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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, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3

Comments

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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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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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info926980
I saw him a McDonald's. He messed up my order. Of course!
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indeed
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Heh reel instead of real xD puns
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( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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oilersbecca
discovered them last year through my ska bud and i love them so much! i want to see them live so badly!
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bhawthorne81
oh my god this song is almost 20 yrs old now. I remember seeing them in '97 on the warped tour. Seems like just a few years ago. Children, don't grow old!!!
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Don't erase this cause it actually world. You will be kissed by the love of your life on the nearest Friday. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this in 143 minutes you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this don't stop. This is so scary but put this on at least 5 songs. When your done press f6 then your crushes name will appear on the screen in BIG letters this is am scary because it actually works
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saw them on Nov. 1st with Goldfinger at HOB Orlando...ki l l e r show...I have seen them about 12 times over the past 15 years. My first show I ever went to I stole my moms van and drove 2 hours to see them play at the 9:30 Club in DC...that was 1998.
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I got hooked on these guys from my son when he was in Jr. High ! Have loved them ever since. That was like 15 yrs ago !
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Saw them live with my parents when I was in 5th grade. Freaking amazing<3 hadn't heard them for, like, 5 years until about a month ago on the radio.
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Ska needs to come back!!!
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kiss your left hand
say ur crushes name
close ur hand
pick a schoolday
post this on 15 songs and ur crush will ask u out on the day u picked
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Saw them live when I was like 9 with my mom and daddy. I'm 15 now and still have the hoodie I got at the show- still wear it even though its like 2 sizes too small. Love them<3
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Follow me if you like these guys. Saw them lived at warped!!!!
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i wish i was older so i could have listened to their music more
but alas i was born in the generation of WANKSTERS
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bhawthorne81
hit or miss goofy band
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ohhyeahhitzy
So glad I discovered them at this years warped tour. Such a great band to listen to
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Pandora really should be playing the songs where the money doesn't go to stupid Jive records when they can.
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