It's been a wild and crazy ride for Gainesville's Less Than Jake, who first met at the University Of Florida over a decade and a half ago. But instead of kicking their feet up and resting on their laurels, the ever-busy quintet have been working hard on the next chapter of Less Than Jake. Successfully extricating themselves from their major label contract (even though they still owed one more record to the label), they started their own label, Sleep It Off Records, and now are in the driver's seat. "After a decade an a half of being in the band, we are now our own bosses for real and the excitement of that can peel paint off the walls," says drummer Vinnie.
Before the band starts recording a new album this Spring (for release in the Summer 2008), however, they are planning the re-release of albums from their catalog… and first up are Pezcore, Losers, Kings and Things We Don't Understand, Goodbye Blue and White, and the DVD The People's History of Less Than Jake (more re-releases are planned for the future). "We wanted to start with Losers, Kings, And Things We Don't Understand, which was our first recorded material as a band," Vinnie continues. "These literally are some of the first songs we recorded together, and it seemed obvious that it should be one of the first releases on our newly started record label Sleep It Off. As a musician, the fact that I can help not only in creative marketing but release the actual audible history of our band on our own label is mind blowing. I think it's a great time for the Music Industry that, despite the lagging sales, you are allowed to write and rewrite the rules. These days, it's like the Old West, so to speak."
Through their decade and a half career, they've traveled the world multiple times -- with the Warped Tour, opening for Bon Jovi, and as headliners. "Each record is a snapshot of who the band is and was at the moment of writing and recording," Vinnie says. And what better way to revisit their history than with a fresh new take on their old material. Each re-release will come with all new artwork and a bonus DVD of previously unreleased material.
"If you look at the career of our band you have the roots of the tree and that's our initial inspiration that we used for the band, which was East Bay pop/punk; Screeching Weasel, early Green Day, Operation Ivy," Vinnie says. "If you look at that as the roots, then you have our career as the body of the tree, and the leaves are the latest inspirations of things, whether they're friends, family, or whatever."
"People have a preconceived notion that Less Than Jake is a ska/punk band, that we're wacky and silly, and that may be a certain side of ourselves live, but there's also another side and that's a beautiful thing about our band - it's multi-headed," he says proudly. "We can be different things at different times; we can be socially relevant and we can still be musically relevant 16 years after being together, still progressing musically, not only as players, but as far as musical direction. We can jump outside the box of what people expect, and now that we're in control, what you'll be getting is Less Than Jake -unfiltered and over-amplified."