Cool Like Matt Wong.

So one of my favorite bands is Reel Big Fish. They're small and unknown enough so's that if you haven't ever heard of them then you wouldn't know them. I mean, it's not like they have a hit song on the radio, and when I say, "They sing that song about that thing? You know, it's on KROQ every five minutes?" You'll instantly jump up and say, "Oh, yeah, those guys rawk!"

Although you might know them from their cameo in the star-studded flick "BASEketball".

Oh, you didn't see "BASEketball"?


So anyway, I love this band. Well, I love their songs. Unfortunately they have the propensity to talk about half of the concert. Seriously. They sing a song. They talk for five minutes. The sing another song. Five minutes of talkie. Back. Forth. Back.

The first time they did this was the second time I ever saw them. Well, the first time they talked a little bit. See, it was Corey Feldman's birthday that night, and Weird Al introduced him.

Serious! For real! Could I make that up?

I mean, when "Mouth" is in the house you gots to talk.

But the second time we saw them they said they had just returned from Japan or some overseas location. They were so glad to be back in an English speaking country. Blah blah blah. On and on.

And every time since they've just loved to run their mouths.

So the last time we saw them was at the Palace in Hollywood the other month. And they loved to jabberjaw this time, too.

Another strike against the team is one of my favorite Fish, Tavis, the trumpet player, quit the band last year. The dude was like, twenty-two or something and had been in the band for years. He was like that scrawny geek in your high school who played trumpet - yet Tavis was in a ska band with his backward Kangol hat being awesome.

So the band replaced him with ... shit, what's his name? I dunno. He's this hyper black dude who wears man-overalls. We'll just call him "Not-Tavis" so I don't have to look up his name. Regardless, the guy sucks.

Anyway, this last time we saw the band not only were Aaron, the lead singer, and Scott, the other singer slash other trumpet player, talking up a storm, now they're letting Not-Tavis talk. And man, the brotha did run off at the mouth. I swear one of the breaks between the songs was a half-an-hour long. It was so uncalled for. Aaron. Scott. Not-Tavis. Back to Aaron. Scott. Not-Tavis. And on.

Also for some reason half of the band has taken Mike Ochs' lead and grown beards. Both singers Aaron and Scott along with Dan, the white afro-ed trombone player, and even Matt Wong, the bass player are sporting the grizzly look. It's kinda odd for a rock band, I mean, a rock band that's not circa 1973.

But still, as Aaron and Scott and Not-Tavis were all going on and on and on just pissing me and my friends and the rest of the hall off, Matt Wong remained chill. I mean, with all of these other guys making jackasses of themselves up there, Matt was the only cool guy. He just stands and plays the bass when they're playing a song, and when they're not he's just ... there. Ready.

Photo by: Richard Harbaugh

So that's why, in this band full of wanna-be Rawk Stars, Matt Wong is the coolest of them all. He doesn't get all Molly Shannon when in front of a microphone. He's calm, relaxed and cool as hell.

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Last Updated on: November 12, 2002

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