Reel Big Fish were right in the thick of that third wave of ska ten or so years back, but they’re one of the few bands to not only stick around, but to still be vital and their Warped Tour performance on Columbia, MD on July 16th was evidence of that. Singer Aaron Barrett gave me some feedback on why they’re still going strong and how the tour has been thus far.
RnRnMN: How has the Warped Tour been treating you?
AB: We are having an amazing time on the warped tour! Awesome crowds, lots of great bands and lots of stuff to keep us busy every day!
RnRnMN: How many times have you played the Warped Tour and how has it changed over the years? How does this year compare?
AB: I don’t know if it’s just been so long that I don’t remember or what but it just seems that the whole thing runs a whole lot more smoothly than ever! The catering is a thousand times better than ever too!
RnRnMN: Ten years ago, ska bands were everywhere, but not so much now. What do you have that’s kept you around when so many of your peers have fallen by the wayside?
AB: I think the important thing that has kept us around and going strong is that we never listened to the record company, we listened to the fans! The record labels would cluelessly ask for “modern rock singles” and mixes of songs with “the horns turned off,” but we always stuck to what WE wanted to do and we knew that the fans were there supporting us and loving what we did too!
RnRnMN: Who is the best band you’ve seen on the Warped Tour this year?
AB: Against me, Oreskaband, Gil Mantera’s Part Dream
RnRnMN: There’s a lot of bands to choose from. It’s overwhelming when you get here and look at the schedule. Why should someone see you?
AB: Well, luckily for us, a lot of people know about our band and have heard the name, so that might draw them over to our stage while we’re playing. Also, our reputation of being fun and entertaining helps bring people over too!
RnRnMN: The Warped Tour has corporate sponsors like AT&T. How do you feel about that? Is it a good thing, a necessary evil or a sellout?
AB: Well it has always had corporate sponsors like Vans and such, it’s just a way to get more money so that the production is better and everybody can enjoy the experience that much more. It does get kind of annoying to be constantly aurally and visually assaulted by ads everywhere, but that’s just the world we live in right now, I guess.
See all of my coverage from the Warped Tour in Columbia, MD on July 16, 2008 here.