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My time with Reel Big Fish

By David Kleinstein

Section: Arts

April 13, 2007

This past week, Brandeis University had the distinct pleasure of hosting those kings of crooning, those sultans of song, Reel Big Fish. And I was fortunate to be able to sit down with the band for an interview. I had the privilege of speaking to Aaron Barrett, the energetic lead singer, and Scott Klopfenstein, the multi-instrumentalist vocalist, and they told me everything from how the band started, to the strange string of 16 year old band members, to their love of a good nights sleep after a show.

The band started when Aaron got his first guitar at age 16 and he met fellow guitarist and current bass player Matt Wong. By coincidence, most of the new members that joined the band over the years have been 16 when they joined. Reel Big Fish signed with Mojo Records in 1996, a label which would grow progressively more oppressive and demanding of the band over their ten year stint with Mojo. Over the course of their history, the band has gone through a grand total of 19 members. They described the experience as some good times for a while interspersed with a sudden crash every once in a while, though both Scott and Aaron emphatically agreed that this is the most excited theyve been about the band in quite some time. This excitement definitely translated when the group took the stage. The crowd had been growing steadily since the show started, and when Reel Big Fish took the stage, the crowd shook Gosman. The set list included crowd favorites like Sell Out, She Has A Girlfriend Now, and Beer. They treated the crowd to different styles of S.R. including a metal and a reggae rendition. The crowd was absolutely pumped throughout the whole performance. There was skanking in the crowd, a series of mosh pits, and even crowd surfing. Having seen them last year at Union College, I can say that theyre even better now, packing the same intensity as a large outdoor concert into the basketball courts in Gosman.

The band are going on a European tour this spring, and during the summer they will be touring with Less Than Jake, Streetlight Manifesto, and Against All Authority, and they recently released a live recording of their biggest hits. All in all, Reel Big Fish treated Brandeis to a great show and has left us all asking ourselves, why do they rock so hard?

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