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Less Than Jake

Although formed in 1992 as a power pop trio with heavy punk leanings, Less Than Jake steadily transformed into a ska-inspired punk band with the addition of a horn section. Vocalist/guitarist Chris Demakes, bassist Shaun, and drummer/lyricist Vinnie Fiorello formed the first incarnation of the group, which took root in Gainesville, FL. After Shaun became the group's roadie, however, he was replaced by bassist Roger Manganelli, who picked up the instrument just to join the band. During 1993-1994, the group added its first horn player, Jessica Mills, and soon after came trombone player Buddy Schaub. Right before their first tour, however, Schaub went to Europe with friends, so saxophonist Derron Nuhfer filled in for shows during his absence.

With various 7" releases under their belt, Less than Jake debuted in 1994 with the album Pezcore, on Dill Records. Losers, Kings & Things We Don't Understand and Greased followed on No Idea until the group signed with Capitol for its major-label debut, 1996's Losing Streak. The album was full of the band's wry, fast-paced brand of ska-punk anthems, producing such fan favorites as "Johnny Quest Thinks We're Sellouts" and "Jen Doesn't Like Me Anymore." Upon the album's completion, Jessica left to pursue teaching, and (ex-Slapstick trombonist) Pete came on board. Around this time, Fiorello also started his own record label, Fueled by Ramen, with friend John Janick. Hello Rockview followed in 1998, and spawned a minor college radio hit with "History of a Boring Town." In fall 2000, the band released Borders & Boundaries on Fat Wreck, as well as landing the opening spot on Bon Jovi's North American tour.

Nuhfer left the band after the album's recording (and later went on to join Gunmoll), and Less Than Jake found his replacement in ex-Spring Heel Jack horn player Pete Wasilewski -- though to avoid any name confusion within the band, the second Pete was dubbed JR, and remained JR even after the first Pete decided to leave soon after the 2001 Warped Tour. Over the years, Less Than Jake has issued more 7" and limited-edition vinyl releases than most people can keep track of, so the bandmembers compiled some of their favorite tracks on one record for 2002's Goodbye Blue and White, named in honor of their original tour van. Anthem followed in 2003 for Sire; B Is for B-Sides was issued a year later, comprised of tracks that did not make it to Anthem's final cut. The DVD retrospective People's History of Less Than Jake appeared a month later. The four-song EP Absolution for Idiots and Addicts was released in April 2006, with their next full-length, In with the Out Crowd, following a month later. The latter's album slicker, pop-oriented nature received mixed reactions from fans. In 2007, Less Than Jake announced that they had left Warner Bros.; a year later, the group formed the Sleep It Off label and released GNV FLA, an album loosely based on (and dedicated to) their hometown. Their ninth album, See the Light, arrived in the fall of 2013. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

irishcsk
lets get ska back
I saw them at Warped Tour in Orlando just to listen to music before Mice & Men but I turned out to love them. Been listening to them ever since.
smokeandband
Saw them in 02 with bad religion. 12 years later and still love them!
Probably one of the most underrated and best bands of all time.
After all this time I finally got to meet these guys at warped tour and they were great. They did an awesome show and were the nicest guys to talk to ever LOVE this band
These guys are awesome
Listened to LTJ since I was a child... Got a chance to see them in concert in my hometown in central illinois last year, never thought that would be possible, but it happened... The music and lyrics of this band hold a special place in my heart, I couldn't forget the lyrics to the entire Losing Streak album if I tried, I've listened to it 20394832 times
goldie_lux
omg it's like the soundtrack of my adolescence!
Landmines landslides every single time
Going to the Pittsburgh show tonight! I've been a fan of LTJ for years, however, oddly enough, this will be my 1st live experience!
nomader28
one of my fav bands from my youth. their lyrics are great, live they're a blast and i have seen them prob. 6 or 7 times.
Meh....
nicknabors19 8 4
Vinny, get your ears checked man...lol... n e i t h e r Chris or Roger sound like Pat from FOB.
Ltj aok! Met roger at warped tour years ago. They are def my number one band all these years!
Sounds like the singer from fall out boy omg
snow165
I saw LTJ at Elephant Records, downtown Claremont in '96 or 97. Prob like 30 people there, just playing amongst the row of records. I broke my arm snowboarding and Roger (bassist) was giving me s**t saying I prob broke it taking out the trash. Got a cool cast signature out of it though.
Oh look I didn't die
Digimon
I'll just leave this here
Well looks like I'm gonna die after surviving through a bunch of apocalypses. . . just because I read that whole comment and didn't repost.... f**k lmao
dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually works
One of my fondest memories is a small venue, wall to wall, sweat drenched gig in New Zealand when LTJ came to play.
chriswaite73
Wanna talk about feeling old.. I'm 39and remember going to The Hardback every time they played... Roger was playing drums for Vanbilderass and Buddy was playing bass for When Pubery Strikes. ( I still sing Short Bus" to myself. Wish I still had that cassette!) Saw them a few months ago in Nashville.. Still a great show!
Seeing them next month! SO freaking excited!
LTJ Is pop ska. Not real ska. Go listen to Let's Go Bowling for some real ska.
Know your history? http://en.wi k i p e d i a . o r g / w i k i / S k a lol, they were certainly not the first either, even in the US.
Less Than Jake was my favorite ska band, will always be. I have seen them soooo many times, and it still amazes me! oh, and Chris drinks bud light just in case you see him at a bar...
@m-boy93, bad vocals? like dylan, cobain, rush, misfits, rancid. different doesn't mean bad
johnson795
LTJ put on some fun shows. I was never really into ska, but these guys were more than just a ska band.
People say oh, they're just some pop-punk-ska thing, who cares? but they were doing this stuff way before anyone made a buck on it. So cherish your opinions, that's fine, but know your history.
I love LTJ they're one of my favorites :)
kiernan1916
LTJ = RGT
burke4eva
I remember being 13 and kind of figuring who I was and if I even liked music at all. I went to Warp Tour in Asbury Park and bought Losing Streak and found who I was that day! Thanks Less Than Jake for showing me my passion for music and introducing me to the music I still love 15 years later.
Can't stand the lead's voice. Sounds like a little kid. And I don't see how these guys have "heavy punk leanings", it just sounds like a teen ska band gone pop. It's a shame when a good horn section (or hell, any instrumental i s t ) ends up playing for bad vocals. Really ruins the band.
LEES THAN rocks. uniqueness is a rarity nowadays. and thats what they are.
the put on one hell of a show at warped tour
Yay! I have loved LTJ since Losing streak was a new release!
saw them in Hartford they were amazing
bossmanbing
Sold out pretty hard with "In With the Out Crowd." All that does though is promote them to "guilty pleasure."
Missed when they played heree last Sunday :(
fun great band
these guys are not sellout your just a young douchbag with nothing better to do then b**ch. I seen these guys play at back yard party and seen them in fornt of thousands. They all ways put on a hell of a show maybe when you get old enough to have a job and get of you parents tit you will understand that bands need to eat too.
gallagha1
I will agree with Johny Quest. These guys are sell outs, "try harder to keep the prices low for your records and your shows" like you said you would. Andrew G thinks your sell outs, sell outs.
yayayayayaya y a y a
effigysalon
yesyesyes
Oi Oi OI!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
RAD
skababy
dude these guys are the biz. The scienc3 of selling yourself short is wat got me goin. I love ska and these guys are a definite top........ twenty.... i guess. Listen, they're great.
Nervous in the alley, rocks!
I would say that their shows are indeed a must see, I love their stage antics, thats the whole point of going to a show. Not to mention they played awesomely.
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