By Sarah Mac
CALGARY – Hailing form Gainesville, Florida, Less Than Jake are veterans of the ska scene and adored for their melodic harmonies, blazing horns and upbeat rhythms. Toting an impressive catalog of recordings, including eight full-length albums; their first, Pezcore was released in 1995, with their latest being 2013’s See the Light.
2017 marked Less Than Jake’s 25th anniversary, an occasion worth celebrating. And while they’ve grown over the years, it’s their perspective on their music that helped sustain a legion of fans since the band’s inception.
“I’m a little more centered on what’s important. As far as songs go, you ultimately should write for yourself and please yourself. So, we look at it like, is this something I’d like to listen to? If it is, that’s a good direction to take. Because 99.9 percent of the time the fans like what we like, and that’s what’s written from the heart.” explains Chris DeMakes, the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist.
“And you know, the majority of people that come to our shows want to hear those old albums, they’re the records they grew up with. And some people say, you could look at that from a stand point of just being nostalgic. I tend to look at it really positively. We’re one component of that memory or time for people, and we know that. It’s cool to be a part of it. And a lot of bands aren’t around 25 years later to keep making these memories.”
Less Than Jake kicked off 2017 with the release of Sound the Alarm, a seven-song EP, which was also the first new music from the band since 2013’s See the Light. Fans, however, were hoping for the full meal deal, not just an appetizer.
“We had enough songs for a full-length, but we didn’t have enough time. Our touring schedule was just crazy. And we’re older now, we have families and wives that come into play too. We set aside some time to record, and we had probably 10 or 12 songs and four or five ideas on top of that. And if we had more time to really get in there and record everything properly, we could have had a full-length. But we just didn’t have the time. And we really wanted to tour with new music. So, we figured we’d do an EP. That was it, the honest truth, no BS.”
Straight outta Florida, they’re braving the Canadian winter and not deterred.
“We’ve been out to tour in some very cold places, Canada being one of them. And I don’t mind the cold, I don’t mind bundling up.”
Don’t miss Less Than Jake on Jan. 19 at The Starlite Room (Edmonton) and Jan. 20 as part of the BIG Winter Classic festival (Calgary)Big Winter Classic festival, Less than Jake, Pezcore, See the Light, Sound the Alarm, The Starlite Room