Exclusive: Don't Call Reel Big Fish's Aaron Barrett the 'Skafather'

In this week's story about Reel Big Fish, Aaron Barrett talked about Orange County's old ska scene, and how that's propelled their career.

But ultra-charming Reel Big Fish front man also talked about a few other things–regarding karaoke, his iPod and the term “skafather,” which came from an OC Register interview last year.

On being the
: “I don't like that term. I think Tazy Phillips is the
skafather, he's the guy who's been promoting ska music and telling
people about ska bands.

We're a ska band and we've influenced a lot of
people but I don't want to take credit for crating a sound or a scene.
I was just a ska kid who made the music for fun. When I started going
to shows I'd watch four or five bands and I'd dance for hours and
hours. I was always proud to just be part of it.”

On the next big thing:  “I've
noticed a lot more bands that have that Sublime-reggae sound…I don't
want to say that's the next big thing but I've noticed it, and it gets
played on the radio. It makes sense, it's cool and laid back.”

On his music collection: “Everything
i've ever owned is on my iPod and I think that's the coolest thing in
the world. When we started going on tour I'd bring a big CD booklet–now I don't have to choose!”

On producing other ska bands: “I don't think
I'll ever produce bands again. I'm not good at telling people what to
do. I can do it with my band, but I know what it's like to be young and
starting and have an old guy come in bossing you around. I'd be like, 'What
do you know? you don't know anything about our music.' I don't want to mess up anyone
else's album.”

On being shy: Barrett says proof of his shyness is his inability to sing karaoke. “I have to get so drunk to
sing karaoke. I've sung one of Reel Big Fish's songs ('She Has a
Girlfriend Now') at the Detroit Bar. We pretended we didn't know the
words.  I feel like I'm making progress if I can sing karaoke when I'm

On his non-RBF activities: “I don't have any hobbies; our manager
started a movie company and he's bugging me to be in some of his
movies. I don't know how good I'd be at acting; I've done it in my
videos, hamming it up and acting silly.”

On his tattoos: “My dad was an artist; he did the Cheer Up album cover. Unfortunately I should've talked to him first about designing my tattoos. This is
the Reel Big Fish mean fish. I hate it! The shading's too dark…I'm a
perfectionist. I have seven tattoos, I think. Too many!”

Reel Big Fish perform with Chase Long Beach, Starpool and Suburban Legends at the Grove of Anaheim, 2200 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 712-2700; www.grove-of-anaheim.com. Sat., 6 p.m. $27.60. All ages.

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