Reel Big Fish Interview



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Ska'ed For Life.....


Californian ska-punk veterans Reel Big Fish have been blowing hot air for 15 years and are 7 albums-deep in a career that has shaped the genre. Best known in these parts for hits “Never Had to Knock On Wood” and a cover of 80’s hit “Take On Me”, and featuring at Soundwave 2010, the line-up has morphed numerous times. One of the die-hard long-term Fishermen, trumpet maestro Scott Klopfenstein took a few minutes out to explain why Reel Big Fish are a real big deal.



You’re an insane trumpet player, Scott, what made you pick up a trumpet in the first place?

My Grandfather. He was a great, great trumpet player. When he passed, my Grandma said to me at the funeral “I will never hear your Grandfather play again.” It just felt right for me to start after that.

RBF has a reputation for being a rockin’ live act. Do you have a favourite song to perform live?

Each one has its moments for me. We feed off each other, and when we all get into it, the songs become great. They become a special somethin’ somethin’.

What’s been your most memorable live performance to date?

So many. There was a show in Connecticut that sticks in my mind. After being on the road for 3 months straight, we arrived at the venue like 45 minutes late. We were tired, we wanted to go home and we looked horrible! Then we step out on stage and there’s a crowd of 14, 000 people, going nuts. We killed it. Also, last year we played in Brazil for the first time. We sold out 35,000 tickets. Random.

What’s the best aspect of touring?

Just getting the focus on one thing- the show. I’m married so usually I have to work on being a good husband as well as a musician but on the road, I get to really make sure I’m being the best musician I can be. I do a lot of reading on the road, so that’s cool, I just get to kind of relax in that respect. The best thing though? Playing live for sure. Playing live is the best.

What is the biggest pitfall?

For me, it’s not being around my wife. We’ve been best friends since we were 14. The day I met her, I came home and I said to my Dad, “I met this girl today and I’m gonna marry her” and Dad says “Yeah, and you’re going to be in a successful band too.” Haha! I miss my wife like crazy when we’re touring.

Do you get gifts from fans or things thrown on stage? What’s the strangest gift you’ve received?

Once on stage I mentioned something about how cool it would be if they made a Tabasco flavoured cheese cracker. Somehow, somewhere someone made this Tabasco flavoured cheese cracker. Very night for a long time, I would receive a box of these from a fan. It was the most consistent and bizarre gift. Also, one time there was a dude in the crowd with a shirt on that said “I belong to Wollongong.” I asked him if I could have it. I’ve still got it.

What do you think about Australian music?

All the Australian bands we’ve played with are great. Fat Freddy’s Drop are awesome, they’re cool. I think they are New Zealand guys though. The Living End are a great band. I’m always trying to become more aware of music from other countries. Right now I’m into Ethiopian music. I have a 15 volume CD collection called Ethiopique. It’s very cool, it has so much soul. Nigerian music is awesome too.


I read that in an interview once you summed yourself up in five words: good, funky, sexy chicken fingers. Can you describe yourself in five words now?

I said that? OK, well let’s revise it. Opaque, rhubarb, squishy, hairy and pagnequtent. I may have made that last word up. 

What's the RBF live experience like?

Good music up in your faces. A band that’s like firecrackers in your face.


Thanks for chatting to Apollo, Scott!


Hannah Randall

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