Less Than Jake,

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Apr 032002
 
Authors: Rachel Spannuth

Irreverent, illogical, hilarious.

This is the only way to describe Less Than Jake’s stage shows.

The ska-influenced punk band has made both touring and performing a fun and crazy time, something they began over the 10 years they’ve been together.

The group, originally from Gainesville, Fla., cites its major influences to be among those of 80s metal hair bands, according to Chris, the guitarist and a singer of the band.

Less Than Jake formed when Chris met Roger (bass/vocals) in South Beach, Fla. while he was giving massages on, according to a KCSU interview. They began talking and discovered they both really liked music. They decided to form a band. Since both had developed interest in punk in their high school days, they decided to follow the punk music format. Vinnie (drums) joined the duo to make a three-piece band and had even more input into the punk style, being a fan of bands like The Descendents and All. The addition of J.R. (saxophone) and Buddy (trombone) gave the band the ska sound it has become known for.

The origin of the band’s name is not entirely clear. On the band’s Web site, there is a story of a dog Vinnie had growing up that was treated better than anyone else. However, during an interview with KCSU, Chris told a different story.

He talked about a friend of Vinnie’s father named Jake. The man became so close to the family, he moved into their house and was like an uncle to Vinnie. As he got older, he developed prostate cancer.

“We were less than Jake because we couldn’t practice in the house because Uncle Jake’s ears hurt. Vinnie’s dad, to this day, hates the band name because he knows where it came from,” Chris said.

The band is all about having fun. On the road, the members are notorious for their home videos. The camera is nearly always on, filming the members goofing around and dressing in costumes for skits.

“It’s all about having fun. That’s what makes touring bearable,” Chris said.

The band just finished a tour with Bad Religion, who they came to Denver with on March 23. However, the group is used to playing in the larger venues after spending 2000 touring with Bon Jovi. n

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