School of Fish

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School of Fish
School of Fish.JPG
School of Fish, 1991. L-R: Michael Ward, Dominic Nardini, Michael Petrak, and Josh Clayton-Felt.
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California
Genres Alternative rock, jangle pop, rock and roll
Years active 1989–1994
Labels Capitol Records
Associated acts Lazlo Bane, The Wallflowers, Telomere
Website none
For the biological phenomenon of schooling fish, see shoaling and schooling

School of Fish was an alternative rock band which formed in 1989 and disbanded in 1994. The core members were Josh Clayton-Felt and Michael Ward.


Clayton-Felt and Ward started as a duo who would play club dates in Los Angeles, California accompanied by programmed drums and bass.

Recruiting drummer Michael Petrak and bassist Dominic Nardini the band signed with Capitol Records in 1990, and released their first single in that same year on 7-inch vinyl. Their self-titled debut was released in March 1991, followed by their first single, "3 Strange Days." Also during the same year, they appeared on a KROQ-FM concert disc called the Acoustic Christmas.

After the release of the first album band members changed from Michael Petrak and Dominic Nardini to Chad Fischer and Chris MacDonald respectively,[1][2] however they did not play on the band's second album and were replaced by Josh Freese and John Pierce. Nevertheless, Chad Fischer stayed with the band to play live.

School of Fish's second album, Human Cannonball, was released in 1993. The album did not sell very well and was not as successful as the self-titled album. Shortly thereafter, the band broke up.


Members careers[edit]

Singer Josh Clayton-Felt embarked on a solo career and released two studio and one live albums before he was diagnosed with cancer in 1999. He died on January 19, 2000 at the age of 32.

Guitarist Michael Ward went on to play with John Hiatt and eventually became a member of The Wallflowers. After The Wallflowers split, Ward spent many years as a member of Ben Harper's band, The Innocent Criminals. He is also a sought-after session guitarist in LA, and the author of the children's books 'Mike and the Bike' and 'Mike and the Bike Meet Lucille The Wheel.'

Chad Fischer went on to form the band Lazlo Bane, known for original opening credits of the TV show Scrubs. He also established himself as a record producer and composer.

Christopher MacDonald, who played bass with the band on tour, but did not play on any School of Fish recordings, records synthesizer space music under the name Telomere.


Two previously unreleased songs were released as downloads circa 2007. "Broken Arm" (recorded before the Human Cannonball sessions) and "Goodbye Green World" (recorded before the self-titled album sessions).

The idea of releasing a rarities compilation was in talks with surviving past members but was aborted completely.[citation needed]

Two songs, "Goodbye Green World" and "Who Am I Today", performed by Josh-Clayton Felt and Michael Ward were issued on Josh's third posthumous release, the EP The Spirit Shines Through.[3]


  • Josh Clayton-Felt – vocals and guitars
  • Michael Ward – guitars and vocals
  • David Lipson – bass (1989)
  • Craig Aaronson – drums (1989)
  • Dominic Nardini – bass (1990-1991)
  • Michael Petrak (aka M.P.) – drums (1990-1991)
  • John Pierce – bass and cello (1992-1994)
  • Josh Freese – drums (1992-1993, appears on Human Cannonball only)
  • Chad Fischer – live drums (1991-1994)
  • Chris MacDonald – live bass (1991-1992)


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Chart peaks
US US Heat
1991 School of Fish 142 5
1993 Human Cannonball - 16


Year Title Chart peaks Album
US Mod US Main
1991 "3 Strange Days" 6 12 School of Fish
1993 "Take Me Anywhere" 5 - Human Cannonball
Promotional Singles
Year Single Album
1991 "Wrong" School of Fish
"King of the Dollar"
1993 "Jump of the World" Human Cannonball

Promotional EPs[edit]

Year Title
1991 The Wrong Sampler
Live in L.A.
  • The Wrong Sampler was released in 1991 as a promotional CD and LP. 4 songs were recorded in 1989 and the fifth being a radio edit of "Wrong". Songs include : 1. "The Greatest Living Englishman" 2. "The Turtle Song" 3. "Disconnected" 4. "This is Where I Belong" 5. "Wrong [Radio Edit]". All songs written by Josh Clayton-Felt and Michael Ward except #4, Ray Davies (The Kinks cover version).
  • Live in L.A. features 6 song, some of which are exclusive to the EP

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Some Strange Things About School Of Fish". April 9, 1993. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  2. ^ "Things Are Going Swimmingly". July 30, 1993. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  3. ^ "The Spirit Shines Through". January 19, 2013. Retrieved 2016-04-11.