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Reel Big Fish is a ska/punk band from Orange County California that came into the music scene after the success of the other bands No Doubt and Sublime. They broke into the music scene during the summer of 1997, when their single “Sell Out” became modern rock radio and an MTV favorite. Reel Big Fish was originally a trio made of a vocalist/guitarist Aaron Barrett, bassist Matt Wong and drummer Andrew Gonzales. At that time the band was a rock band. After many months, the band discovered ska and decided to add horn players.

Reel Big Fish had a hard time aintaining a stable horn section, and it took several years before their final horn section (Tavis Werts-Trumpet, Scott Klopfenstein-trumpet/vocals, Grant Barry-Trombone, Dan Regan-Trombone) fell into place. With this new and final lineup Reel Big Fish recorded their debut album, Everything Sucks. They released it themselves in 1995. Everything Sucks became a ska/punk hit underground by word of mouth. A little while later the band signed with record label Mojo Records. Joy Rifkin, the labels president, produced Reel Big Fish’s first album Turn the Radio Off for Mojo.

Turn The Radio Off was released in August of 1996. The group toured in support of the album continually, expanding their fan base. In the spring of 1997, their single “Sell Out” began receiving heavy airplay from many influential modern rock stations in the US This soon led to MTV support for the song’s video. By summer time “Sell Out” had become a modern rock hit. The album had charted in the Top 100. In July of 1997 Reel Big Fish released Keep You Receipt, which contained “Sell Out” and other outtakes, new songs and some live cuts.

One of my personal favorites from Turn The Radio Off is “Trendy”. The song is basically making fun of popular people. Reel Big Fish is saying that people are trendy to try to be cool and to avoid being made fun of. I chose this song because I try very hard to avoid being trendy. I don’t have anything against trendy people, but I want to try as hard as I can to be myself. I don’t want to look like someone else and I don’t want someone else looking like me. It is stupid to want to fit in just so you don’t get made fun of. I think that writing or recording a song can affect people in many ways.

Hopefully the song that you write or record will impact people the way that you want it to. Sometimes people write things and when the public hears it they hear the total opposite thing that the writer or singer wanted them to hear. If I were writing and recording a song it would probably be about the violence in schools and teens abusing drugs and alcohol. Hopefully it would scare people into not bringing a gun to school or not doing drugs because they wouldn’t want to suffer the consequences. There are many artists in History that have written songs in an attempt to change ociety and that have impacted people majority.

The first one that comes to mind of is Michael Jackson. He has written so many songs that were written to tell the world that things need to change. All of his songs are aimed at someone different every time. Tabloid Junkie was directed towards the press, Little Susie was directed towards abusive parents. Another artist that comes to mind when I think of people who have written song(s) in attempt to change society is the band U2 with Bloody Sunday. These songs that artists write make people think. They make people want to change.

Not everyone can be changed by a song and everyone won’t be changed by it. I just started listening to Reel Big Fish a couple of months ago and I love them. If my report would have been on a song other than “Trendy” it would have been on the song “Sellout”. “Sellout is about bands, groups, and singers that don’t care about making the music they want to but making the music that people want to her and getting paid a lot of money for doing it. I think that there are a lot of bands doing that now just because they don’t really care about the music but rather the money.

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