Less Than Jake – Across The Ocean

Less Than Jake

Less Than Jake are teaming up with Reel Big Fish for an East Coast tour. Less Than Jake hardly need an introduction touring this great country numerous times over the journey and Vinnie Fiorello talks to Across The Ocean about the tour, being on the road with Reel Big Fish and early thoughts on the next album.


Have you lost count of all the Australian tours? The band is almost family down here…

If I could move down there I would and I love Australia, hands down this is no bullshit but Less Than Jake connects with Australia. Our first time here was with Warped tour years and years and years ago and we felt an immediate connection to Australia punkers who dug music. It was like this country is fucking great, it really is and it isn’t just because I’m talking to an Australian reporter but Less Than Jake have connected with Australia and any time we can go down to your country it’s a fucking beautiful time.

There are a few punkers in Adelaide who are disappointed you cannot make it to our city this time?

Originally we had Adelaide scheduled and that night is the same night as Pennywise and Anti-Flag. Our agent went, why are we doing this and then that turned in to a second Melbourne show just like that.

Touring with Reel Big Fish makes for an awesome value for money double bill doesn’t it?

We’ve gone on tours with Reel Big Fish and we call them friends and we consider them friends and they are a great live band, genuinely a fun dudes to tour with. We have done a lot of touring with them this past year and I am stoked we are going to Japan before Australia then Hawaii – there it is man our year is over! Two more shows after that then I get to write some music and do some things that you can’t be on the road for.

Is there much competitiveness between the bands?

I think all that shit has past itself, early on in the nineties there were people who would like to pit us against them and it was silly looking back on it. It was never between both bands but manufactured through mutual friends or by the press. Looking back on it, it does seem silly but considering that the relationship we have with those dudes now which it awesome, always a blast, always fun and easy good on them. Its shame on the fucking people that tried to pit us against each other but that’s decades ago so who gives a rats arse about that.

Do you mix it up each night in terms of who goes on first?

We flip flop headlines and the one night they’ll headline we’ll be the main support and another night we’ll headline and they’ll play main support.

The Australian support The Bennies is a great inclusion on the bill. Do you know much about them?

I’ve been going backwards and forwards with Anty for a while now. They are a fucking great band, cool dudes as far as I know judging by online so I’m looking forward to hanging out, seeing them and I like their record a bunch. The dude Anty who I spoke to from the band is a righteous dude and by all accounts it should go along swimmingly.

The amount of touring that you do is insane. How do you get yourself in shape for the demands of touring?

You’re supposed to be doing all that shit but let’s face the facts, it is three in the morning and someone throws a pizza in front of you, you know you’re not supposed to eat that fucking pizza but you’re going to eat it anyway. It’s two in the morning and you’ve drunk nine beers and someone asks if you want this mixed whiskey drink I go I shouldn’t but alright I will. You know what you need to do to stay healthy on the road for a good chunk of the year but you end throwing health to the wayside until you stop touring.

Do you think you appreciate life in the band more now than you did when you were younger?

I said this earlier in another interview the only way I can let you know that it is on a daily basis that I feel lucky to be in a band for twenty three years and people still come out, we can still be creative as a unit and still have a fun fucking time and still hit the stage and it feels like it always has. That’s a fucking blast, I feel lucky every time I get on stage. Even if it was a show that I wasn’t really feeling it I reel my fuck back in and go you just played a show to these fucking people and this is what happened. It is easy to lose sight about how lucky Less Than Jake and people who play music for a living are. It is easy to lose sight of that and maybe early on in band’s career you don’t soak that in but fuck that! On a daily I suck that in and it’s beautiful. It is still awesome and we want to continue on with it.

Do you have a vision of ten to fifteen years time still going strong?

I have no idea man! When we first started I had no idea that we would last twenty three years and frankly that is the way that I’m wired. I never thought I was going to be in a band still after twenty three years still but now twenty three years in I still find it out to look past another few years. To answer your question I don’t know what will happen three or five years from now. Now, we’re playing music, it still feels great and feels that there is an awesome chemistry still on stage. It still feels like I’m on tour with my brothers and it is like family that we have been around that long. Dude, I embrace it and move on day by day.

Have you thought about the songs for the next album and how that might sound?

Less Than Jake is Less Than Jake you know. For me it’s like write some music and see what it is, I have one or two other things musically I going to start as well so who knows. It might be for Less Than Jake it might not be for Less Than Jake and that’s a cool thing too. I think some people try to hard because they have been in a band for a long time and it always batches up, we fell in to that same trap as well. All of a sudden you’re hyper realising who you are as a band and that starts to steer you a long for song writing, I firmly believe that. I think you also need to know who you are as a band to be able to connect with fans that you have had, there it is! Some fans of bands expect this ground breaking record every record then there are other people who just want really good music that connects on a lyrical level or an emotional level. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a dude and a guitar for ten records. It all depends on the fan of the band like a fan of System of a Down expects metal perfection on every record and for there to be progression. Maybe a Pennywise fan doesn’t expect that but that the lyrics and the energy to connect with them and they’re cool with it sounding like Pennywise for ten records.

Are you looking at side projects?

I’ve going back and forth with sides stuff and I’ve never done one before. Roger does a band called Rehasher, Buddy our trombone player does Coffee Project and then Chris are singer has done some solo stuff. I have never done anything solo but I do a lot of business, I own a tattoo shop, I do a toy line, I do a record label called Paper and Plastic, I did a record label in the past called Fuelled by Ramen. I fill my time with business and creative stuff that isn’t music. Lately I have been playing around with other music so we’ll see what happens.

Rob Lyon

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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