The One After is a attribute in which Modern Vinyl authors take on the album AFTER the optimal. In various other words, what did a band also carry out to follow up their greatest record? How perform you follow up “Blonde On Blonde?” What around “London Calling?” Did the artist build off their success, recoil from it, or land also somewbelow in between?
The ska resurgence of the mid to late ’90s is polarizing, to say the leastern. There are few this day that have opinions that aren’t either wrapped in nostalgia or decidedly negative, however 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, via horns and 4/4 guitar upstrokes filling the airwaves.
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No song is probably more emblematic of the ska revival’s punk-edged sound than Reel Big Fish’s “Sell Out,” a mockery of eextremely band that ever changed their tune in efforts of acquiring a contract and also airplay. Of course, the Southern California band also had actually been playing ska-punk for a number of years prior to the pop-culture ascension and also had already self-released an album, Everypoint Sucks, before signing via Mojo Records and also placing out their label deyet, Turn the Radio Off, in the summer of 1996.
“Sell Out” would hit number 10 on the alternative charts, the album would go gold (even more on that in a second), and also the band also rode the success of the album to innumerable festival appearances and also near-constant touring. With the smash success of Turn the Radio Off, and the relatively brief shelf life of the genre revival, wbelow was Reel Big Fish to go for their next full length?
After the interim release of the Keep Your Receipt EP in 1997, and an appearance in the sporting activities comedy Baseketball in the summer of 1998 — through a minor hit from the band’s cover of “Take On Me” from the movie’s soundtrack — the band’s official follow-as much as Turn the Radio Off, titled Why Do They Rock Hard?, came out in October of ’98.
The brand-new album would prove to be a slight revolve amethod from the upstrokes of their Mojo dehowever. The first single, “The Set Up (You Need This)” was no much less catchy than “Sell Out” or “Beer” from Turn the Radio Off, however those expecting Reel Big Fish to rehash those tracks would be surprised by the fact that the song is, in truth, nearly perfectly-crafted arena rock via horns.
The follow-up single, “The Kids Don’t Like It,” sported an unfortunately prescient title, and the album wouldn’t complement Turn the Radio off commercially, spfinishing only 3 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 one more studio album for almost four years. Although the Favorite Noise compilation was released internationally in the gap, the band’s following album, Cheer Up!, didn’t drop till June of 2002.
So, how does a band also deal with releasing such a surpclimb success, and then follow it up? That’s sort of the suggest of this attribute, but in this instance, fairly than ssuggest pontificating around just how dumb kids were in 1998 for not recognizing how rocking “The Set Up,” “She’s Famous Now,” and “Somebody Hates Me” were, we decided to talk via someone that was tbelow.
There’s Scott, through the glasses, best in the middle.
Scott Klopfenstein played trumpet, sang backup vocals, and also was the comic foil to Reel Big Fish frontmale Aaron Barrett for 18 years, till he retired from the band in 2011. We called him one cold January Sunday and chatted around the success of Turn the Radio Off and the succeeding reception of Why Do They Rock So Hard?.
When Turn the Radio Off came out in 1996, Klopfenstein was 19 years old. Given the loved one youth of the majority of Reel Big Fish, it wasn’t so a lot the commercial success of the album that surprised them, but instead the general interest.
“We constantly had a hard time grasping the idea that world preferred our band also,” Klopfenstein explained. “Because of the fact that we were playing ska music, which is already this various other point – “alternative” and also every one of the points that we had actually grown approximately recognize as successful radio music – you already feel kind of choose an appetizer trying to make its means into the major course.”
The band weren’t dvery own on themselves, though. Klopfenstein was quick to assure me Reel Big Fish always 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 happened to the band was comparable to what happens to a lot of teams.
“You wind up working so much, you don’t realize what’s going on roughly you,” sassist the trumpeter. “You don’t obtain to stop and appreciate it or go, ‘Oh, my gosh — this is happening."”
Klopfenstein relates a story regarding the filming of Baseketround, wherein Reel Big Fish had actually to be on-set at 6 or 7 in the morning. They were there all day, yet didn’t shoot until 4:30. After filming for 40 minutes to an hour, they got off-phase, went back residence to spfinish a little while through their loved ones, and also then had actually to be earlier at the airport at 5 a.m. to go ago on tour.
“It was indicative of whatever that we did, because we toured constantly,” he stated matter-of-factly. For Turn the Radio Off, and also Why Do They Rock So Hard?, the push had Aaron Barrett and Klopfenstein constantly on planes, flying back-and-forth to New York bereason they had actually to perform push for the likes of MTV and VH1, along with morning shows and any kind of number of various other outallows.
“Then we would certainly catch our flight, go ago and accomplish the band, play the present, sleep in a hotel, hop on a airplane, fly to New York, carry out the interviews, hop on a airplane, and go ago and play the show that night,” Klopfenstein continued. “That was simply the method Reel Big Fish was. Due to the fact that we were constantly on tour or in the studio, we were constantly in a rush to get everything done. We additionally never said, ‘No,’ to points, so we were always crammed, yet once you gain the chance, you have to say, ‘Yes."”
Basically, whenever Klopfenstein had a moment to breathe, someone would certainly yank him into an additional room to do an intersee, or he’d hopped on a bus or flight. The band was playing virtually eincredibly night, never taking breaks, as well as the previously mentioned press, which included morning drive-time radio reflects or afternoon record keep in-stores — basically, playing two shows a day. It was after several years of this that the band also taped the follow-up.
While “I’m Cool,” among the songs which would certainly inevitably display up on Why Do They Rock So Hard?, had formerly showed up on the Keep Your Receipt EP a year prior, the album was a culmicountry of several factors. Several of the songs were re-taped and tweaked versions of tracks from their independently-released Everything Sucks, favor “I Want Your Girlfrifinish 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, inevitably, just 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 also, doing that album — it was a really prolific time for us, creatively, I feel like. Aaron could emphasis, we can focus. We simply wrote and created and created.”
He does acunderstanding tbelow was a specific press that the band also constantly put on themselves going right into the studio, saying the sophomore album is constantly viewed to be a difficult point. Their document label, Mojo, seemed supportive and encouraging to the band also, though, to the point of permitting them a appropriate pre-manufacturing duration for the record. All of the songs for the group’s prior recordings had actually been road-tested and also operated on in rehearsal spaces, yet Why Do They Rock So Hard? was somepoint different.
“This was us locking ourselves in the studio for a bit and really working things out,” explained Klopfenstein, saying that it was even more so the case on later on effort, Cheer Up. He continued, 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 also. He credits the ears of producer John Avila on those demos as teaching Reel Big Fish a lot around songcreating and also arrangement, together with discussing the far-bigger budacquire.
“Tbelow was a ton of money invested in this record,” Klopfenstein admitted, before saying that the band didn’t view that as pressure. “We saw that as chance, bereason we really wanted to attain a good deal. Our musical tastes were so huge and eclectic; we wanted that all to display. We experienced what bands like No Doubt were doing, and also that’s what we wanted to carry out.”
The trumpet player feels that, with Why Do They Rock So Hard?, Reel Big Fish showsituations a band having a good time, and one discovering how to usage the studio.
That absolutely comes via on the document.
There are keyboards and also samples – that intro on “The Set Up” being an outstanding instance thereof – yet the band wasn’t simply throwing points at the wall to check out what stuck.
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Turn the Radio Off is a good document, but it feels more so favor a collection of songs than an album appropriate. Why Do They Rock So Hard?, however, is more of a singular suffer, via much better circulation and also a collection of songs which seem like they came together at the exact same time, fairly than in a gradual procedure. “I Want Your Girlfriend” is bookfinished by “I’m Cool” and also “Everypoint 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,” said Klopfenstein of exactly how the record turned out. “Of course, you want to write a record that’s great, but we felt prefer we had actually a good record. I still feel choose 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 is uncovered on the phase manufacturing, Locked Up Bitches, which ran with April 28 at the Flea Theater in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. Reel Big Fish, although without Klopfenstein, still tour and also plays reflects, and also you have the right to discover tour dates at their webwebsite.