For yet another summer, Less Than Jake made the trek across the country to play for tons of sweaty punk rockers with the rest of the Vans Warped Tour. Playing alongside other Warped veterans, NOFX, Anti-Flag and The Bouncing Souls; LTJ has seen the tour and their band go through a few changes over the years with always the same end result; an awesome, crowd pleasing show and a crap load of confetti. Bassist and self-proclaimed “collector nerd” Roger was able to shed some light on exactly what it means to be an active part of ten Warped Tours.
How many Warped Tours does this make now for Less Than Jake?
Eh, roughly ten we played bits and pieces of ten Warped Tours. Even if it’s a show, or half of it, or a couple of weeks or whatever. We’ve done six full ones, we did the Australian one and the European one which not a lot of people know about because it didn’t go on for very long.
How long was the tour in Europe?
I think The European one was about seven weeks, it was pretty massive but that was a long time ago.
Have you been to any of these wacky bible study groups?
I keep seeing signs for that around the tour, I’ve never participated or anything. I’m usually busy playing Mario Kart around that time.
Is that the game of choice for 2006?
Nintendo 64. I mean they try, but they’ve never made a better system if you really think about it. Golden Eye four player, you’ve got four player Mario Kart, come on there’s no load up time, no disc and you can buy it for like 20 bucks, come on… N64 kids.
How does it feel to be one of the last ska bands on Warped?
Are we? I haven’t really checked or anything, I didn’t know we were the last official, but sure. We definitely play some ska, but we play a lot of songs that aren’t ska and have no ska elements at all. Maybe they have that feel, but we definitely play some ska and it feels fine. Yeah, we definitely did play that a lot at some point, and we’ve kind of tried to change it up and do different things and not get stuck in that and that’s cool. I know a lot of people like when we play an old song like Johnny Quest or Sugar In Your Gas Tank and people dig it and dance, so that’s awesome.
Your new album, while it’s still very Less Than Jake is less horn-heavy than some of your older fans might be used to.
I like it, there’s some mellower stuff on there which is kind of different for us. We’ve been playing a couple of songs live on the tour and it came out just before we came on the Warped Tour and lots of people know it; I can’t bitch.
You put out very exclusive merch, do you have any crazy fanatic fans that own everything?
Yeah, this year we’ve kind of run out of all the cool stuff really quick and we haven’t really had too many new things, but we’ll see what happens come the fall. But, absolutely being collector nerds ourselves, it’s just natural that other collector nerds will be drawn to all the crap that we put out. Someone will show up at a show, I remember one time in Australia a guy had a stack of 7″ like 4 inches high and he had all the old records on vinyl, you’d be amazed. Just the other day someone was like ‘I went into a record store and I got the pizza box for $15, someone traded it in and didn’t know what it was’.
Do you still get Pez dispensers thrown at you on stage?
Rarely, I figured out that fans know that we have them all already. I love it still, but it’s rare. I like them preferably loaded with cherry, but I’ll take whatever. You know, there’s a new flavor in the states, raspberry.
What are your plans for right after Warped?
Warped ends in Montreal this year, which is kind of cool. So, we’re going to hang out there for a day and then we’re going to fly to Germany and we’re going to play about two weeks of festivals around Europe. Then I get to go home for like three whole weeks, then we’re doing a whole U.S. tour. I’ve grown to accept that LessThanJake.com knows when the shows are before I do, and I’m totally OK with that. Then we go play in Australia, Japan and some more stuff in Eurpoe. I think I’ll be home sometime before Christmas, hopefully.
You’re still living in Florida right?
Yes, still living in Gainesville. It’s the kind of town where it can be wild and crazy until six in the morning if you want it to be, or there are spots of it that are really quiet and there’s not like a lot of traffic. I mean I love New York City and I love the area and whenever we’re here I love driving around and it’s great but if I had to do that like, that’s where I live, being that I travel so much, you kind of want to switch gears and just want to mellow out.
It seems that Less Than Jake will not get a chance to mellow out until the new year as they continue to promote their latest release,”In With The Out Crowd” across the US and Europe. With Warped Tour winding down, they can be seen on their Fall US tour; rather than getting the dates from Roger, it’s best to check http://www.lessthanjake.com for show details.