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Interview With: Tilt.
By: Brinepace
Date Posted:09/12/2001

Formerly a cinema, The Ambassador Theater now stands as one of Ireland's larger mid sized venues. Here, Reel Big Fish played late last August (with support from local pop-punkers Mixtwitch and, surprisingly, pop band The Revs) to a 60% empty hall. After the gig I ventured backstage to find the fishes' dressing room swamped with Mixtwitch and their cohorts, half star struck, half in wonder at the luscious spread prepared for the band, and, well, half pissed. Spotting singer/guitarist Aaron (hard to miss, dressed as he was reminiscent of an extra from Miami Vice) and dragged him into a dark hallway for a quick chat. Finding him to be something of a reluctant and nervous interviewee, I started with an undemanding question about tonight's gig.

“I loved it. I thought it was great. I wasn't disappointed it wasn't full of people 'cos we've never been here and nobody knows who we are and its amazing to get more than 100 people to come so that's great. And they were all having a good time”

Indeed they were, those in attendance being packed like sardines against the front barrier, waving, clapping and generally getting on down.

“The reason we came over is because there are people here that want to hear us. We got letters form kids here that want to see us play, and we heard the Guinness here was better than anywhere in the world.”

Disappointingly, having just finished a US tour with Homegrown and Goldfinger, the band brought no supports. Apparently this came down to the old divider, money.

“Support bands couldn't afford to come with us, cos we're barely making enough to pay our own stuff so, anyone else would be shelling money out of their own pocket. It doesn't work well (that) way”

The subject of the recent Europe only double album reissue of “Why do they rock so hard” and “Turn your radio off” comes as a surprise to Aaron.p> “Yeah, they said something about that in Kerrang… Wow, something came out, that's great. We didn't know about it though. We've been trying to get something out over here for a long time, so… That's wonderful.”

Such confusion concerning the bands own release schedule within the band leads to the inevitable question concerning RBF's label, Mojo, which has recently been going through problems, having been dropped from its parent company Universal. I put it to Aaron that people have a lot of questions regarding the label's status.

“We got a lot of questions too. We gave up asking like a year ago. We asked, “Hey what's going on, what's going on. Forget it, we're going on tour”. That's why we started coming over to Europe, and the UK and stuff. Cos we were waiting, we recorded a bunch of stuff and then we just waited, and waited, and nothing happened, and stuff got worse, and they got dropped from Universal and… We just went out on tour.”

And if Mojo were to dissolve altogether…

“We'd like that to happen. We'd like to be off of Mojo. They're just not a good label.”

With further questioning on the subject returning answers of the “I don't wanna go into that” variety, I return to the subject of the tour with Goldfinger and Homegrown.

“That was awesome, very cool. Lots of the big clubs in America. Usually play to five hundred to a thousand people, but this one was like, two thousand, three thousand, it was great. In Cleveland, we pulled the band Zebrahead up in the middle of our set and made them play one of their songs. It was their last night, we were like “We 're gonna miss this song, tell them to play it again”. It was fun.”

With the rest of the band preparing to leave, and hordes of fans outside waiting for autographs, I fire one more question Aaron's way, concerning their appearance in Southpark creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker's recent film “Baseketball”, where the band put in an appearance playing at a celebratory party.

“That was cool. It was kind of a whirlwind type of thing. We just kinda came in and did it, shook hands with the guys…(quickly) 'Hi how you doing, blah blah blah, get your stuff set up, get up there, lip synch the song two times, get out.' It was like that. It was cool, we got to go to the wrap party though, when they were done. It was cool, got to meet Les Claypool from Primus.”

And with that the man was gone, visibly relieved when my trusty Dictaphone disappeared, to sign autographs, and to find a pub to hear some Irish music, and sample that Guinness that (really) brought them here in the first place.