Orange County ska-punk band Reel Big Fish has just embarked on its 2011 world tour to celebrate its twentieth anniversary. However, they are doing so without one of its most beloved members, Scott Klopfenstein.
In addition to his musical contributions, Klopfenstein was a major player in the signature humor of Reel Big Fish live shows. He and lead guitarist/vocalist Aaron Barrett would banter back and forth between songs, feeding off of each other in a successful effort to keep audience members laughing in between their bouts of dancing.
Klopfenstein’s official announcement was both heartfelt and endearing, as he declared to fans that he was not leaving out of bad blood with the other members. Instead, he is retiring because his wife recently became pregnant, and he wants to remain home with her in Brooklyn to help raise their daughter.
Klopfenstein lovingly concluded his message saying to the fans “Your love and support have always been the fuel that make Reel Big Fish continue to move forward. And when I tell my daughter stories of my time in the band, I will probably become misty eyed, like I am now, when I remember all of your beautiful faces. Please take care of yourselves and those around you. And remember, don’t let your dreams stand waiting in the wings. Invite them center stage. They need to be seen.”
Reel Big Fish recently played two shows in Anaheim, Calif. and Agoura Hills, Calif. without Klopfenstein. Replacing him was Matt Appleton on saxophone and background vocals from the band Goldfinger. While the shows were certainly enjoyable and fun, the banter between Barrett and Klopfenstein was undoubtedly missed.
Even with this great loss, though, Reel Big Fish will surely still inject a tremendous amount of energy into its live shows and keep fans firmly its grasp.