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About Reel Big Fish
Reel Big Fish lyrics

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. Founding member Aaron Barrett has been with the band since 1992, and horn players Dan Regan and Scott Klopfenstein have been involved with the band for more than 14 years.


History


Early success (1992-1999)

The band's debut album, Everything Sucks, was successful and resulted in a deal with Mojo Records. The album Turn the Radio Off appealed to fans of ska punk style, and the band began touring throughout the United States. After the single "Sell Out" became well-known in mainstream venues, including MTV, the album scored on the charts. However, the ska revival was short-lived, and their 1998 album Why Do They Rock So Hard? was not popular. During 1998, the band appeared in the movie BASEketball, performing in the stands to rouse the crowd. The band also collaborated on the soundtrack with a cover of cover of a-ha's "Take on Me". 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 fired. Drummer Andrew Gonzales left the team to spend more time with his family. Reel Big Fish then had a changing cast of drummers and trumpeters over the next six years.


Major label years (2000-2005)

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 and ex-Spring Heeled Jack U.S.A. trumpeter Tyler Jones, who tracked for two songs on Cheer Up! (because Werts had already done the majority of recording before his departure), were brought in. De la Garza's last concert with Reel Big Fish was on June 20, 2003 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. That concert was later released as a DVD in the The Show Must Go Off! series. Jones appeared in the Music Videos for Where Have You Been? and Monkey Man, and continued to play live in Reel Big Fish, until early 2005, when he was fired by Barrett for his excessive drinking. He was replaced by trumpeter John Christianson, formerly of The Forces of Evil.


On April 5, 2005, Reel Big Fish released their fourth album on Mojo; 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 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."


Independent work (2006-Present)

While on tour in early 2006, Reel Big Fish were dropped from the Jive Records label. 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 , 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 released their first studio album since leaving Jive Records; Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps For Free worldwide on , 2007, on the Rock Ridge Music record label. On , 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 , 2007, the band announced that they would play the entire Warped Tour 2008.


Reel Big Fish released a new studio album on January 20, 2009. The name of the album is Fame, Fortune and Fornication, and it consists of 10 cover songs. Another album, with original material, is planned for late 2009. The band has also recorded a live DVD at The Grove in Anaheim, California, on January 4, 2009; which was released on July 21, 2009.


Band members


Reel Big Fish lineups
(1992?1994)

In the Good Old Days...
Ben Guzman - lead vocals
Aaron Barrett - guitar, backing vocals
Lisa Smith - guitar
Matt Wong - bass
Zach Gilltrap - keyboards/synthesizers
Andrew Gonzales - drums
(1994)

Return of the Mullet
Aaron Barrett - lead vocals, guitar
Matt Wong - bass
Stephan Reed - saxophone
Eric Vismantes - trumpet
Andrew Gonzales - drums
(1994)

Buy This!
Aaron Barrett - lead vocals, guitar
Matt Wong - bass
Adam Polakoff - saxophone
Dan Regan - trombone
Tavis Werts - trumpet
Andrew Gonzales - drums
(1994?1995)

Everything Sucks
Aaron Barrett - lead vocals, guitar
Matt Wong - bass
Adam Polakoff - saxophone
Dan Regan - trombone
Robert Quimby - trombone
Tavis Werts- trumpet
Andrew Gonzales - drums
(1995?1998)

Turn the Radio Off

Keep Your Receipt

Why Do They Rock So Hard?
Aaron Barrett - lead vocals, guitar
Matt Wong - bass
Dan Regan - trombone
Grant Barry - trombone
Tavis Werts- trumpet
Scott Klopfenstein - trumpet, keyboards, backing vocals
Andrew Gonzales - drums
(1998?1999)

live shows only
Aaron Barrett - lead vocals, guitar
Matt Wong - bass
Dan Regan - trombone
Tavis Werts- trumpet
Scott Klopfenstein - trumpet, keyboards, backing vocals
Andrew Gonzales - drums
(1999?2001)

Cheer Up!
Aaron Barrett - lead vocals, guitar
Matt Wong - bass
Dan Regan - trombone
Tavis Werts- trumpet
Scott Klopfenstein - trumpet, keyboards, backing vocals
Carlos de la Garza - drums
(2001?2003)

Live at the House of Blues
Aaron Barrett - lead vocals, guitar
Matt Wong - bass
Dan Regan - trombone
Scott Klopfenstein - trumpet, keyboards, backing vocals
Tyler Jones - trumpet
Carlos de la Garza - drums
(2003?2004)

live shows only
Aaron Barrett - lead vocals, guitar
Matt Wong - bass
Dan Regan - trombone
Scott Klopfenstein - trumpet, keyboards, backing vocals
Tyler Jones - trumpet
Justin Ferreira - drums
(2004?2005)

We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy
Aaron Barrett - lead vocals, guitar
Matt Wong - bass
Dan Regan - trombone
Scott Klopfenstein - trumpet, keyboards, backing vocals
John Christianson - trumpet
Justin Ferreira - drums
(2005?2007)

Duet All Night Long

Our Live Album is Better Than Your Live Album

Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free
Aaron Barrett - lead vocals, guitar
Matt Wong - bass
Dan Regan - trombone
Scott Klopfenstein - trumpet, keyboards, backing vocals
John Christianson - trumpet
Ryland Steen - drums
(2007?present)

Fame, Fortune and Fornication
Aaron Barrett - lead vocals, guitar
Scott Klopfenstein - trumpet, keyboards, backing vocals
Derek Gibbs - bass
Dan Regan - trombone
John Christianson - trumpet
Ryland Steen - drums
Current members
Aaron Barrett - guitar, lead vocals (1992?present)
Dan Regan - trombone, backing vocals (1994?present)
Scott Klopfenstein - trumpet, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (1995?present)
John Christianson - trumpet, backing vocals (2004?present)
Ryland Steen - drums (2005?present)
Derek Gibbs - bass guitar (2007?present)
Past members
Ben Guzman - vocals (1992?1994)
Zach Gilltrap - keyboards/synthesizers (1992?1994)
Lisa Smith - guitar (1992?1994)
Eric Vismantes - trumpet (1994)
Stephan Reed - saxophone (1994)
Robert Quimby - trombone (1994?1995)
Adam Polakoff - saxophone (1994?1995)
Grant Barry - trombone (1995?1998)
Andrew Gonzales - drums (1992?1998)
Tavis Werts - trumpet (1994?2001)
Carlos de la Garza - drums (1999?2003)
Tyler Jones - trumpet (2001?2004)
Justin Ferreira - drums (2003?2005)
Matt Wong - bass, backing vocals (1992?2007)
Left to right: John Christianson, Dan Regan, Aaron Barrett, Ryland Steen, and Scott Klopfenstein. Derek Gibbs is not visible behind Klopfenstein.
Left to right: John Christianson, Dan Regan, and Aaron Barrett.
Trombone player Dan Regan.
Reel Big Fish at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, AZ 1/5/09



 

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