--Strictly Original Stylee-- Established in 1998, the BADFISH crew continues to carry the torch of SoCal's reggae-dub community. Not to be confused with the Sublime tribute act, these rudebwoys blend the Santa Ana streets with Jamaica's island riddims to paint an original picture of West Coast lifestyle and culture. Having played alongside The Wailers, Barrington Levy, Long Beach Dub All-Stars, Half Pint, Ky-mani Marley, Eek-A-Mouse, Rome, The Dirty Heads and many more, Badfish sits in its rightful place among the genre's best.
Established in 1998, the BADFISH crew continues to carry the torch of SoCal's reggae-dub community. Not to be confused with the Sublime tribute act, these rudebwoys blend the Santa Ana streets with Jamaica's island riddims to paint an original picture of West Coast lifestyle and culture. Having played alongside The Wailers, Barrington Levy, Long Beach Dub All-Stars, Half Pint, Ky-mani Marley, Eek-A-Mouse, Rome, The Dirty Heads and many more, Badfish sits in its rightful place among the genre's best.
Badfish's debut record SOUNDBWOY KILLAS was recently re-released in Japan by SURFROCK INTERNATIONAL. The album has been climbing sales charts overseas and helped spread the regional Cali buzz worldwide. This ignited lead vocalist RUBEN SALAZAR aka MR. RUB-A-DUB to enlist the help of East Coast emcee JERZ and a host of veteran musicians to take Badfish's signature brand of reggae and hiphop to the next level.
The response has been overwhelming. Everyone from the skate/surf/snow scene to the internet bloggers are hyped on the high-energy shows and hungry for Badfish's long awaited STRICTLY ORIGINAL EP. Fanzine ThePier.org has already dubbed the lead single "ROB U BLIND" a "destined classic" and named Badfish's second release among the most anticipated albums of the year. Be sure to check the "Badfish Crew" websites for album release party info and shows near you. Stay Irie!
--Origins of the name--
Ruben Salazar started out singing in a band called Dread-Ites who used to do shows with Jah Children back around '94-95. RAS1, who went on to sing for Long Beach Dub All-Stars, played guitar for them* and Chicho, who later became Badfish's emcee, played keyboards. Both bands played backyard parties in and around Long Beach and got to know each other that way. Jah Children used to open for Sublime, and you can hear elements of Dub All-Stars in what RAS was playing even back then.
Eventually Ruben started a new project, and linked up with Chicho in early '98. He wanted to call his band "Badfish" because he closely identified with the homegrown hit. Out of respect for Bradley Nowell's recent passing, he and Chicho asked RAS and Eric Wilson for their blessing before officially adopting the name.
This was around the time what would become Long Beach Dub All-Stars decided to further Sublime's legacy and called on RAS to sing. RAS initially thought of naming his new group Badfish, but decided against it and gave the nod to Ruben and Chicho. (This anointing of the band name is commemorated in the Badfish song "Strictly Original" where emcee Jerz spits "So with the blessin' of RAS1 and Eric Wilson / Badfish ready a' blast one Soundbwoy Killin.")
--The Rise of Badfish--
The "Badfish Crew" took Southern California by storm with the two vocalists fronting what swelled into an 8 piece powerhouse with Ruben aka Mr. Rub-A-Dub singing sweet, catchy melodies and Chicho Don toasting Jamaican style lyrics. They quickly "developed a reputation for being one of the finest reggae bands on the West Coast" noted by Bradley Torreano of All Music Guide.**
On the strength of numerous high-energy, sold out shows at notable venues such as The Roxy, House of Blues Hollywood, and Hard Rock Cafe, Badfish signed to Resin Music in 2000. That same year signaled Badfish's breakout nationally as their song "Whole Heap A' Lovin" was featured on the hit series MTV's "Undressed" as well as the accompanying soundtrack CD.
They teamed up with friend RAS1 in 2002 to help produce Badfish's debut record "Soundbwoy Killas." The album was distributed nationally by Select-O-Hits, with the single "Cruel World" receiving extended airplay on the world famous KROQ-FM. The "Soundbwoy Killas" album is largely considered a classic among fans of California reggae.
--Inactivity & Cover Band Confusion--
With success came excess, and the band went inactive from 2003-?05 as lead singer/songwriter Rub-A-Dub struggled with addiction. Despite not focusing on music, Badfish was featured in a behind-the-scenes documentary film by Hen House Studios detailing the making of their album as well as the Reggae Nation CD Soundtrack in 2004.
In 2006, Badfish extended it's reach internationally in as ?Soundbwoy Killas? was picked up by Surfrock International and re-released in Japan. This saw Badfish featured on in-store displays in large retail outlets alongside the likes of Jack Johnson, Slightly Stoopid and Damien Marley. Surfrock included Badfish on both the Surf Roots and Surfrock Style Vol. 1 compilations to help spread the Cali buzz worldwide and propel the success of the album overseas.
Unbeknown to the original Badfish, numerous Sublime cover bands sprang up using the same name during this period, including one from Rhode Island. Once aware of this misrepresentation, Ruben contacted their management in 2006 and settled on them officially changing their name to ?Badfish ? A Tribute to Sublime.? It was assumed this would avoid any discrepancies, however when the tribute band began touring confusing the two bands was widespread.