The One After is a feature in which Modern Vinyl writers take on the album AFTER the top. In various other words, what did a band perform to follow up their biggest record? How execute you follow up “Blonde On Blonde?” What around “London Calling?” Did the artist build off their success, recoil from it, or land somewhere in between?
The ska resurgence of the mid to late ’90s is polarizing, to say the leastern. Tbelow are few today that have actually opinions that aren’t either wrapped in nostalgia or decidedly negative, however despite this chasm in opinion, acts like 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 4/4 guitar upstrokes filling the airwaves.
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No song is perhaps even more emblematic of the ska revival’s punk-edged sound than Reel Big Fish’s “Sell Out,” a mockery of eincredibly band also that ever readjusted their tune in efforts of getting a contract and also airplay. Of course, the Southern The golden state band had been playing ska-punk for several years prior to the pop-culture ascension and had already self-released an album, Everypoint Sucks, before signing with Mojo Records and putting out their label debut, Turn the Radio Off, in the summer of 1996.
“Sell Out” would certainly hit number 10 on the alternate charts, the album would certainly go gold (more on that in a second), and also the band 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 also the reasonably brief shelf life of the genre resurgence, wbelow was Reel Big Fish to go for their following complete length?
After the interim release of the Keep Your Receipt EP in 1997, and also an appearance in the sports 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 new album would prove to be a slight turn amethod from the upstrokes of their Mojo debut. The first single, “The Set Up (You Need This)” was no much less catchy than “Sell Out” or “Beer” from Turn the Radio Off, but those expecting Reel Big Fish to rehash those tracks would be surprised by the fact that the song is, in truth, practically perfectly-crafted arena rock via horns.
The follow-up single, “The Kids Don’t Like It,” sported an unfortunately prescient title, and also the album wouldn’t match Turn the Radio off commercially, spfinishing just 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 another studio album for nearly 4 years. Although the Favorite Noise compilation was released around the world in the gap, the band’s following album, Cheer Up!, didn’t drop till June of 2002.
So, just how does a band also deal with releasing such a surpclimb success, and also then follow it up? That’s kind of the allude of this function, but in this situation, quite than sindicate pontificating about exactly how dumb kids were in 1998 for not recognizing exactly how rocking “The Set Up,” “She’s Famous Now,” and “Somebody Hates Me” were, we made a decision to talk with someone who was tright here.
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 reworn down from the band in 2011. We dubbed him one cold January Sunday and also 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 family member youth of the majority of Reel Big Fish, it wasn’t so much the commercial success of the album that surprised them, however instead the general interest.
“We always had actually a tough time grasping the idea that world liked our band also,” Klopfenstein explained. “Due to the fact that of the reality that we were playing ska music, which is already this various other thing – “alternative” and every one of the things that we had grown as much as understand as successful radio music – you already feel type of choose an appetizer trying to make its way right into the main 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 very well, while still possessing a “red-headed stepchild” mentality. But, considering that they worked constantly, he feels choose what taken place to the band also was similar to what happens to the majority of groups.
“You wind up functioning so a lot, you don’t realize what’s going on around you,” shelp the trumpeter. “You don’t gain to sheight and also appreciate it or go, ‘Oh, my gosh — this is happening."”
Klopfenstein relates a story about 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, but didn’t shoot until 4:30. After filming for 40 minutes to an hour, they gained off-phase, went earlier residence to spfinish a little while through their loved ones, and also then had actually to be back 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 stated matter-of-factly. For Turn the Radio Off, and Why Do They Rock So Hard?, the push contained Aaron Barrett and Klopfenstein constantly on planes, flying back-and-forth to New York because they had actually to perform press for the likes of MTV and also VH1, in addition to morning reflects and also any variety of various other outallows.
“Then we would capture our trip, go earlier and also accomplish the band also, play the display, sleep in a hotel, hop on a plane, fly to New York, perform the interviews, hop on a aircraft, and go earlier and also play the show that night,” Klopfenstein ongoing. “That was just the way Reel Big Fish was. Due to the fact that we were constantly on tour or in the studio, we were always in a rush to acquire every little thing done. We also never said, ‘No,’ to points, so we were constantly crammed, yet as soon as you obtain the chance, you have to say, ‘Yes."”
Essentially, whenever before Klopfenstein had a moment to breathe, someone would yank him into another room to execute an intercheck out, or he’d hopped on a bus or trip. The band also was playing practically eincredibly night, never before taking breaks, as well as the abovementioned push, which included morning drive-time radio mirrors or afternoon record save in-stores — basically, playing two shows 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 inevitably show up on Why Do They Rock So Hard?, had previously appeared on the Keep Your Receipt EP a year prior, the album was a culmination of numerous components. Several of the songs were re-recorded and also tweaked versions of tracks from their independently-released Everypoint Sucks, prefer “I Want Your Girlfrifinish to My Girlfriend.” Others had been composed for Turn the Radio Off, yet hadn’t made it. However, Why Do They Rock So Hard? was, ultimately, simply a product of a very specific time for the band also.
“I love that album. It’s still one of my favorites,” Klopfensteins shelp. “Due to the fact that of wright here we were as a band also, doing that album — it was a really prolific time for us, creatively, I feel prefer. Aaron might emphasis, we could emphasis. We just created and also created and wrote.”
He does acunderstanding tright here was a particular push that the band always put on themselves going right into the studio, saying the sophoeven more album is always viewed to be a hard point. Their document label, Mojo, appeared supportive and encouraging to the band, though, to the allude 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 functioned on in rehearsal spaces, however Why Do They Rock So Hard? was somepoint different.
“This was us locking ourselves in the studio for a little and also really working points out,” explained Klopfenstein, saying that it was even even more so the situation on later on 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 songwriting and plan, together with stating the far-bigger budgain.
“Tbelow was a ton of money invested in this record,” Klopfenstein admitted, before saying that the band also didn’t check out that as pressure. “We saw that as chance, because we really wanted to attain a good deal. Our musical tastes were so substantial and eclectic; we wanted that all to display. We witnessed what bands choose No Doubt were doing, and also that’s what we wanted to do.”
The trumpet player feels that, via Why Do They Rock So Hard?, Reel Big Fish showcases a band having a great time, and also one learning just how to usage the studio.
That definitely comes through on the record.
Tright here are keyboards and samples – that intro on “The Set Up” being an superior example thereof – yet the band wasn’t just throwing points at the wall to watch what stuck.
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Turn the Radio Off is an excellent record, but it feels even more so favor a collection of songs than an album appropriate. Why Do They Rock So Hard?, however, is even more of a singular experience, with better circulation and a series of songs which seem prefer they came together at the same time, rather than in a gradual process. “I Want Your Girlfriend” is bookended by “I’m Cool” and “Everything Is Cool,” creating a three-song run of tongue-in-cheek egotism, whereas the “fuck yeah!” of “Big Star” is immediately toned down by “The Kids Don’t Like It.”
“We love it all,” said Klopfenstein of how the record turned out. “Of course, you desire to create a record that’s great, however we felt favor we had actually a great document. I still feel like this is a document that’s one of my favorite things that we’ve ever before made, and one of my favorite things we’ve ever added to. It’s truly collaborative.”
Scott Klopfenstein’s latest job-related is uncovered on the stage manufacturing, Locked Up Bitches, which ran with April 28 at the Flea Theater in New York City’s Tribeca area. Reel Big Fish, although without Klopfenstein, still tour and also plays reflects, and also you can find tour dates at their webwebsite.