Third wave ska-legends, Reel Big Fish, will be hitting the road this fall joined by their east coast pals in reggae-rock veterans, Ballyhoo!. The tour will span from October 4th through November 29th as we catch up with both bands to discuss this upcoming adventure of what is sure to be excitable shenanigans.
I’ve been wanting to see more reggae-rock and ska-punk cross-over and this tour satisfies that request along with Detroit, MI punky-ska openers in We Are The Union. The tour will hit 16 states across 22 total dates, playing a new city with each gig.
“We met those guys a couple years ago when we were doing our USA co-headline tour with Less Than Jake,” RBF front-man Aaron Barrett tells The Pier of Ballyhoo!. “They opened up on a few dates and we thought they were an awesome band and great guys! They are reggae, ska, rock and whatever else they feel like playing. Very eclectic mix of musical styles. We like that.”
It’s been 6 years since we heard a new album from Reel Big Fish. Their last record, Candy Coated Fury, dropped on the last day of July 2012 and was the last record with original trombone player Dan Regan before the addition of the multi-talented Billy Kottage.
When we asked Barrett if we can expect a new record or new songs for the tour, he tells The Pier: “We’ve decided to scrap the new album and just keep playing our songs from the 90’s… I think the worst thing in the world any band can ever do is to play new songs, live! Play the old stuff! [haha]”
A for Ballyhoo!? Front-man Howi Spangler tells The Pier: “We will definitely be pulling out new songs. Probably ‘Riddled with Bullets,’ ‘Gas Station Burrito’ and ‘Selling Out.'” Other Ballyhoo! songs you may hear live will be “Ras Vader” and “This Chick Is Wack” that features Reel Big Fish horn section of Kottage on trombone, Matt Appleton on sax and Johnny Christmas on trumpet.
Ballyhoo!’s new album is titled Detonate and is expected to be out September 28th, 2018 with 11 new songs, and “it’s a darker, heavier sound,” says Ballyhoo! front-man Howi Spangler. “Having done so many reggae tours and festivals, we were all just ready to rock again. I lost my dad a few months before ‘Girls’ album came out and so by the time I was ready to write again, pop-reggae just wasn’t the right backdrop for the things I was saying.”
Ballyhoo!’s recent singles, “I Don’t Wanna Go” and “Maryland Summer” will be on the new record. “I think our fans appreciate the return to the ‘Daydreams’ era sound. I think they’ll enjoy the rest as well,” Howi proclaims.
This will all culminate when Reel Big Fish & Ballyhoo! share the road together this fall. Howi concludes, “I remember seeing the ‘Sell Out’ video on MTV in 1996. It was a silly song and video about these dudes getting signed and quitting their jobs at a shitty restaurant. That was right up my alley. I bought the CD and wore it out. We’d listen to it front to back every day after school and I when would drive my brother and his friends to places to skate. In 2005 we opened for Reel Big Fish at the legendary Recher Theatre in Towson, MD. It was a great moment for me. 22 years after I first fell in love with the band, I’m having dinner and dancing badly at Aaron Barrett’s wedding in San Luis Obispo, CA.”
The marriage of these two bands will continue on October 4th when they skate out on their “Tickle My Tiki TOURch” adventure. You can find dates and links below, but stay tuned as we will continue to dish on new album details from both groups as soon as they’re made available to us.
Reel Big Fish Website
Article By: Mike Patti
Photos By: David Norris & Juan Reyes
Watch: Reel Big Fish – “Sell Out”
Listen: Ballyhoo! – “Maryland Summer” (Lyrical Video)