Oct. 17, 2012 - Issue #887: Dedfest
Reel Big Fish
'One of the hardest things you have to deal with as a human being is relationships and being around other people."
Reel Big Fish trumpet player John Christianson—also known as Little Johnny Christmas—states the sentiment with a laugh, but he may be on to something. He adds that when you think about it, that's what all the great songs and books are written about, and it's something people can relate to, whether they're getting their heart broken for the first time at 16 or through a divorce, as happened to lead singer Aaron Barrett.
The downside of relationships get belted out in full force on the band's latest album Candy Coated Fury, pairing upbeat ska with downright cynical lyrics. The end result is tracks like "PS I Hate You" and "I Know You Too Well To Like You Anymore," both darkly humorous odes to the bitterness of love and the downward spiral that can follow the rose-coloured haze of infatuation.
"I think it's Reel Big Fish getting back to what we do best: playing happy sounding music with spiteful and sometimes funny lyrics, and writing about life and what happens to us, and what happens to everybody on a day-to-day basis," Christianson says of the no-holds-barred album, the band's first in five years. "We can make fun of ourselves. I think that's something we really embrace is you really have to laugh at life; you can't be so serious all the time."
The juxtaposing lyrics and melodies have become a signature for Reel Big Fish, and Candy Coated Fury is a testament to that in sound as well as name.
"That's something Aaron's been kicking around for quite some time, always describing our music like that when we talk about having happy music with cynical lyrics," Christianson says. "It's candy coated fury and that's something that he felt apt to describe our music and finally he had a record that he thought was worth putting the title on, and I think he was proud to describe our music that way."
Sun, Oct 21 (7 pm)
With Less Than Jake, Flatfoot 56
Edmonton Event Centre, $28.50
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