All Murder Photography by Rebel Photo
What was Less Than Jake's main goal when the band first began? How did that change over the years and....what is it now?
JR: The main goal when the band started was to get free beer. The mission hasn't changed too much, except now instead of beer, we want liquor. And chocolate.
Sounds zesty. If I gave you liquor and chocolate, would you let me perform fellatio on you?
JR: Of course! But it would have to be a very large bottle of Jameson.
I wish Chris were as easy to ply alcohol and chocolate...
JR: (Laughs) He is!
So...tell me... when Less Than Jake was a young band, what was the biggest surprise you learned about the music industry?
JR: That when industry people start saying "we have a hit!," you normally don't.
Looking back now, what do you consider the band's crowning achievement?
JR: Being able to still be an active touring band with nearly 20 years of existence. Hands down.
Yes, but while the gay undead still enjoy Ska immensely, it isn't a trend anymore among mortals. Neither is Punk. How does this affect the music you make?
JR: We never played it to be part of a trend. We played it because that's what we like. It's not our fault that a trend started or ended and we've never done anything but be our band, so all the ending of a trend did was further cement us in the music we've always played and loved.
Your band has always been about fun. When I hear bands like Blessed By A Broken Heart, The Damned Things and even Steel Panther, I get the vibe that rock and roll is moving toward a happier, fun groove again. Agree or disagree?
JR: I agree that it was bound to stop being a droney, screamy ball of worthlessness eventually. It still sorta sucks, but eventually it always goes around in a circle. In these shitty, economic times, who wants to be more bummed out more than they already are?
Less Than Jake has been on a number of labels through the years. What generally happens that leads a band and a label into parting ways?
JR: Staff changes, budget cuts, lack of knowledge on "what to do with the band", gained too much weight, did too many drugs; whatever. All of the labels we parted ways with, were very courteous and amicable.
What are the pluses of having your own label? Isn't it a much bigger pain in the buttocks?
JR: The pluses are that we don't have to get permission from 50 people before we do something. The only pain in the butt is not having more money. But if we were signed to a label, there would be no money AND we'd have to ask permission for everything. Just easier for us to do for ourselves.
With so much happening via the mortal Internet, is a label even a necessity any more?
JR: I think for a new band, a label is great to help get the name out. A label also gets the band's music to outlets that they wouldn't be able to get on their own and helps brand and further populate the band's social networking pages. But most of the stuff that they do for you, you can do on your own. People are just lazy.
When will the band be putting out new material?
Do you think there is a point where your fans wouldn't care if the band records anything new? ...and would rather just hear the old songs, or your cool cover songs?
JR: They probably feel that way, but I think putting out new music keeps new fans coming in as well as keeps old fans intrigued. We're just not sure that the traditional album format is what is right for us anymore. We'll see what the future holds.
What little piece of advice to do you give young bands you might cross paths with?
JR: Stop. There are enough bands. Go to school and sell me all your gear. I'll buy it. Cheap.