Pomona, CA – Reel Big Fish, the band formed in Huntington Beach, CA brought their ska rock sound to Pomona’s Fox Theater Thursday night. The band played the show along side Streetlight Manifesto, Lionize,Rodeo Ruby Love to a loud and excited crowd. The band playing all of it greatest hits from the bands 20 years with this tour supporting last years release of “The Best of Us..For The Rest of Us” greatest hits album and the recently released “Skacoustic”, the bands first all acoustic album.
Prior to the band took the stage we were able to sit down with Jon Christianson, Mike Appleton and Dan Reagan of Reel Big Fish about the band career touring and the music industry today.
M.U.S.E. – How is it coming back home and playing in front of a hometown crowd?
Reel Big Fish – The shows here are always amazing and the first time we are playing here at the Fox Theater
M.U.S.E. – How has the tour been going?
Reel Big Fish – It has been amazing but the cold weather cities have been tough. It has been really cold on this tour but the shows have be awesome with great bands like Streetlight Manifesto, Lionize and Rodeo Ruby Love. Good to watch every band and all very different which keeps it interesting.
M.U.S.E. – What were your influences?
Reel Big Fish – We have played shows with Sublime and No Doubt that really influenced Aaron Barrett the original band member and when the band started it was a cover band then we started adding punk and Â wacky ska influences to find our sound.
M.U.S.E. – Is the fan base different in U.S. and your European fans?
Reel Big Fish – It is the same as the US but it seems like South America and Europe tend to sing along horn parts and the guitar solos not just along with the lyrics it is like a choir which is fun. The kids just want to have a good time and we are very lucky to be well received like that.
M.U.S.E. – You have such a wide range of fans do adapt to cover the range in your fans or do you stick to your game plan?
Reel Big Fish – Part of it is that we are a ska band. We are not going to drop the horns and add keyboards do things like some other bands have done. We are always going to play music that is fun and horn influenced. Aaron calls our music candy coated fury it is happy music with sometimes spiteful lyrics and record another record I am sure it is in the works.
M.U.S.E. – What are your views on the record industry, digital distribution and the changes taking place and how does it affect the band?
Reel Big Fish – It doesn’t seem to make a big difference in our band, we never been a album sales driven band in the first place. If anything the digital era has helped expand our fan base around the world. It is definitely easier for people to get our music. It spreads quicker and it makes it easier to record and put out records because we don’t Â have to worry about labels telling us what to do. It is a weird time we are going to see the downfall of the music industry as well as the downfall of bookstores and book sellers along with record stores becoming fewer with the biggest seller being Wal-Mart. It is harder to make money but if you can keep at it with touring, but it maybeÂ harder for the public to filter all that stuff online you suddenly at the same level at a just bought their instruments punk rock band.
M.U.S.E. – The new album, “Skacoustic” released three weeks ago, what was the thought process about doing an acoustic album?
Reel Big Fish – I think we always wanted to do an MTV Storytellers thing were we can sit down and talk about the songs. We have done it in Hawaii were we did an entire acoustic set that it worked out so well that we had to do it
M.U.S.E. – Have you done any acoustic shows?
Reel Big Fish – Aside from that one show with 50 people at the show, we have not but maybe in the future.
M.U.S.E. – How have it been filming your videos that have been so fun and wacky at times. What does the band have next?
Reel Big Fish – We just recorded another one for “Brown Eyed Girl” and what do we come up next, put all the guys in dresses and in wings it was great fun and Matt ripped our drummers clothes off Â at the end and sorry it happened. The videos have been a lot of fun and have done a lot for our career.
M.U.S.E – What has been your favorite album?
Reel Big Fish – Matt: I can look at this a little more objective since not being in the band so long my favorite was, “Why Do They Rock So Hard”.Â Jon: I like Cheer Up our covers and the greatest hits were my favorites.
The band will being playing tonight in Las Vegas then take a months off before going on a tour of Europe. The band plans on returning to the US to play in 2012 and a possible college tour to come. If they are in your town it is a fun must see show for any lover of live music.