Reel Big Fish
Reel Big Fish

Aaron Barrett of Reel Big Fish Goes on Tour After Near-Death Experience with Ruptured Appendix

Reel Big Fish, one of OC's stawarts from the mid-'90s ska phenomenon, have been touring hard lately. They just came back from Europe, are headed to South America in October this year and just kicked off their US summer tour with Streetlight Manifesto in Texas! The band have two musical pit stops near us--one at the Grove in Anaheim and another at Club Nokia in LA.

OC Weekly caught up with singer Aaron Barrett before their tour kicks off; he shares his feelings about touring again and how hardcore he is, performing right after going through surgery for acute appendicitis.

OC Weekly: I heard something happened to you a couple of weeks ago. What happened?

Aaron Barrett: My appendix ruptured suddenly and I had to go to hospital. I thought it was bad food poisoning at first so I waited around for a couple of days. "Oh yeah, you could have died if you didn't come sooner!" my doctors told me. I spent a week with tubes inside my stomach  but they pulled the tubes yesterday so I'm all good now! No anesthesia or nothing!

Jeez, how are you feeling now?

I'm all better now, tonight is our first show and we'll see if I can come through. If I can through "Suburban Rhythm" (alluding to their nearly-seven minute long anthem) I can do anything! So, we'll see...

Wow, you're pretty hardcore! And you guys just came back from touring Europe too! How was that like? Do Europeans like to skank and get in the pit much?

Yeah, we did the slam dunk festival for a couple of nights. They really like us in England. They still put us in magazines even and everything! We just recently went to Russia and they were ska-crazy! We went to Moscow and they knew all the words to all the songs. We even played in Latvia and a bunch of people from all over  Eastern Europe showed up.

Nice. You guys are kicking off your American tour tonight in ready?
I'm ready, we just did soundcheck and I could still play and sing. We're gonna be playing some random old, obscure songs that we never played, like "Cyanide Señorita," "Cannibal"... Just some stuff to mix it up. But we are still going to do the favorites. We've been doing the greatest hits set list forever now, so we're just trying to mix things up, you know?

You guys are playing with Streetlight Manifesto; are you looking forward to hanging out with them?

Yup, Its awesome to see them getting so big, we took them out like four or five years ago while playing with MXPX. It was awesome. I talked them and their managers into letting them do this tour with us, so It'll be fun.

And then I hear that you leave to South America with Goldfinger right after the U.S tour?! 

Yeah, we were supposed to hit it earlier this year but we had to reschedule. And oh yeaaah, we've known Goldfinger since '96, they are like our bigger ska brothers.

And you guys just have re-released a new 3-disc extended version of "A Best of Us For The Rest of Us" right?

It's a deluxe version the album with a couple of bonus songs and bunch of acoustic stuff. People are still getting into us and ska to this day, so we are just giving them more of our stuff to listen to.

Do you have any plans after all your touring? 
We are finally going to start making a whole new album. We haven't done anything new since 2007 and we do have a bunch of new stuff to record. Not to mention our fans have been bugging us.

Anything else you would like to share?
We're playing a show at the Grove in Anaheim on July 12. It's going to be our home town show so we hope a lot of people will come out!


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