Less Than Jake
Gainesville, FL | View Website
Less Than Jake are back! But they never went anywhere, you protest. Well reader, in that sense you are correct. But this fall theyre not only serving up their first full-length in five years, butafter more than two decades togetheralso embracing a total back to basics approach. Throughout a career that has run the gamut from self-releases and small indie imprints to large independent labels and major music conglomerates, the band has always been more than the sum of its parts. Now more than ever, though, they espouse their stature as a DIY collective that works togetheror at least in tandem with a few trusted allieson every element of their creative output. Drummer Vinnie Fiorello recalls, We started out very internal, and nowadays we handle a lot internally again. The result of their old school approach is the old school sound of See The Light, created without any external meddling from corporate lackeys. Everyone had their alone time with chords and some quick structures; we all put our ideas down before we got together, says Vinnie. Then we sat at an octagon table in our warehouse and went through: this is what we think about this song, maybe we should do it ska, maybe we should do it punktrue band songwriting in essence. Not only was the songwriting a true group effort, butlike the three EPs the band have released since 2008s long-player GNV FLAso was the actual recording of See The Light, which was tracked entirely at Gainesvilles The Moathouse, owned by LTJ bassist Roger Lima, who took lead production duties with communal input and assistance from his four band mates and live sound engineer. Roger has been recording our demos since the beginning of the band and steadily has worked his way up learning about studios from everyone weve worked with in the past, says trombone player Buddy Schaub. With no ticking clock and no studio fees piling up, the band used their breathing room to create somewhat of a rarity in todays prefab music world: a full-length album that gels as a complete thought, lyrically and musically. Buddy adds, I think this is one of the closest representations of our band to date. Were all really excited for this record to get out into the world and we cant wait to hear what people think! Like 2000s release Borders and Boundaries, the new record was mixed at the famed Blasting Room by punk rock legend Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag) and Jason Livermore, but dont let that lead you to believe that theres anything same-ish about See The Light. "If youre expecting retreads and repeats, this record will disappoint, exclaims Roger. Its all new songs and new vibes only recorded in our old school way. While some other bands of a certain vintage are latching onto musical trends, you wont find any dubstep beats or vocoder distortion on See The Lighta title that nods to the bands history of marrying dark lyrical content (the tunnel) to bouncy musical arrangements (the light at the end). Less Than Jake arent turning away from their roots, and echoing Mark Twain, Fiorello points out that the rumors regarding their genres demise are greatly exaggerated: Punk has been declared dead every year for 30+ years and its still going stronger than ever. People like to declare things dead just because its dead to them, but if bands are passionate about what theyre doing, theyll attract fans who are passionate. As fits a band born long enough ago to now be of legal drinking age, Less Than Jake pulls in a multi-generational audience, which Vinnie notes is often a family affair. Our crowd now is 16 to 40, and Ive met kids as young as eight or nine. Dads bring their sons and its a weird rite of passage; moms bring kids in saying, Weve watched you guys for 15 years. But will the band stick around long enough to draw in a third generation of fans? I dont know man. I think our guys on that would be NOFX and Bad Religion. When you see Fat Mike or Bad Religion hang it up, maybe: but like them, were gonna ride that out.Were glad to be along for the ride. Hop on board when See The Light sees the light on November 12!