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Reel Big Fish

Reel Big Fish were one of the legions of Southern California ska-punk bands to edge into the mainstream following the mid-'90s success of No Doubt and Sublime. Like most of their peers, they were distinguished by their hyperkinetic stage shows, juvenile humor, ironic covers of new wave pop songs, and metallic shards of ska. The group cultivated an underground following that broke into the mainstream in summer 1997, when the single "Sell Out" became a modern rock radio and MTV favorite. Reel Big Fish's popularity gradually waned in the subsequent years, following the decline of ska-punk as a marketable genre. Nevertheless, the band restructured its lineup and continued issuing new material to a smaller (yet considerably rabid) fan base.

Based in Huntington Beach, California, Reel Big Fish were originally a trio comprised of vocalist/guitarist Aaron Barrett, bassist Matt Wong, and drummer Andrew Gonzales. At that stage, the group was a conventional rock band with pop-metal leanings that covered both classic rock and Top 40 songs -- essentially, it was music designed for frat parties. After several months, the band discovered ska and decided to bolster its lineup with the addition of horn players. Reel Big Fish had a difficult time maintaining a stable horn section, and it took several years before their final lineup -- featuring Tavis Werts (trumpet), Scott Klopfenstein (trumpet, vocals), Grant Barry (trombone), and Dan Regan (trombone) -- fell into place.

This definitive incarnation of Reel Big Fish recorded its self-released debut album, Everything Sucks, in 1995. Everything Sucks became a word-of-mouth underground hit in ska-punk and college circles, which gave the band enough leverage to sign with the indie label Mojo Records. The label's president, Jay Rifkin, and former Oingo Boingo bassist John Avila co-produced Turn the Radio Off, which marked the band's first album for Mojo. Turn the Radio Off was unleashed in August 1996, and over the next year, Reel Big Fish continually toured in support of the album's release, expanding their fan base all the while. In spring 1997, the single "Sell Out" began receiving heavy airplay from several influential modern rock stations in the U.S., which soon translated into MTV support for the song's quirky video. By summer, the song had become a moderate modern rock hit, and the album had charted in the Top 100. In July 1997, Reel Big Fish released the Keep Your Receipt EP, which contained "Sell Out" and several outtakes, new songs, and live cuts. Why Do They Rock So Hard followed a year later, and in early 2000 the band returned with a reissued version of Everything Sucks.

The guys wound up on Jive Records in fall 2001 when their current label, Mojo, was bought by Jive's parent label, Zomba. Reel Big Fish's first release for Jive, a rock-oriented record entitled Cheer Up!, appeared in mid-2002. Years of touring followed, during which the band shared stages with the likes of Sum 41, Catch 22, Lucky Boys Confusion, the Matches, and Zebrahead. Replacement drummer Carlos de la Garza (formerly of Suburban Rhythm) eventually decided to leave the lineup, and his last show with the group was recorded live at Anaheim's House of Blues in June 2003. A DVD of that performance, The Show Must Go Off!, was released by the end of the year, and the band's next album, the cynical yet catchy We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy, was issued in April 2005. By this time, the group's lineup had shifted to include Barrett, Regan, Klopfenstein, Wong, new trumpeter John Christianson, and drummer Justin Ferreira (who was later replaced by Ryland Steen).

Touring continued for the rest of the year, and Reel Big Fish happily parted ways with Jive in January 2006, having wished to be dropped from the label since Cheer Up!'s release. A co-headlining tour with MxPx followed that summer, allowing Reel Big Fish the chance to gain their footing as an independent band. In August, the group self-released a double-disc live CD (along with an accompanying DVD) titled Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album. A few months later -- and much to the annoyance of the band -- Jive issued its own Reel Big Fish album, a best-of compilation entitled Greatest Hit...and More. Reel Big Fish received no money from the album's sales, as Jive Records now owned the rights to the bulk of their songs.

Nevertheless, Reel Big Fish returned with some new material in February 2007, splitting an EP (Duet All Night Long) with their friends in Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer. Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free followed several months later, marking the group's first full-length studio release since leaving Jive's roster, and 2009's Fame, Fortune and Fornication found the band covering songs by the likes of Poison, Slade, and Tom Petty. In 2011, longtime member Scott Klopfenstein left Reel Big Fish to focus on raising a family, with Goldfinger's Matt Appleton taking over for him. The following year, the band released its first album of new material in five years, Candy Coated Fury. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Candy Coated Fury

1. Everyone Else Is An A**hole

2. Punisher

3. She's Not The End Of The World

4. Don't Let Me Down Gently

5. I Know You Too Well To Like You Anymore

6. Hiding In My Headphones

7. I Dare You To Break My Heart

8. Your Girlfriend Sucks

9. Don't Stop Skankin'

10. Famous Last Words

11. Lost Cause

12. You Suck

13. P.S. I Hate You

14. The Promise

x

Track List: A Best Of Us, For The Rest Of Us (Bigger Better Bonus Deluxe Version)

Disc 1

1. Sell Out

2. Beer

3. She Has A Girlfriend Now

4. Everything Sucks

5. Trendy

6. All I Want Is More

7. I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too

8. In The Pit

9. The Set Up (You Need This)

10. Somebody Hates Me

11. You Don't Know

12. Suckers (This One's For You)

13. Where Have You Been

14. Good Thing

15. Ban The Tube Top

16. Don't Start A Band

17. The Fire

18. Your Guts (I Hate 'Em)

19. Another F.U. Song

20. New Version Of You (New Version)

21. Party Down

22. Slow Down (Single Version)

23. She Has A Girlfriend Now (Live)

Disc 2
Disc 3

1. Take On Me

2. Brown Eyed Girl

3. Kiss Me Deadly

4. Boss D.J.

5. Boys Don't Cry

6. Another Day In Paradise

7. Nothin' But A Good Time

8. Monkey Man

9. Veronica Sawyer

10. Give It To Me

11. Stray Cat Strut

13. We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful

14. Talk Dirty To Me

15. We Close Our Eyes

x

Track List: Fame, Fortune, Fornication

1. Nothing But A Good Time

2. Mama We're All Crazy Now

3. Veronica Sawyer

4. Authority Song

5. Brown Eyed Girl

6. The Long Run

7. Won't Back Down

8. Keep A Cool Head

9. Monkey Man

10. Talk Dirty To Me

x

Track List: Monkeys For Nothin' And The Chimps For Free

Disc 1

1. Party Down

2. Another F.U. Song

3. Live Your Dream

4. My Imaginary Friend

5. Slow Down

6. The New Version Of You

7. Will The Revolution Come?

8. Another Day In Paradise

9. Everybody's Drunk

10. Please Don't Tell Her I Have A Girlfriend

11. Way Back

12. Hate You

13. Call You

14. Why Do All Girls Think They're Fat?

15. I'm Her Man

16. Til I Hit The Ground

17. Cannibal

Disc 2
x

Track List: Greatest Hit... And More

1. Sell Out

2. Take On Me

3. She's Famous Now

4. Don't Start A Band

5. Cheer Up

6. The Set Up (You Need This)

7. Beer

8. I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too

9. Your Guts (I Hate 'Em)

10. Ban The Tube Top

11. She Has A Girlfriend Now

12. Thank You For Not Moshing

13. Everything Sucks

14. Suckers

15. The Fire

16. Where Have You Been

17. Trendy

18. Give It To Me

19. One Hit Wonderful

x

Track List: Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album

Disc 1

1. Trendy (Live)

2. Everything Sucks (Live)

3. The Bad Guy (Live)

4. Maximum Swearing (Live)

5. Ban The Tube Top (Live)

6. She's Famous Now (Live)

7. Drinkin' (Live)

8. Boys Don't Cry (Live)

9. I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too (Live)

10. Dateless Losers (Live)

11. The Set Up (Live)

12. Somebody Hates Me (Live)

13. Valerie (Live)

14. Talkin' Bout A Revolution (Live)

15. Beer (Live)

16. Take On Me (Live)

Disc 2

1. Kiss Me Deadly (Live)

2. So Much For Rock And Roll (Live)

3. The 90's (Live)

4. She Has A Girlfriend Now (Live)

5. Kids Don't Like It / In The Pit (Live)

6. The Fire (Live)

7. A Little Doubt Goes A Long Way (Live)

8. I'm Trying To Be Funny (Live)

9. Awesome (Live)

10. Turn The Radio Off (Live)

11. Where Have You Been (Live)

12. Good Thing (Live)

13. Your Guts (I Hate 'em) (Live)

14. Nothin' (Live)

15. Best Band Ever (Live)

16. Don't Start A Band (Live)

17. A Fond Adieu (Live)

18. Sell Out (Live)

x

Track List: We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy (Explicit)

1. The Fire

2. Drinkin'

3. Don't Start A Band

4. A-W-E-S-O-M-E

5. We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful

6. Turn The Radio Off

7. Talkin' Bout A Revolution

8. The Bad Guy

9. Story Of My Life

10. The Joke's On Me

11. One Hit Wonderful

12. Last Show

13. Say Goodbye

14. Your Guts (I Hate 'Em)

x

Track List: Cheer Up!

1. Good Thing

2. Somebody Loved Me

3. Ban The Tube Top

4. Cheer Up

5. Where Have You Been?

6. Suckers

7. What Are Friends For

8. A Little Doubt Goes A Long Way

9. Dateless Losers

10. Valerie

11. Rock 'N' Roll Is B**chin'

12. New York, New York

13. Sayonara Senorita

14. Boss DJ

15. Brand New Hero

16. Drunk Again

x

Track List: Everything Sucks

1. I'm Cool

2. Join The Club

3. Call You

4. Hate You

5. I'll Never Be

6. Boyfriend

7. Fo' Head

8. Trendy

9. Skatanic

10. Why Do All Girls Think They're Fat

11. Say Ten

12. I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend

13. Jig

14. Go Away

15. Beer

16. Snoop Dog, Baby

17. Big F**kin' Star

18. F**k Yourself

19. Spin The Globe

20. I'm Her Man

21. Super Hero #5

x

Track List: Why Do They Rock So Hard?

1. Somebody Hates Me

2. Brand New Song

3. She's Famous Now

4. You Don't Know

5. The Set Up (You Need This)

6. Thank You For Not Moshing

7. I'm Cool

8. I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too

9. Everything Is Cool

10. Song #3

11. Scott's A Dork

12. Big Star

13. The Kids Don't Like It

14. Down In Flames

15. We Care

16. Victory Over Peter Bones

17. Untitled Track

x

Track List: Turn The Radio Off

1. Sell Out

2. Trendy

3. Join The Club

4. She Has A Girlfriend Now

5. Snoop Dog, Baby

6. Beer

7. 241

8. Everything Sucks

9. S.R.

10. Skatanic

11. All I Want Is More

13. Say Ten

14. I'll Never Be

15. Alternative Baby

16. Turn The Radio Off

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Love Them! Best Skunk band ever since Sublime in my opinion
Report as inappropriate
loneexpo
Saw them live about 4 years ago (I went for the Aquabats but RBF was a nice bonus) so during their set they literally said goodnight and walked off the stage after every song.. they seriously did it 8 or 9 times..
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tresherone
woooooooo woooooooooo wooo
Report as inappropriate
saw them sunday at warped, and they didnt blow me away - maybe because saw them there a few years ago. a few chuckles, but i get it - it's the same song. wonder what the band thinks when the crowd goes more nuts over their 90's hit smells like teen spirit than sell out. (the trombone part on SLTS was clever) - kind of wished i had checked out bad seed rising instead though.
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Just saw them at Warped Tour, blew my mind, i got to take a picture with them and they signed a hat while i was there, awesome band
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Yes!
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I'm gonna have to agree with Claire. Most of the re-records are sh... But RBF fan for life regardless!!
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I sincerely, hate, their re-record of sell out. I'm bleaching my ears out
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My theme song.
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✌️❤️
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missing them at the rave tonight :(
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ccg.gville
They still got it!
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I think I'll have myself a bee-ya-ear
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poop
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chellepanda9 4
I miss Dan!!!
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tychogurl05
I MISS SCOTT
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Ska is so catchy !!!!!!
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never heard of reel big fish till i saw them live in colorado. liked them since then
Report as inappropriate
Not for me but still okay
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I agree they are American Madness, except they are way more musically talented. Go ahead and try to bounce, skank, and ska for 20 years. Good luck ya'll, the energy and emotional release are worth the price of admission for any show.
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Ty Brian for sharing your love of these guys with me :)
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Juvenile and boring
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bad a** lucas. how much?
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Reel big fish played my 21first birthday party in orange county Ca
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alicialeonar d 6 6 6
So good. Hope to catch them in Denver next time!!
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I think I'll have myself a beer
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It is very hard not to like this band, at least in small doses.
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Hellz yeah. Always did like them.
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makguard
REEL BIG FISH ALL THE WAY
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Dam. Ska is hardcore.... ( not really)...
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I am 60 years old and love this sound. So good. Now I will take my geritol !!!
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HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF..... GREAT COVER...
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A best of us.... For the rest of us.

*facepalm*

Really? Festivus jokes?!?
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I love them my favorite band
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Best ska ever!
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This song SUCKS THE BIG ONE!!!
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������❤️
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Saw em last night in Baltimore MD bad a** show
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I f**king love Ska
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Best dam live show ive ever seen...all 7x looking forward to the 8th
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The live album is better than the others
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Once you've heard one Reel Big Fish song, you've heard em all. This band only makes songs about women for the most part. Arguably the worst of the more popular Ska bands.
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Some of their songs are awesome. Some are hilarious. Others suck balls
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Love this song XD i'm doing the fish right now
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I love ska so much (>人<;)
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Sometimes they can be mean if u agree follow me
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Me neither this band is awesome my dad told me about em
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This band never fails to put me in a good mood!
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America's version of Madness
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I might see them this summer I'm so excited!!!!!
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