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Interview: The Aquabats

The Aquabats will be joining Reel Big Fish tonight at Bogart's! We were able to sit down and have a chat with the Bat Commander prior to the show.

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Let me first start out by saying what any honor it is to speak with you today Bat Commander. I remember first discovering The Aquabats when you opened for Goldfinger at Bogarts waaaay back in 1998. Any memories of that tour or concert in particular that you can share?

Yeah! That tour was pretty crazy. We were kind of like the annoying little brother’s on that tour ...or maybe little cousins. We were always trying to get on Goldfinger’s nerves! Ha Ha Ha I think it worked!

Now a little over 20 years later I’m bringing my 2-year-old son to see the Aquabats for his first concert at the very same venue. The last time you were here I noticed several parents bringing their young children to your shows. What’s it been like for you to see small children rocking out at your shows? Is this something you envisioned happening 20 years ago?

I think it’s awesome! I still remember the first shows I saw live! The first rock show I ever went to was Oingo Boingo at the Palace in Los Angeles 1984! I was in fifth or sixth grade and I met Danny Elfman! On my birthday!

Anyway, I’ll never forget it and I think it’s cool to be a kids first concert because they’ll never forget it. I’ve been to so many shows as so many I’ve forgotten about, but I never forgot about the first ones. So, we like it a lot, knowing we’re gonna be in someone’s memories for a long time. So, we try to put on a good show and not let them down!

You recently re-acquired the rights to AquaBats Super Show and launched a successful Kickstarter to fund new episodes last year and just recently released the soundtrack. How has this experience been? When and where can we watch the new episodes?

Yeah,we were able to raise quite a bit of money! I think we were all hesitant to do it at first because we didn’t really understand how it worked and didn’t want to feel… Like... Digital panhandlers! But it’s been really awesome to kind of do The Aquabats again Digital panhandlers! But it’s been really awesome to kind of do The Aquabats again more often than not. We just finished the first new album and have shot 11 episodes already!! They are going to start airing on our YouTube channel in the next few weeks! They’re just shorter versions of the 22-minute TV show that we made back in 2011 and 2012. 

You have plans to release a new album later this year. Will we hear any new material on this tour? What can we expect on your tour with Reel Big Fish? 

Honestly, we just finished the album right before we got on the plane. We literally finished the last recording at 1:30 AM and got to the airport to fly out to tour at 7 AM. We were pretty hammered trying to make it work so we didn’t even have time to rehearse for the tour! It’s been a juggle because many of us have full-time jobs and had to record after work so the sessions would go really late! We worked with our longtime producer and collaborator Cameron Webb again and I think we came up with some really good stuff. I don’t think we’re going to play any of the songs on the tour because we just released a Soundtrack album of songs from the TV show! So we might play some of those songs! It’s pretty fun you should check it out.

Your songs are so fun, positive and catchy. I often find myself singing Super Rad. Where do you get some of the influence for your songs?

I think we’ve always tried to just go against the grain a little bit. At the time when we started in music; things we’re really focusing on negative stuff and we just wanted to go the other direction. Let’s just say there’s no shortage of bands that can get up on stage and complain about… you name it. And sing songs about bad feelings and curse the President of the United States in between songs. I just think that’s boring. Yawn. Go make a better world! Go do something positive! Have fun! Make a cake for an old lady and put it on her doorstep. It’s like everyone wants things to be better but no one wants to step up and do anything about it… OK enough preaching!! Ha. We just have fun being silly and making fun of ourselves. We like to play!

What are some of your favorites to perform?

Favorite songs? Maybe some of the dancey songs. I dunno. It depends on the night. Ricky our drummer likes songs like Attacked By Snakes and In My Dreams... Maybe he likes songs with three words in the title?? Ha!

Super Heroes may be more popular today than ever before. Have the Aquabats ever thought of releasing a comic book or a line of action figures? My desk needs a Bat Commander.

Yeah that’s been brought up so many times over the years but we’ve never really gotton the lineup right to produce the right comic book yet. We would like to but it seems like something we would want to have some creative say in etc. Also same with toys in action figures, we would want to do them right the right way. Who knows maybe will see some in the next little bit .. hint hint 

How does one become an Aquabat? I think my son would love to combat bad guys with rad music.

Just get out there and do it! You can get one of our uniforms online and then just go to school and your full uniform and when anyone tells you that you look stupid you can just say, “I’m glad we can agree on something... finally!” See, You’re already saving the world.

Any plans when you come to Cincy? Any sites or restaurants that you plan to check out?

No plans per se! The tour just started so we are trying to get acclimated to where the road and also find time to rehearse! We do like Cincinnati though! It’s pretty rad! 

Anything else you would like to add?

See you soon everybody!

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