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Ska For Life

Ska For Life

Who: Reel Big Fish
Where: Newcastle Panthers
When: Thursday January 8, 2004

Copy of Offspring album WHEN REEL BIG FISH drummer CARLOS DE LA GARZA left the band in June, 2003, the remaining five members didn't have far to search for a replacement.

Reel Big Fish frontman AARON BARRETT looked no further than his side project FORCES OF EVIL and asked drummer JUSTIN FERRERIA to take over the skins.

For Ferreria who makes no effort to hide his love of the band it was a dream come true.

``I was a Reel Big Fish fan long before I joined, I definitely was.

I had all of their CDs,'' Ferreria laughs.

``So it's very cool to be playing with them.

To be a fan and to now be playing with them, it's great.

'' Since being founded by a group of friends at a Cal ornian high school, Reel Big Fish has gone on to become one of the biggest names in ska.

Founded by Barrett and MATT WONG, the pair are the only remaining original members of the band whose hits include SELL OUT, BEER and TAKE ON ME.

But a series of line-up changes hasn't stopped the band from continuing on its international trail to success as ska's most fun- loving and hyperactive outfit.

Ferreria, who admits he was first drawn to ska because of all the ``pretty girls'' who went to the shows, believes ska will continue to appeal to a new generation of fans for years to come.

``I think the ska scene recycles fans,'' he said.

``I think for every kid that starts college and starts listening to d ferent kinds of music, there is another kid who is just starting high school or junior high and is just getting into it.

``But, overall, I think the ska scene is kind of staying the same.

I don't really see it growing a lot but I definitely think it keeps recycling fans.

'' British fans are among those who have shown strong support for Reel Big Fish.

In 2003, readers of British music magazine KERRANG! voted Reel Big Fish among the top five best live bands in the world.

Ferreria said the band has always prided itself on its live show.

``I don't think you can go to see a Reel Big Fish show and not laugh at something.

I think everybody is entertained by the band and not by the songs then by the talking in between the songs.

``We've had everyone from little kids to older people come up to us and say they love the band.

``Our horn section jumps around a lot on stage and there's a lot of joking around with people.

'' On joining the band, Ferreria was instantly thrown into a whirlwind of touring that took the band across the US, Europe and Japan.

The tours included a three-week run of festival dates throughout Europe where the band played the V FESTIVAL alongside FOO FIGHTERS and COLDPLAY before a crowd of 40,000.

Ferreria arrived in Australia last week with Reel Big Fish to embark on his first tour of the country.

The band performed at the Falls festivals in Tasmania and Victoria and will complete a headline run of shows, including an all-ages show at PANTHERS NEWCASTLE tomorrow night.

``We'll be playing some new songs and we're going to play all the favourites that people love.

'' Reel Big Fish will head into the studio later this month to work on a June release for an album with the working title WE'RE NOT HAPPY UNTIL YOU'RE NOT HAPPY.

Reel Big Fish will be supported by AREA 7 and RUBIX CUBA from 6pm.

Tickets are $33 and on sale from Newcastle Panthers, ROCK SHOP, BEAUMONT STREET BEAT and SOUND WORLD.

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