Less Than Jake (Vinnie)

Interviews | Feb 19th, 2007

Less Than Jake

Thanks for doing this interview for me.
No problem. Right now I’m on a plane headed to L.A. But I’m fully caffeinated so this has my full attention because there’s a shitty movie playing on the flight and I’m sandwiched between the bathroom and a retired air force contractor.

What’s going on besides LTJ. I know you have the Wunderland war stuff and the new management co., tell me a little ’bout that?
Wunderland war started out as all the things I wanted to do with Less Than Jake but couldn’t because it would just seem like a collector nerd overdose. Limited vinyl toys, shirts, and whatever else my brain can scheme up.

After I left Fueled By Ramen I wanted to continue to help bands grow and help push along the idea that music can be founded on friendship and creativity and not solely on commerce. So Setafire Management was born. Right now we are working with The A.K.A’s and Houston Calls. Currently were are looking to manage 2 more. We’ll see how that goes.

Who are you top 5 bands of all time?
That’s such a tough choice but if you look at my playlist, the bands that get the most and repeated plays would be: The Clash, Bruce Springsteen, Operation Ivy, Dillenger Four, Slayer, and Billy Bragg. I’ve been currently listening to : Set Your Goals, Gorilla Biscuits, Dagger Mouth, Comeback Kid, and Super Joint Ritual.

Was it hard to leave FBR since you started it up and made it grow to the ultra-success?
Of course it was hard, that was something I believed in, I mean think about the name..There was really a time when I would put most of money into releasing music I loved and only being able to afford Ramen noodles to eat. Things had moved so far from the original context of why I started a label that it was just time to go.

What is 24 hours in Paramus about? I live 10 mins from there, and there aren’t any bullet’s whizzing my head that i’ve seen?
Well that songs about having to spend the night in the old bus station outside Paramus, it was a pretty intense situation, so it wound up being inspiration for lyrics to a song. Paramus these days is a bit more cleaned up back then lots of homeless and lots of weird characters who lurked about.

Mac or PC?
Right now I use a PC, next computer will be a Mac.

Favorite thing to eat?
Right now my 2 favorite things to eat would be Indian food, garlic nann and chicken tikka masala or hot dog’s from PINK’s. Both probably horribly bad on my insides but tastes marvelous going down.

We know you like coffee, how many cups do you drink a day?
I usually drink about 4 -6 espresso shots a day, I’m not sure if that’s a lot or not. There’s probably thousands of people in Italy who drink way more then I ever do in a given day. I used to just make pots of coffee and keep drinking it until I was all jittery; but these days I like to stay steadily shaky through the day not cracked out of my head feeling like my hearts is pumping out of my chest. Ha.

What’s up with LTJ, any news, rumors, new records, new label, anything exciting coming up?
Less than Jake just did the 6 album shows in Florida, we learned 109 songs and roughly played 2 hours a night, it was a lesson in remembering how to play long forgotten songs. Some of those 109 songs we never played live. We plan heading down to Brazil, doing the summer tour with Reel Big Fish, going back to Japan and writing a new record. The In With The Out Crowd vinyl 12 inch just came out, fantastic colored vinyl and limited to 500.

Do you prefer big venues and Warped Tour type excitement or smaller intimate venues?
All those types of venues have pros and cons, I mean I’ll play a laundromat as long as I’m having fun. Its really not where I play its more like if I’m enjoying the songs and people.

How many times has it snowed in Florida since you lived there?
I’ve seen snow 2 times since I’ve moved to Florida, and that at best was a few snowflakes. Nothing compared to other places I’ve traveled to or lived in.

Who’s your favorite Gainesville band besides the Indigo Girls?
Are the Indigo Girls from Gainesville? I didn’t know that. I’ve always loved SPOKE. They were around like 10 years ago, absolutely a band before its time. Lets see who else..hot water music and now the draft are great, one of the oldest Gainesville bands I can remember was named the doldrums and was one of the reasons I was so drawn to Gainesville. They were intense live. Against me! Are another great band to come out of Gainesville. But them and HWM are such obvious choices. I’d rather people go buy radon, spoke, the doldrums, and Wordsworth records. That was an exciting time in the Gainesville music scene.

If you could tour with anyone, who would it be?
Rancid or Green Day or NOFX. Any one of those would make me fill the cup.

Do you and the other guys hang out all the time when you’re not on tour?
I see the other guys once in awhile it really depends om how much we tour in a given year. If we don’t tour that much we see each other more and hangout but if we are touring 9 months in that year when we go home we just want to see anyones face except the other 4.

Do you guys have other jobs or projects or is LTJ a full-time thing?
I mean, I did Fueled By Ramen as well as a bunch of other stuff, Roger records bands in his studio, Buddy does some editing, JR manages bands, and Chris records at his place as well.

Want to play my Cinco De Mayo party this year?
Well the only way I’d even think about playing it would be if everyone had full mustaches, I mean what really is Cinco de mayo? We celebrate Cinco De Mustache. So grow mustaches and then I’d consider.

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