Less Than Jake

By paul

Paul: Hi, can you please introduce yourself and your role in the band?
Vinnie: Hello, I’m Vinnie and I play drums in Less Than Jake.

Paul: It’s amazing to think you’ve been a band now for what, 15 or 16 years…what’s the secret to your longevity? How do you think you’ve managed to stay relevant despite changing styles in music?
Vinnie: There really isn’t any secret, I think being friends has a lot to do with being around for so long. These guy are like my brothers and that really makes it go from business or hobby to family. As far as the relevancy of the band, I think we just do what we want to do and thankfully the people who dig our band have an open mind to it.

Paul: I just wanted to ask a couple of chronological questions before moving on to ‘current events’. Were you surprised at just how well ‘Hello Rockview’ did? I know it was the record that myself and all my friends here in the UK solely listened to at the back end of the 90s. How does it feel to be part of a band that helped to influence a whole generation of kids and directly inspire a stack of new bands to form and make music?
Vinnie: Anytime I hear about being an influence or inspiration to kids and band it humbles me, I mean never in my life would I have thought that would
ever happen. Rockview was a record we wrote mostly when we got into the studio it was a lightning bolt of inspiration in a 3 week time period
that people still name check as a favorite record of ours. Blows me away.

Paul: Who came up with the idea for the spoken word intro on ‘All My Best Friends Are Metalheads’?
Vinnie: The spoken word was a bible thumping wanna be “patriot” it was meant to be serious and we happened onto it as we were in the studio, i had it on a tape of american quirks and quacks.

Paul: You’re a band famed for making music collectible; whether it be pez dispensers or limited edition 7″ releases. What’s your favourite ever
LTJ-related item? And on a similar note, are you pleased vinyl seems to be making some kind of comeback?
Vinnie: My favorite ltj item is a cheese shaped vinyl record, I just look at it and cant believe it plays! I am so stoked that people are really digging on vinyl again, digital music is fine but I want artwork, I want to have the experience and vinyl provides that.

Paul: Way back in the 90s you released ‘Greased’ – have you ever considered, or will you ever consider, releasing another covers record in a similar vein? If you would, what would it be and why?
Vinnie: I dont think we’ll ever do that, way too many bands do that sort of thing, it seems lame to me now since it happens so much.

Paul: Why did you choose Fat Wreck Chords to release ‘Borders and Boundaries’?
Vinnie: Fat was our only choice. We always wanted to have a record there and Mike was kind enough to deal with a lot of red tape. We loved fat and still do, like I said it was the only label we wanted to work with for borders.

Paul: At the time of release of ‘Anthem’ you’d signed to a major and got a bit of criticism for the (alleged) lack of horns on tracks like ‘She’s Gonna Break Soon’. Did you think this was fair? Was it a surprise to gain any kind of criticism from ‘fans’ who had previously been very loyal towards you?
Vinnie: We already were on a major once before for losing streak and rockview so that had nothing to do with signing to a major, I think that every record we had criticism from fans to a certain degree, being less ska, more punk, less horns, more horns, roger singing more, chris singing more. So was I surprised? Not in the least, everyone has an opinion and likes it to be heard. We listen.

Paul: Why did you split from Sire/Warner? Was it amicable? As a band would you ever sign to a major again? have you learned any lessons/could you give any advice to any band seeking a record deal?
Vinnie: It was time for us to leave, we asked to be let out of the contract which we had one record left, and honestly warner/sire was cool enough to let us out. So yes it was very amicable. Signing to a major these days means a 360 deal, where the label owns a piece of everything, and that isn’t for us being we’ve been around for so long and built up the band to the point it is. advice to bands? Labels are banks and banks like money, its obvious but knowing you are dealing with a business is half the battle for young bands.

Paul: Why did you as a band decide to start your own label? What do you hope to achieve from it? Have you signed/will you be signing any other bands?
Vinnie: We won’t be signing any bands as of now, but who knows what will happen in the future, we are open to anything as of right now. Being in charge of our bands career is a perfect way to start this year honestly, and after all these years being able to do it ourselves is refreshing.

Paul: Is releasing all these bonus DVD’s with your re-releases a bit unfair on those fans who already have these albums? Could you not have released
another DVD with these live shows on?
Vinnie: We wanted to re release the cd’s on Sleep It Off and we thought it would be cool to add a dvd, since musically its so easy to just download it. I dont think its unfair, could we have put together another dvd, i guess so but that wouldnt really have helped with re releasing the cd’s. Unfortunately we live in a world that cd’s without a visual attached doesn’t really mean much.

Paul: Our readers had a few questions they wanted me to ask. Last time in London you played all your albums on continuous nights, what should UK
fans expect for the next tour – and when will that be?
Vinnie: We’ll be there for some festivals and then back for a headliner in the fall. We had a blast doing the record shows in London , we had talked
about just doing a b sides night, playing every rare song that we never play, could be interesting or a very dumb idea.

Paul: Why did you play such short sets in London – the longest night was 80 mins and some were only 60 mins so why did they decide to play for less
time – especially since in florida the shows were 2-3 hours long.
Vinnie: ahhh this is the biggest complaint from the uk kids i hear. There’s a very strict curfew in most uk venues and if you dont follow them the fines are heavy, also we have to battle against last tube and bus times too since alot of kids come by mass transit. These factors dont really apply in the US. I dont think 60 minutes is a short set by any

Paul: Last Less Than Jake question – can we expect any new music this year? Do you have any confirmed dates/titles and, as reported widely, will it sound like earlier Less Than Jake?
Vinnie: A new less than jake record in the summer! we have no confirmed dates or titles but we have a lot of songs right now and we are going up to a
studio in Chicago to make the next record, will it sound like old ltj? The only honest thing i can say is that it wont sound like our last record.

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