Reel Big Fish

Reel Big Fish



One of the brightest moments in Reel Big Fish's lengthy career occurred roughly a decade ago, when the ska-punk band inked its major label deal (at the time, with Universal/Mojo) and subsequently released its second and most successful album, Turn The Radio Off. The second important milestone in Reel Big Fish's career came nearly a decade later, in early 2006, when the act learned that they were finally dropped from the label's roster (which had now morphed into Jive Records) after years of begging to be cut loose.

Now, while most bands would've viewed such action as severe impediment in furthering one's musical career, Reel Big Fish simply celebrated the fact that the group finally received its wish to be cut free from its contract - something the band had been begging its label to do since Cheer Up was released. After all, being the only active ska-punk act on a roster that featured pop sensations Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys didn't really make the act feel that much more welcomed. And when the Backstreet Boys reunited, Reel Big Fish happily predicted their major label days were numbered. "It's like 'Reel Big Fish, hundreds of dollars, Backstreet Boys, billions of dollars - even if it's a failure, let's go with the Backstreet Boys,'" says vocalist/guitarist Aaron Barrett of his former label's decision.

When word came in via phone from band management during Reel Big Fish's 2006 Deep Freeze tour stop in Salt Lake City, happiness was instantly in the air. "That was the most excited the band has been in ten years," recalls Barrett. "I've never seen the guys smile that big!" The first fruits of the group's newfound emancipation have finally arrived in the form of a live double-CD and DVD set, titled Our Live Album is Better Than Your Live Album, a full decade after the release of Turn The Radio Off. After nagging the band's former label to release a live album to no avail, Reel Big Fish has finally self-released its first official live full-length via licensing deals with Rykodisc/CD Baby. Digital distribution will be licensed via Rock Ridge. Produced by Barrett, the tracks on both audio CDs were recorded over a seven-day period of the band's West Coast stint on the Deep Freeze tour in January 2006. The shows were seen as a bonus for attendees, who were subsequently treated to longer, two-and-a-half hour sets by the band, of which Barrett jokingly says, "there was a lot of talking, so it was probably more like 20 minutes of actual playing time." The audio discs feature a total of 30 songs, including an unreleased track written during the sessions of We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy, "So Much For Rock N' Roll," and a cover of The Cure's "Boys Don't Cry." As for the rest of the album's tracks, Barrett notes that they're simply part of a greatest hits collection, performed in a live setting. In fact, Barrett suggests that the album is really the band's chance to re-commit their songs to disc once more - and hopefully with better results this time around. "Basically the live album is just an excuse to re-record everything," he adds. "That's where we've always felt most comfortable. When we're on stage, we just feel better about playing."

And because most Reel Big Fish fans end up becoming lifelong devotees of the group after attending a live show, Barrett hopes that his act's latest release will simply open more doors to those just discovering his act for the first time. "It's an easier way to get into us so you don't have to buy a whole bunch of albums, just this one," he says. "also, Jive still owns all our other albums so this is our way of taking our music back!"

The accompanying DVD features 20 songs filmed from a live show in April 2006 at The Alley in Fullerton, Calif. The professionally shot and edited multi-camera shoot was directed by Jonathan London and features plenty of performance footage interspersed with the band's typically witty stage banter. Additionally, several special DVD features include practice footage, a small documentary regarding overdubbing, interviews with band members and a photo gallery. Looking back on Reel Big Fish's career, Barrett sees the present as an opportune time to release a live recording of the act, since he feels the band's live performances have improved remarkably throughout the years. "It sounded like a train falling down a hill," says Barrett of hisband's earlier years. "But the train's now like the bullet train in Japan. It's smooth, there's no noise and Mt. Fuji is outside thewindow!"

On the task of having to assemble the newly independent act's latestwares, Barrett says, "I've never worked so hard on an album. Now that there isn't a record company, we have to do everything. But I like that we have our hands in everything that goes on. It's a whole lot of work but there is more satisfaction in knowing we did it all ourselves."


Sell Out

Written By: Reel Big Fish

Well, I know you cant work in fast food all your life
But dont sign that paper tonight, she said, but its too late.
I dont remember what I read, I dont remember what they
Said, I guess it doesnt matter, I guess it doesnt matter
Anymore - youre gonna go to the record store
Youre gonna giveem all your money
Radio plays what they want you to hear
They tell me its cool but I just dont believe it...

Sell out, with me oh yea, sell out, with me tonight
Record companys gonna give me lots of money and
Everythings gonna be. (all right)

No more flippin burgers puttin on my silly hat you know
I dont want that no more, I didnt ask when wed
Get paid, I quit my day job anyway, I guess it
Doesnt matter, I guess it doesnt matter anymore
Youre gonna go to the record store, youre gonna
Giveem all your money, radio plays what they want
You to hear, they tell me its cool, but I just dont
Believe it
Sell out, with me oh yea, sell out
With me tonight, the record companys gonna give me
Lots of money and everythings gonna be.

I dont think itll be so bad
I know it wont be so bad
Cause the man said thats the way it is and the
Man said it dont get better than this no no no

So I signed on to the record company, they say theyre
Gonna give me lots of money, if I play what they want you to hear
They tell me its cool, and I sure believe it...


2006 - Our Live Album is Better Than Your Live Album (Full Length)
2005 - We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy (Full Length)
2002 - Cheer Up (Full Legnth)
2001 - Favourite Noise (Full Length International Import)
2000 - Keep Your Reciept (EP Re-Release)
1998 - Why Do They Rock So Hard? (Full Length)
1996 - Turn The Radio Off (Ful Length)

7" vinyl records
"Vacationing In Palm Springs"
"Teen Beef"

Dead Bands Party: A Tribute to Oingo Boingo
- Track 5, "We Close Our Eyes" (2005)
Take Warning: The Songs of Operation Ivy
- Track 2, "Unity"
The Duran Duran Tribute Album
- Track 6, "Hungry Like the Wolf"
BASEketball Original Sountrack
- Track 1, "Take on Me", Track 10 "Beer"
Where is My Mind? - A Tribute to the Pixies
- Track 9, "Gigantic" (1999)
The Wild Thornberrys Soundtrack
- Track 9, "Monkey Man"
- Track 3, "Kiss Me Deadly"

Set List

Sample Set List:
(Track Listiong From "Our Live Album is Better Than Your live Album")

1 Trendy
2 Everything Sucks
3 the Bad Guy
4 Maximum Swearing
5 Ban the Tube Top
6 She's Famous Now
7 Drinkin'
8 Boys Don't Cry
9 I Want Your Girlfriend to be my Girlfriend Too
10 Dateless Losers
11 the Set Up
12 Somebody Hates Me
13 Valerie
14 Talkin' Bout a Revolution
15 Beer
16 Take on Me
17 S.R.
18 Kiss Me Deadly
19 So Much For Rock and Roll
20 the 90's
21 She Has a Girlfriend Now
22 the Kids Don't Like it/In the Pit
23 the Fire
24 A Little Doubt Goes a Long Way
25 I'm Trying to be Funny
26 Awesome
27 Turn the Radio Off
28 Where Have You Been
29 Good Thing
30 Your Guts (I Hate 'em)
31 Nothin'
32 Best Band Ever
33 Don't Start a Band
34 A Fond Adieu
35 Sell Out