Less Than Jake are currently celebrating their 20th anniversary with having nightly parties with clowns, ponies, and snorting pez off midget stripper’s bodies. No, honestly….They have just released an EP in February called “Seasons Greetings From Less Than Jake” and just finished up a US tour. They have some sporadic dates this Spring and will head to Jolly Ole England in June. In the meantime, you can check out a quick interview with JR:
1) Less Than Jake have been around for two decades now and you’ve been a member of the band for more than half of those years. What stands out the most for you about being in Less Than Jake?
The fact that we all still like each other. I think that’s the best part. Even though we bicker like little old ladies, there is the five us us against the world mentality that makes it a real pleasure to be in this band.
2) Is loving Pez a requirement for membership in Less Than Jake? Do you share the same love of Pez that Roger and Vinnie does?
It is not a requirement, it is more thrust upon you unwillingly? I never had a problem with Pez but Rog and Vin definitely are our Pez King and Queen…can I say that? Eh. I suppose I just did.
3) The last handful of Less Than Jake releases have been EPs. Has this been due to the bands’ hectic schedule or has it just been a conscious effort to just release what you can when you can?
It’s more a conscious effort to do what’s right for Less Than Jake right. Ow, in 2012. It’s the only way to survive. We may release a full length record again maybe. Just not in the near future.
4) Being the celebrated 20th Anniversary of LTJ, there have to be plans in the works for a new full length in 2012, right?
I think I answered this in the previous question but no full length in the 20th year planned. Sorry.
5) What other plans does the band have to celebrate the 20th Anniversary?
We have some tricks up our sleeves. You’ll see.
6) Speaking of 20th Anniversary stuff, what’s the scoop on the 20th Anniversary coffee in the webstore? That, along with the LTJ rolling papers, are some of the more “unique” items in the store.
We actually sit around and talk about merch item ideas. Some are out of control. Some are obtainable. The obtainable ones we try to follow through with to the end to see how/if it makes sense for us to do. If it does we do it cause why not? If Kiss can have a mini-golf/wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, we can have coffee, right?
7) One of the things that I’ve always loved about Less Than Jake is the fact that they have always had some of the coolest artwork in regards to everything from posters and t-shirts to the drawings, paintings and illustrations included in album booklets and even in reference to Vinnie’s toy company. Why is it that Less Than Jake always seems to go above and beyond in the art category? Is it a conscious effort by the band to seek out a cool new artist for these projects?
Artwork has been as important as the music for our band. We’ve always put a lot of weight on a visual to companion with the music so yes, it’s always been important. Vinnie has always had a lot of forethought and vision when it came to what the visual should be and we’ve had the honor with working with so many amazing artists. So, to sum it up: yeah it’s pretty fricken sweet!!
8) Over the years, Less Than Jake has done a boat load of cover songs. If you had it your way, what song would you put your foot down and say, “We’re covering this song and that’s final”?
We already did it: Sponge Bob Square Pants!
9) Less Than Jake have always been about the fans. Are you surprised that the fan base has stuck with you guys all of these years and that the band is as popular as ever nowadays?
I don’t really think about that. We love our fans and the fact they love us back is what makes it the best relationship I’ve had to date :)
10) Speaking of fans, they haven’t always been fully supportive of the band when talking about LTJ albums. The reception to “In With The Out Crowd” was, pardon the pun, less than supportive. It was definitely a different sound and direction for the band although a few songs are still staples in LJT sets. Why do you think that fans lambasted that particular album so much? What are your thoughts on “In With The Out Crowd” and the grief that the band seemed to get from all directions?
I love that record. For the fans that don’t there are like 7 other records and if they don’t like it there are other choices. To be honest I’m not sure why our fans chose that record as the one they don’t like but maybe they’ll like it more now that it’s over 5 years old ;)
11) When are Chris and Roger going to give you your time to shine and allow you to take center stage and sing some lead vocals?
They do. For 30 seconds a night. Thanks for the kind words. I’m blushing :)
Check out http://www.lessthanjake.com for updates on new releases and other stuff like that!