know if they should dance.

Scott: There’s a lack of grabbing a girl and dancing. Back when I was coming up in the ska world, when I was a young lad, you would dance with the girls at the shows. You would skank your way over and you would skank together. There was romance. There was courting involved in the whole thing. That seems to be gone, that seems to have vanished.

AO: Do you think much has changed since your coming of age?

Scott: Probably not. It’s probably just perception and individual goals.

AO: Because you’re so much older and wiser now?

Scott: So much more! No… Things obviously do change. We like to look back in our lives and romanticize the way we were, but it was probably just as lame. I was just as stupid as the other kids. And it’s not that we’re stupid, it’s just that we were kids and didn’t know anything. And thought we knew everything.

Now I realize that I know nothing and as I get older, I realize how much more nothing I know. So there, I become wiser.

AO: You guys have a new live DVD out?

Scott: This is actually something we did in January here (@ The Grove). We turn it out, it doesn’t have to be good, we just turn it out as quickly as we can. I haven’t haven’t even seen it. (laughs) Is it any good?

John: Yeah, it’s great.

AO: Was there something you were trying to capture on the live DVD?

Scott: People’s money! OH, you mean on the DVD? Just the excitement of aging…horribly. We’re a live band. We kind of always have been. We make studio records. It’s fun and it’s great and it’s an experience all in it’s own, but it’s so sterile. Everything tends to vibrate more when it’s done live and because it’s not perfect and there’s not magnifying glass on every note.

AO: Is there a big difference between the festival circuit and playing venues?

John: Oh yeah.

AO: Do you prefer one to the other?

John: No, I like having it mixed. Cause the variety makes everything.

Scott: Festivals are great but you usually only get about a half hour. What am I doing with my day if I’m only playing for half hour? I’m a lazy individual. If you give me too much time to just be me, I will do nothing. I’ll just sit and read or I’ll just sit and stare into space.

John: Or beat “Ghostbusters.”

AO: How do you kill all the downtime?

Scott: A lot of reading. We’re a reading machine. We blow through 3 or 4 books a tour.

AO: Are there any bands out there right now that you would recommend? Any new music?

Scott: The Dirty Projectors! Love that band. They’re from Brooklyn.

AO: You guys have obviously been keeping the ska scene alive for well over a decade now, are there any good ska bands that you’ve come across?

John: One Pin Short. Great band, great guys. Super talented and they’re from Las Vegas.

Scott: The new R(x) Bandits. They lost the horns (AWW) I love that band with all of my heart, seriously. I listen to “And The Battle Begun” often. That record record drives me crazy. It’s what I always wished the Mars Volta had been. The horns were never superiorly upfront but they were a very important texture so it took me a good 3 or 4 listens. It’s still great. It’s still them.

AO: Growing up where there any artists that you emulated or that inspired you?

John: I wanted to be the Eddie Van Halen of the trumpet.

AO: Anything you’re looking forward to in the future?

Scott: Musically, you mean? I was thinking more like seeing the destruction of the world in 2012.

AO: Yeah, that’s coming up. You looking forward to that?

Scott: It’s gonna be crazy. It’s the kind of thing you wanna take pictures of but then you realize what’s the point? We’re working on a secret project. I would throw it into the category of Ginormous.

John: If Aaron were here, he would shut us down right now.

Scott: Let me put it this way, I haven’t even seen it. I haven’t done one ounce of recording on it yet. and we’ve been working on it for over a year.

AO: Any idea when to expect this “secret project?”

Scott: next year, maybe? but then also, I hear these things on Facebook. This is where I get my information cause nobody tells me anything.

John: To look up our tour schedule we have to go on Myspace.

Scott: I heard through the internet that we’re possibly doing an album of originals later this year. This is what I read on the internet, so I trust it. If it were said to me in person, I wouldn’t believe it.

AO: You guys have had a long and memorable career, is there a secret to longevity?

Scott: To longevity in a band, the secret is: If they’re not in the room, they’re fair game. And sometimes you gotta just let shit go. Cause they’re not changing for you and you are sure as hell not gonna change for them.

John: It’s definitely interesting me coming into this a little later, I’ve been in the band 5 years now. Learning how to live with other men within a small confinement, a tour bus, so much of the year. Knowing when to give a guy space. There’s definitely a learning curve.

Scott: Some of us have randomly explosive tempers. I mean I’m not saying that I do. Some of us are a little on the irrational side of everything. Speaking of bands fighting, what kind of fight breaks up a band? That’s petty. We have been in fists fights, verbal fights. We have said some of the most horrible awful things to each other and I’m mainly speaking for myself, Dan and Aaron.

Luckily, for Jonny, Derek and Ryland they’ve come into a place where the guys left in the band are the guys who have learned how important it is to co-exist. There are a lot of things that go on behind closed doors when other people aren’t around. You gotta vent sometimes but regardless of those things I don’t think anyone would question the fact that we love each other.

If you haven’t had a chance yet, pick up a copy of Reel Big Fish’s live DVD. This DVD is just as intense as seeing them in person, and contains a few cool bonus features.

Check out all of Damion’s pics of RBF here.

Reel Big Fish – Fame, Fortune, and Fornication

August 3, 2009

Label: Rock Ridge Music
Rating: 2.5 Guns

Buy On:
Reel Big Fish

Written By: Ben Millikan

I can still faintly remember being an ardent twelve-year-old punk-rock enthusiast–championing the likes of such bands as MxPx, Blink-182, and Green Day– One day, after stumbling upon my sister’s copy of Reel Big Fish’s “Turn The Radio Off,” I sat back and thought, “These guys are ruining punk!” The trumpets, the trombone, that redundant guitar upstroke–all of it just seemed so sacrilegious to me at the time. But eventually, after a few more spins, the infectious up-beatness of ska grew on me, and I quickly became a fan of the band.

Since then, some thirteen years, a slew of lineup changes, and 4 albums later, the band is back with an album of covers called “Fame, Fortune, and Fornication.” Although some RBF die-hards may be disappointed that the record doesn’t contain any new tracks written by the band, the ten covers, ranging from everything from Poison to The Eagles, have a unique twist to them.

This is the beauty of ska: it has the uncanny ability of taking a pop song, or an 80’s metal song, or even an acoustic song, make it its own, and yet still preserve the original qualities of a song that made it so popular in the first place. RBF’s best example of this is their version of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl.” Although this song has been covered by way too many bands to list, RBF band does it justice by having the horns cover that classic guitar riff and by adding plenty of group chants behind the catchy “Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-lala-te-da.”

Despite some songs not translating as well; most notably Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down,” the classic elements of ska are present throughout. Mellencamp could appreciate the band’s take on his “Authority Song” and guitar player and vocalist Aaron Barrett would make Brett Michaels proud with his own take on the Poison hits “Nothin’ But A Good Time” and “Talk Dirty To Me.”

It may be short and a bit cliche (as most cover albums are), but overall, Fame, Fortune, and Fornication as a whole accomplishes the goal taking popular songs and making them entertaining and upbeat.

Like Reel Big Fish? Check out: Less Than Jake, Big D and The Kids Table

Reel Big Fish – “Nothin’ But A Good Time”

July 29, 2009

Download “Nothin’ But A Good Time” by Reel Big Fish
From 2009’s “Fame Fortune & Fornication” – Cover, original by Poison


July 22, 2009

Reel Big Fish’s “Live! In Concert!” DVD is officially in stores today!

The live concert DVD was filmed before a sold-out, hometown crowd at the Grove of Anaheim this past January and features 20 classic Reel Big Fish songs, as well as all of the in-between-song-banter-and-hijinks that fans have come to expect.

Reel Big Fish is currently on tour with Two-Tone legends The English Beat and Orlando, FL-based reggae/ska punks The Supervillains.

Reel Big Fish front man Aaron Barrett says the band is amped to be touring with one of its musical idols. Barrett explains, “We are so excited to be playing with one of our favorite bands of all time and one of the biggest influences on our music!! We LOVE the English Beat. This tour is a dream come true for us!”

The English Beat front man Dave Wakeling responds, “I was thrilled many years ago to be invited to play at Reel Big Fish’s first album release party, and we are thrilled again to be touring with them now that they are bona fide Skadfathers!”

The tour which kicked off July 3rd, hits Ybor City, FL on July 22nd and winds down August 14th in Chicago, IL. Reel Big Fish is also scheduled to perform at Dubfest in Hollywood, FL on September 5th alongside such acts as Bunny Wailer, Godlfinger, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Badfish A Tribute to Sublime. Visit for more info.

Formed in the ‘burbs of Orange County, CA in the early 90’s, Reel Big Fish has gone on to release 6 full-length studio releases, headline countless tours in North America (as well as Europe, Asia and Latin America) and amass combined sales of over a million albums.

Reel Big Fish’s latest album, a compilation of cover songs entitled, Fame, Fortune, and Fornication is out now on Rock Ridge Music.

Reel Big Fish (with The English Beat and The Supervillains):
Jul 22 2009 – 6:00P – Ybor City, FL – the Ritz Ybor City, Florida
Jul 23 2009 – 6:00P – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live Orlando, Florida
Jul 23 2009 – 6:00P – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live Orlando, Florida
Jul 24 2009 – 6:00P – Atlanta, GA @ the Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia
Jul 26 2009 – 6:00P – Dallas, TX @ the Palladium Ballroom Dallas, Texas
Jul 27 2009 – 6:00P – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Houston, Texas
Jul 28 2009 – 6:00P – Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa Austin, Texas
Jul 30 2009 – 6:00P – Las Vegas, NV @ the House of Blues Las Vegas, Nevada
Jul 31 2009 – 6:00P – Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia LA Los Angeles, California
Aug 1 2009 – 6:00P – San Diego, CA @ the Wavehouse San Diego, California
Aug 2 2009 – 6:00P – Anaheim, CA @ the Grove Anaheim, California
Aug 3 2009 – 6:00P – San Fransisco, CA @ The Regency Center San Fransisco, California
Aug 5 2009 – 6:00P – Tucson, AZ @ the Rialto Theatre Tucson, Arizona
Aug 6 2009 – 6:00P – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre Tempe, Arizona
Aug 7 2009 – 6:00P – Santa Fe, NM @ Santa Fe Brewing Co. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Aug 8 2009 – 6:00P – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre Denver, Colorado
Aug 9 2009 – 6:00P – Kansas City, MO @ the Crossroads Kansas City, Missouri
Aug 11 2009 – 6:00P – Apple Valley, MN @ Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater Apple Valley, MN
Aug 12 2009 – 6:00P – Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Casino Council Bluffs, Iowa
Aug 13 2009 – 6:00P – St. Louis, MO @ the Pageant St. Louis, Missouri
Aug 14 2009 – 6:00P – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues Chicago, Illinois
Sep 5 2009 – 12:00P – Hollywood, FL @ DubFest (Arts Park at Young Cir) Hollywood, Florida