Less Than Jake
Playing music is about moments. A collection of great moments defines
an amazing record. An avalanche of powerful moments tumbles into an
engaging live show. The moment when band and fan become one and the
same, the moment of interaction, is the type of moment that lasts
Twenty years into its pioneering journey, Gainesville, Fla., natives Less
Than Jake – comprised of lyricist/drummer Vinnie Fiorello, vocalist/
guitarist Chris DeMakes, vocalist/bassist Roger Manganelli, saxophonist
Peter "JR" Wasilewski, and trombonist Buddy Schaub – have had their fair
share of moments. For a band obsessed with interacting with its fans,
both online and after shows; for a band that is so concerned with making
sure the fan gets the perfect experience, with well-known hijinks in every
live performance; for a band with seemingly unlimited creativity in the
form of physical products, from custom-made cereal boxes to unique
vinyl packaging; and for a band that is so passionate when writing new
music, 20 years begins to seem like an even longer amount of time. A lot
of moments add up over two decades – teenagers grow into men over
two decades – dare we say, things change?
Ever-adapting to the constant change in an unsure music industry, Less
Than Jake is still making cannonball-sized splashes in the deep end while
many of its peers timidly eye shallow waters. With the release of Season's
Greetings From Less Than Jake this sentiment is as true as ever. A fivetrack
release recorded at The Moathouse in Gainesville and produced by
Less Than Jake's own Roger Lima, Season's Greetings is a wintertime
accompaniment to last summer's Greetings From Less Than Jake EP.
Don't let the title of the EP fool you, though. The five tracks on Season's
Greetings are barn-burners, more intended to get long-time fans and
first-time listeners warmed up and moshing in their living rooms than
meant to listen to while cuddling up to a warm fireplace. Keeping its
signature mix of punk roots and horn-driven melodies, songs like “A
Return To Headphones” and “Finer Points of Forgiveness” take the best of
old-school Less Than Jake and put on a fresh coat of point for an ampedup
“I think in today’s music industry, people can digest smaller amounts of
music more so than large amounts,” Fiorello says of writing two EPs
instead of a full-length. “On our end, creatively it’s less of a daunting
task to try to put together five songs instead of 12 songs or so. We can
cut the fat, make sure each song is powerful and has its own feel, and
still retain a Less Than Jake sound to the whole release. At the same time
people can get into each song more.”
The two EPs follow up 2010's TV/EP and the band's last full-length,
2008's GNV FLA. As the past few releases have been, Season's Greetings
is being released by the band-owned and operated Sleep It Off Records,
as Less Than Jake has spent the past few years completely independent
from the major-label ties it used to incur. With a year of worldwide
touring ahead, the group is still following through on its mission to
please the fan, wherever the fan may be. More so than many bands that
have been doing this for so long, Less Than Jake continues to provide
output that loyal fans love. From a 16-minute EP of TV theme show cover
songs to re-releases of their classic back catalog to live shows of genre
staples "Losing Streak" or "Hello Rockview" in their entirety, Less Than
Jake has done it all. Less Than Jake will continue to do it all.
“We're constantly pushing ourselves to come up with new ways to present
the band,” says Schaub, “whether it be within the writing of our songs,
ideas for keeping our live shows fresh, coming up with crazy new merch
ideas, or just coming up with the best joke in the van. Keeping your band
new and innovative is the key to lasting around for more than a minute in
the minds of fans.”
As the release of Season's Greetings proves, this isn't a band content to
rest on the laurels of past success. In fact, 2012 is more about pushing
forward and breaking new ground, rather than contemplatively reflecting
on the success of yesteryear. A constantly innovative force in the
industry, DeMakes says the band has managed to stay around so long by
staying true to themselves. “Twenty years of blood, sweat and beers,”
DeMakes says. “It’s been a privilege and a pleasure. We have survived
more trends than we can count and have managed, so far, to leave a
legacy of music two decades long.
“If this counts as a job, sign me up for another 20 years!”
Whole Wheat Bread
Aaron Abraham // Vocals, Guitar
Nicholas Largen // Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Joseph Largen // Drums
Whole Wheat Bread is a young urban punk band from Jacksonville, FL. The band just released their debut album "Minority Rules" on Fighting Records (Lumberjack Mordam Music Group). The album was produced by Darian Rundall (Pennywise, Yellowcard) and features 11 blistering punk anthems.
Like their forefathers Bad Brains, WWB is doing their part to redefine punk boundaries for a whole new generation. Their hammering guitars and catchy hooks nod equally to both Green Day and Rancid.
WWB was formed by vocalist/guitarist Aaron Abraham. "People joke about us looking like NWA but sounding like Green Day, " says Abraham, "but I'd say we live our lives naturally somewhere in between that -- edgy, but full of emotion. I got into Green Day at a young age, which was exactly the same time I started playing guitar."
Abraham is a native of Trinidad. At a young age, his parents moved his family to the Miami area. "We were broke and we lived in the worst ghetto areas of Miami for most of my life." His parents wanted a good education for Aaron so they drove him over 30 minutes every morning to a pre-dominantly white school near Miami Beach where he discovered punk rock. "But at the end of day, I still came home to my "NWA" neighborhood," Aaron explains, "besides, I ain't tryin' to wear no tight ass jeans anyway!"
Aaron would later move to Jacksonville where he would meet bassist/vocalist Nicholas Largen, another young black musician. "I actually met Nick to pursue a rap career," says Abraham, "He was making beats and videos, and people were telling me to holla at him. I found out he played guitar, so I asked him if he could play bass. He could. So we decided to forget the rapping."
Timing was good as Nicholas had up until that point lived a pretty rough life even serving more than a year in prison with 17 felony convictions on his record. Whole Wheat Bread was the perfect opportunity for him to turn his life around. "I've learned that when push comes to shove and you feel like breaking the law, your ass will pay," states Largen, "So now I try not to break the law and instead spend more time focusing on improving our music cause at least that will keep my ass out of jail."
Abraham would soon learn that Nick's brother played drums and the lineup was complete. Drummer Joe Largen says, "Being in a band with my brother is great. We have been playing together since middle school and musically we can read each other's minds. Plus someone has to be there to keep him out of prison!"
In their short time together as a band, they've already shared the stage with some impressive acts including the Suicide Girls, Matchbook Romance, Motion City Soundtrack, From First to Last, Scatter the Ashes, Emanuel, Allister, From Autumn to Ashes, Glasseater, Suicide Machines, Count The Stars, Lucky Boy's Confusion, Inspection 12, Mustard Plug, Bloody Midgets Wrestling, Authority Zero, Sevendust and Long Beach Shortbus, among others.
In 2005, WWB are out to conquer! The band plans to hit the campaign trail hard and that means a solid year of touring ahead both in the US & abroad. The album is also scheduled for an early 2005 release in Japan on Ambience Records/CRJapan (the same company that exclusively handles Fat Wreck Chords in Japan).
You Blew It!
Started playing music in a very small bedroom in 2009. We now play music in what is supposed to be a dining room until around 9:30pm when the neighbors make us stop.