The One After is a feature in which Modern Vinyl authors take on the album AFTER the optimal. In various other words, what did a band also do to follow up their biggest record? How carry out you follow up “Blonde On Blonde?” What around “London Calling?” Did the artist develop off their success, recoil from it, or land somewhere in between?
The ska revival of the mid to late ’90s is polarizing, to say the leastern. There are few now who have actually opinions that aren’t either wrapped in nostalgia or decidedly negative, yet despite this chasm in opinion, acts prefer The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Sublime, Less Than Jake, and dozens of others all had actually their brief moment in the mass pop-society spotlight, with horns and also 4/4 guitar upstrokes filling the airwaves.
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No song is possibly more emblematic of the ska revival’s punk-edged sound than Reel Big Fish’s “Sell Out,” a mockery of eexceptionally band also that ever readjusted their tune in initiatives of getting a contract and airplay. Of course, the Southern The golden state band also had been playing ska-punk for numerous years prior to the pop-culture ascension and also had actually already self-released an album, Everypoint Sucks, before signing with Mojo Records and putting out their label dehowever, Turn the Radio Off, in the summer of 1996.
“Sell Out” would hit number 10 on the alternate charts, the album would go gold (even more on that in a second), and also the band rode the success of the album to innumerable festival appearances and also near-consistent touring. With the smash success of Turn the Radio Off, and the fairly brief shelf life of the genre renewal, wbelow was Reel Big Fish to go for their following full length?
After the interim release of the Keep Your Receipt EP in 1997, and an appearance in the sports comedy Baseketball in the summer of 1998 — via a minor hit from the band’s cover of “Take On Me” from the movie’s soundtrack — the band’s main follow-up to Turn the Radio Off, titled Why Do They Rock Hard?, came out in October of ’98.
The brand-new album would certainly prove to be a slight revolve away from the upstrokes of their Mojo deyet. The initially single, “The Set Up (You Need This)” was no less catchy than “Sell Out” or “Beer” from Turn the Radio Off, yet those expecting Reel Big Fish to rehash those tracks would be surprised by the fact that the song is, in fact, practically perfectly-crafted arena rock with horns.
The follow-up single, “The Kids Don’t Like It,” sported an unfortunately prescient title, and the album wouldn’t enhance Turn the Radio off commercially, spending just three weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking in the 60s. To compare, Radio spent 32 weeks on the chart, peaking at #57, going gold. All in all, Reel Big Fish wouldn’t release an additional studio album for practically 4 years. Although the Favorite Noise compilation was released worldwide in the gap, the band’s following album, Cheer Up!, didn’t drop until June of 2002.
So, exactly how does a band also address releasing such a surprise success, and then follow it up? That’s kind of the point of this function, but in this case, quite than sindicate pontificating around just how dumb kids were in 1998 for not recognizing exactly how rocking “The Set Up,” “She’s Famous Now,” and also “Somebody Hates Me” were, we chose to talk via someone that was tbelow.
There’s Scott, via the glasses, best in the middle.
Scott Klopfenstein played trumpet, sang backup vocals, and was the comic foil to Reel Big Fish frontman Aaron Barrett for 18 years, till he reworn down from the band also in 2011. We referred to as him one cold January Sunday and also chatted around the success of Turn the Radio Off and the subsequent reception of Why Do They Rock So Hard?.
When Turn the Radio Off came out in 1996, Klopfenstein was 19 years old. Given the family member youth of the majority of Reel Big Fish, it wasn’t so a lot the commercial success of the album that surprised them, however rather the basic interemainder.
“We constantly had actually a challenging time grasping the idea that human being favored our band also,” Klopfenstein defined. “Since of the reality that we were playing ska music, which is currently this various other point – “alternative” and all of the things that we had actually grown up to know as effective radio music – you currently feel sort of like an appetizer trying to make its means right into the primary course.”
The band also weren’t down on themselves, though. Klopfenstein was quick to ascertain me Reel Big Fish constantly felt they did what they did exceptionally well, while still possessing a “red-headed stepchild” mentality. But, since they functioned constantly, he feels choose what occurred to the band also was equivalent to what happens to a lot of teams.
“You wind up functioning so much, you don’t realize what’s going on around you,” shelp the trumpeter. “You don’t obtain to speak and appreciate it or go, ‘Oh, my gosh — this is happening."”
Klopfenstein relates a story concerning the filming of Baseketround, wherein Reel Big Fish had to be on-collection at 6 or 7 in the morning. They were there all day, however didn’t shoot until 4:30. After filming for 40 minutes to an hour, they got off-phase, went ago house to spfinish a tiny while through their loved ones, and then had actually to be earlier at the airport at 5 a.m. to go back on tour.
“It was indicative of everything that we did, bereason we toured constantly,” he declared matter-of-factly. For Turn the Radio Off, and also Why Do They Rock So Hard?, the push included Aaron Barrett and also Klopfenstein constantly on planes, flying back-and-forth to New York because they had actually to perform push for the likes of MTV and also VH1, in addition to morning mirrors and any type of variety of other outlets.
“Then we would capture our trip, go back and also satisfy the band, play the present, sleep in a hotel, hop on a plane, fly to New York, carry out the interviews, hop on a aircraft, and also go earlier and also play the show that night,” Klopfenstein ongoing. “That was simply the method Reel Big Fish was. Since we were constantly on tour or in the studio, we were always in a rush to acquire whatever done. We also never said, ‘No,’ to things, so we were always crammed, but as soon as you gain the chance, you have to say, ‘Yes."”
Basically, whenever Klopfenstein had actually a moment to breathe, someone would yank him into one more room to execute an intercheck out, or he’d hopped on a bus or trip. The band was playing practically eextremely night, never before taking breaks, and also the previously mentioned press, which consisted of morning drive-time radio reflects or afternoon document store in-stores — essentially, playing two mirrors a day. It was after numerous years of this that the band also taped the follow-up.
While “I’m Cool,” one of the songs which would certainly inevitably display up on Why Do They Rock So Hard?, had actually formerly showed up on the Keep Your Receipt EP a year prior, the album was a culmicountry of a number of components. Several of the songs were re-taped and also tweaked versions of tracks from their independently-released Everypoint Sucks, choose “I Want Your Girlfriend to My Girlfrifinish.” Others had been created for Turn the Radio Off, however hadn’t made it. However before, Why Do They Rock So Hard? was, ultimately, simply a product of an extremely certain time for the band also.
“I love that album. It’s still one of my favorites,” Klopfensteins shelp. “Because of where we were as a band, doing that album — it was a really prolific time for us, creatively, I feel favor. Aaron could focus, we could focus. We just wrote and wrote and also composed.”
He does acexpertise tbelow was a details pressure that the band always put on themselves going into the studio, saying the sophoeven more album is always regarded to be a tough thing. Their document label, Mojo, appeared supportive and encouraging to the band also, though, to the suggest of allowing them a appropriate pre-production duration for the document. All of the songs for the group’s prior recordings had been road-tested and also worked on in rehearsal spaces, but Why Do They Rock So Hard? was something different.
“This was us locking ourselves in the studio for a little bit and also really working things out,” described Klopfenstein, saying that it was also even more so the instance on later initiative, Cheer Up. He ongoing, stating that the value of pre-manufacturing is the moment the band has to sit down and really hash some stuff out, together as a band. He credits the ears of producer John Avila on those demos as teaching Reel Big Fish a lot around songcomposing and also setup, along with stating the far-bigger budgain.
“Tbelow was a ton of money invested in this document,” Klopfenstein admitted, before saying that the band also didn’t see that as pressure. “We observed that as possibility, bereason we really wanted to attain an excellent deal. Our musical tastes were so vast and eclectic; we wanted that all to present. We observed what bands choose No Doubt were doing, and that’s what we wanted to carry out.”
The trumpet player feels that, through Why Do They Rock So Hard?, Reel Big Fish showinstances a band also having a good time, as well as one finding out how to use the studio.
That definitely comes with on the record.
Tbelow are keyboards and also samples – that intro on “The Set Up” being an impressive instance thereof – yet the band wasn’t just throwing things at the wall to see what stuck.
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Turn the Radio Off is a good document, but it feels even more so favor a arsenal of songs than an album appropriate. Why Do They Rock So Hard?, however, is more of a singular experience, with better flow and also a series of songs which seem like they came together at the exact same time, fairly than in a progressive process. “I Want Your Girlfriend” is bookended by “I’m Cool” and “Everything Is Cool,” producing a three-song run of tongue-in-cheek egotism, whereas the “fuck yeah!” of “Big Star” is instantly toned down by “The Kids Don’t Like It.”
“We love it all,” shelp Klopfenstein of how the document turned out. “Of course, you want to create a document that’s excellent, but we felt favor we had an excellent record. I still feel favor this is a record that’s among my favorite things that we’ve ever before made, and also one of my favorite points we’ve ever added to. It’s truly collaborative.”
Scott Klopfenstein’s latest work-related is uncovered on the stage manufacturing, Locked Up Bitches, which ran through April 28 at the Flea Theater in New York City’s Tribeca area. Reel Big Fish, although without Klopfenstein, still tour and plays shows, and also you deserve to discover tour dates at their website.