Comedy Bang! Bang! - Season One
This year on POZ, we’ve sounded the ceremonial trumpets for plenty of accomplished bands and records that have hit the holy-shit age of ten years old. But while all those bands were still playing their Fisher-Price xylophones in the early 90s, Less Than Jake were already formed, writing music, and touring the hell out of the United States without the use of a smartphone by their side. LTJ has been showrunning the ska/punk scene with impeccable consistency ever since their start in 1992, and today, PropertyOfZack is here to help the band celebrate its 21st year of existence. That’s right, Less Than Jake is finally of drinking age – and we’re quite certain that they’ve been obedient, law-abiding citizens when it comes to the consumption of spirits.
We’ve got commentary from the guys in LTJ themselves on their career, past and present, as well as some thoughts and anecdotes from friends and fans of the band alike. So raise your glass and enjoy the read – and be sure to pick up LTJ’s newest record, See the Light, out now on Fat Wreck Chords!
POZ Decade: Less Than Jake - Anthem
From the band:
If there’s one thing you wanted people to know about your band that they may not already know, what would you tell them?
LTJ is more than a band now; it’s family. It’s the chemistry among 5 guys and the extended family of fans we see year in and year out. When I see people that literally grew up seeing the band, it truly drives the point home that there’s more than words and music that bind us, and it feels like family at this point. – Vinnie Fiorello
If you’ve glossed over our band because we have horns and have ska elements in our music, you’re missing out. We have many layers to our song writing and have much more depth in music and lyrics than someone may catch on to on a ﬁrst listen. Dig in. – Roger Manganelli
Some bands have business meetings in their back lounge on tour, some have prayer sessions, while others party down till dawn with babes and dudes alike, but we like to have very rigorous twerking contests with each other in the back of the bus each night after the show. It’s kept our buns in the Adonis-like shape they’re in to this day. – Buddy Schaub
I force everyone to watch sports. Constantly. – JR Wasilewski
That we are one of the hardest working bands of the last two decades. In all of our 21 years as a band, we have never missed a show due to illness, band fighting, subspenance abuse, etc. etc. We will always show up and do what we do. If you paid to see us, we do our part to bring you a great show. No excuses. Period. – Chris Demakes
If you could change something about your career, what would it be?
I honestly don’t think I’d change a thing. The things that you look back on in your career as mistakes are the things that make you what you are today. You have to live and learn from your own experiences. Without all the downs, there can be no ups. That’s what makes the ride so fun. – Buddy Schaub
Less Port O’ Potties. More NOFX tours. – JR Wasilewski
Demanded more from our managers and labels in the early days. We were content with our success and were basking in the joy of a career making music. We could have been bigger dicks and made those around us contribute more to our vision. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and early on, we weren’t making enough noise. – Roger Manganelli
I wouldn’t change one thing. The ups and down make the foundation of bands strong, it creates character and commitment. Sure, there are regrets but that’s life at its best and worst. – Vinnie Fiorello
Not much. If anything, I wouldn’t have sweated the small stuff as much as I did when I was younger. Took the fun out of things sometimes. – Chris Demakes
What’s your band’s biggest accomplishment from the last 21 years?
Surviving. Being true to ourselves, writing honest music from the heart that we are happy to play night after night. There are bands out there that play songs their fans want to hear while they’re no longer feeling it themselves. Luckily, we don’t have that problem. And we really give it our ALL when we play live. We never phone in a performance and try to make each show special and fun for all involved. – Roger Manganelli