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Aaron Asher Barrett (born August 30, 1974) is the lead singer, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter of the American ska-punk band Reel Big Fish. Following the departure of Matt Wong in 2007, he became the sole remaining original member of the group. Prior to forming Reel Big Fish, Barrett played trombone in another ska-punk act, The Scholars, along with future Reel Big Fish bandmates Scott Klopfenstein and Grant Barry.
Barrett performing with Reel Big Fish on the 2010 Warped Tour
|Birth name||Aaron Asher Barrett|
|Born||August 30, 1974|
|Genres||Third wave ska, ska punk, alternative rock, punk rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, vocalist, songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, trombone, synthesizer, organ, celesta, slide guitar|
|Associated acts||Reel Big Fish|
The Forces of Evil The Goodwin Club
More recently Barrett formed The Forces of Evil (now defunct) with former members of Jeffries Fan Club, The Scholars and Lone Raspberry. The Forces of Evil sounded similar to Barrett's main band, although lyrically they were much more pessimistic. The Forces of Evil ceased touring and playing in early 2005, and several members went on to play with Reel Big Fish.
Barrett is also featured in Serious Awesomeness, a DVD by The Aquabats, interviewing attendees of an Aquabats show outside of The Glass House in Pomona, California, calling himself "Joe Famous"; he is also seen briefly on stage with the band. Barrett also made a cameo appearance in the music video for "Come Back Home" by Suburban Legends in an Elvis Presley costume and a cameo appearance in the music video for "I'm OK, You're OK" by MxPx as a doughnut-shop employee.
Barrett plays a variety of guitars. Of his more famous guitars are his white Gibson Les Paul Studio with a decal of the devil smoking a cigar on the body (now owned by Brian Klemm of Suburban Legends); his black, sticker slapped Gibson SG; and his U.K. made sunburst Gordon Smith Graduate with matching headstock, which he currently plays. On their live DVD commentary, Barrett comments that he paid $2000 for his Gordon Smith, and it is the best sounding guitar he has ever had. Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free was recorded with both Barrett's Gordon Smith and an Ebony Les Paul. The clean guitar on Reel Big Fish's album, Fame, Fortune and Fornication was recorded with both Brian Klemm's Fender Telecaster and Max Beckman of Half Past Two's American Deluxe Fender Telecaster. Other guitars that Barrett has played include a blue double-neck Ibanez, featured in the videos for "Take on Me", "The Set Up (You Need This)" (briefly), and on the cover of the album Why Do They Rock So Hard? as a silhouette. He also plays various Ibanez and Gretsch guitars in the videos for "Everything Sucks" and "She Has A Girlfriend Now", and on the sleeve of Reel Big Fish's first album Everything Sucks. More recently, Barrett played both a black Fender Jazzmaster (with which he recorded parts of We're Not Happy 'til You're Not Happy). He also played a dark blue Gibson Archtop and a Fender '98 Black Tornado in the video for "Don't Start a Band."
His effects pedals include: A Dunlop Cry Baby 95Q wah pedal, a Marshall GV2 Guv'nor Plus Distortion Pedal, an Ibanez TS9DX Turbo Tubescreamer, a Boss DD-6, and a Seymour Duncan SFX-01 Pickup Booster.
He uses Marshall JCM-900 amp with Marshall speaker cabinet.
Aaron Barrett is also an Aquacadet, a member of The Aquabats! official fan legion; he can be seen wearing a cadet patch in the music video for Reel Big Fish's "Party Down."
In 2006, Aaron Barrett began recording and producing Southern California ska bands with engineer David Irish. So far he has recorded three projects: a full-length album with Chase Long Beach and both an EP and full-length album with Half Past Two. Aaron Barrett is also featured on the newest Chase Long Beach album, Gravity is What You Make It, released on June 23, 2009.
He is a friend of Orange County ska band Suburban Legends, making a cameo in the music video for their song "Come Back Home." Suburban Legends (and briefly, Big D and the Kids Table) guitarist Brian Klemm has appeared as an additional musician on Reel Big Fish's Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free album, appeared on the cover of Reel Big Fish's Fame, Fortune, and Fornication, and has made several onstage appearances with Reel Big Fish. Barrett is also the subject of Suburban Legends' song, "My Friend," which pays homage to Barrett's career, referencing Reel Big Fish, The Forces of Evil, and "Sell Out."
Barrett has also produced Beebs and Her Money Makers. He appears as a guest on the song "Crazy." He is also seen in the video for the song.
- Life Sucks...Let's Dance! (Reel Big Fish – 2019) – Guitar, Vocals
- Candy Coated Fury (Reel Big Fish – 2012) – Lead Vocals, Guitar, producer
- Fame, Fortune and Fornication (Reel Big Fish – 2009) – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Shaker, Wall, producer
- It's About Time (Half Past Two – 2009) – Producer
- Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free (Reel Big Fish – 2007) – Lead Vocals, Guitar, producer
- LeBec (Chase Long Beach – 2007) – Producer
- We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy (Reel Big Fish – 2005) – Lead Vocals, Guitar, synthesizer
- Friend or Foe? (The Forces of Evil – 2003) – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Synthesizer, producer
- Cheer Up! (Reel Big Fish – 2002) – Lead Vocals, Guitar, arranger, producer
- Last Great Record of The 20th Century (The Scholars – 1999) – Trombone
- Why Do They Rock So Hard? (Reel Big Fish – 1998) – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Celesta, Synthesizer
- Turn The Radio Off (Reel Big Fish – 1996) – Lead Vocals, Guitar
- Everything Sucks (Reel Big Fish – 1995) – Lead Vocals, Guitar
- Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album (Reel Big Fish – 2006) – Lead Vocals, Guitar, producer
- A Best of Us for the Rest of Us (Reel Big Fish – 2010) – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Synthesizer, Organ, Slide Guitar, producer
- Greatest Hit...And More (Reel Big Fish – 2006 – Released on the record company's own authority as they owned the rights) – Lead Vocals, Guitar
- Favorite Noise (Reel Big Fish – 2002) – Lead Vocals, Guitar
- Viva La Internet (Reel Big Fish – 2000) – Lead Vocals, Guitar
- Happy Skalidays EP (Reel Big Fish – 2014) – Lead Vocals, Guitar, producer
- Closet Polar Bear (Half Past Two – 2007) – Producer, Wah Pedal, Runner
- Duet All Night Long (Reel Big Fish / Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer – 2007) – Vocals, Guitar, producer, Mixing
- Because We Care (The Forces of Evil – 2002) – Lead Vocals, Guitar
- Keep Your Receipt EP (Reel Big Fish – 1997) – Lead Vocals, Guitar, producer
- Vacationing in Palm Springs (Reel Big Fish – 1997) – Lead Vocals, Guitar
- Teen Beef (Reel Big Fish – 1996) – Lead Vocals, Guitar
- Buy This! (Reel Big Fish – 1994) – Guitar, Lead Vocals
- Return of the Mullet (Reel Big Fish – 1994) – Guitar, Lead Vocals
- In the Good Old Days (Reel Big Fish – 1992) – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Other Album Credits
- Fly Away (Fandangle – 2008) – vocals on Oliver Twist
- Tokyo Pop Presents: Anime Tracks, Vol. 1 (various artists – 2006) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Rave-o-lution (Rave Master theme) (with Reel Big Fish)
- Go Cat Go! A Tribute to the Stray Cats (various artists – 2006) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Stray Cat Strut (with Reel Big Fish)
- Forever Free: Sublime Tribute (various artists – 2006) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Ball and Chain (with The Forces of Evil)
- Dead Band's Party a Tribute to Oingo Boingo (various artists – 2005) – Guitar, Lead Vocals and Producer on We Close Our Eyes (with Reel Big Fish) and Producer on On the Outside
- Mosh Pit on Disney (various artists – 2004) – Guitar and backing vocals on It's Not Easy (Pete's Dragon) (with Reel Big Fish)
- Dive into Disney (various artists – 2002) – Guitar on Baroque Hoedown (Main Street Electrical Parade) (with Reel Big Fish)
- Because We Care: A Benefit for the Children's Hospital of Orange County (various artists – 2002) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Doo-Doo (with Reel Big Fish)
- The Wild Thornberrys Movie Soundtrack (various artists – 2002) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Monkey Man (with Reel Big Fish)
- The Solution to Benefit Heal the Bay (various artists – 2000) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Kiss Me Deadly (with Reel Big Fish)
- Metalliska (various artists – 2000) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Kiss Me Deadly (with Reel Big Fish)
- Where is My Mind? – A Tribute to the Pixies (various artists – 1999) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Gigantic (with Reel Big Fish)
- BASEketball Original Soundtrack (various artists – 1998) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Take on Me and Beer (with Reel Big Fish)
- The Duran Duran Tribute Album (various artists – 1997) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Hungry Like the Wolf (with Reel Big Fish)
- Take Warning: The Songs of Operation Ivy (various artists – 1997) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Unity (with Reel Big Fish)
- Misfits of Ska (various artists 1995) – Guitar and Lead Vocals on Skatanic (with Reel Big Fish)