Reel Big Fish Interview

Veteran ska-punk band Reel Big Fish recently freed itself from its label - and is heading to Sacramento State with special guests Maldroid and Flip the Switch. UNIQUE programs will host the band at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the University Union Ballroom.

Reel Big Fish has been in the ska-punk scene for more than a decade. During that time, the band has released nine albums including a greatest hits CD, and its newest CD, "Monkeys For Nothin' and the Chimps For Free," which came out this past July.

John Christianson, lead trumpet player, said the latter album is the band's first independent record they were able to make after finally ditching what they described as an oppressive record label.

Christianson, who sarcastically claims to be an interpretive dancer, said the band's newfound freedom is absolutely amazing.

"It's the best feeling ever, like it's even better than the best feeling ever. It's better than the best feeling- best ever feeling- ever now," Christianson said.

He also said fans should be excited too because it means the band is now able to do what it wants, when it wants and make the music it wants to.

Liana Winternitz, a sophomore communications major and assistant manager of KSSU, said of the band's freedom, "I heard that they're not on their label anymore. Since they already have their level of fame they don't need the label. It's a step in the right direction and they're still together so the fans are happy."

Christianson said there was an arduous process the band faced when trying to record an album with its former label. He said the process of recording a record for the band is very long, involved and super expensive.

"The record companies are these huge multinational corporations. You have to send them demos. You have to ask permission first to record an album, then make demos and then send the demos to the record company and see if the record company likes those demos. And if they don't, you have to record more demos out of your own pocket," he said.

Finally, he said they'll send a producer down for you to work with to record the real record.

Now though, the band is uninhibited and has a new studio, Christianson said.

Aaron Barrett, the lead singer and lead guitarist, said the band has a new studio that doesn't cost a lot of money to record in and its awesome.

"We can go in whenever we want. It's affordable," he said. "We don't wait for some big budget and for them to decide if the studio is OK for us to record it."

Barrett said overall, Reel Big Fish seems to be happy with where it is and the band members want to continue to make music for their fans.

"As long as people keep showing up to the shows and as long as people want to see us play, we're gonna keep going," he said.

Interested fans can also visit Reel Big Fish's MySpace page containing goofy South Park-styled caricatures with band member names and the instruments they play. It's just one of many signs the band believes in being funny and having a good time, while giving the fans a strong dose of its hilarious shenanigans.


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