Less Than Jake will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in Australia next week across five fun filled shows bringing a setlist full of selections from their extensive catalogue as well as their latest EP ‘Sound The Alarm‘ out now on Pure Noise.

The Gainesville punks responsible for fashioning a generation’s suburban discontent, social isolation and ‘plastic cup politics’ into irresistibly tasty ska punk hooks have notched up more than 300 releases since their original formation in small town Florida, and are no strangers to Australian soil building a fiercely loyal local audience across their many tours.

They were last on our shores with their US contemporaries Reel Big Fish and locals The Bennies in 2015, drawing massive crowds to a quick succession of East Coast dates.

An excited drummer, Vinnie Fiorello commented at the time of the tour being announced;

We’ll be celebrating our 25th anniversary in Australia, and while Australian tours are always ragers, we will be bringing our full stage of antics along for the first time. Add a massive catalog of material to choose from and it’s almost an instant good time. We’re coming to your shores to party, live recklessly, have a few pies, nurse a few hangovers, and make our 25th anniversary tour one to remember (or not remember).

This week we caught up with Vinnie and bass player Roger Lima ahead of the tour to tell us more about that EP released back in February. You can read their answers below.

Less Than Jake will be joined on these shows by legendary Australian quartet, Bodyjar, last seen on UNIFY Festival earlier in the year, and before that celebrating 15 years of their seminal album ‘How It Works‘ on a massive run of packed rooms, things haven’t been quiet off the stage for the band with time spent in the studio recently, and a new EP set for release this Friday. Read more about that one [Here].

Melbourne’s Foxtrot will round out this epic bill, armed with their 2016 belter ‘Habitats‘, and a stack of freshly written tunes, they will get the party started in all cities.

Tickets for all shows are available if you want in! Re-cap the dates and venues below the interview.

LISTEN WHILE YOU READ

ON THE RECORD INTERVIEW

Tell us about the release title.
Vinnie: For the titles of records, we usually have to talk it out, 5 opinions, 5 different takes on general ideas and themes of lyrics. We had a few different ideas, but bounced around some more when lyrics and tracklisting were finishing up. We wanted something that represented the urgency of the lyrics and decided that taking one of the lines from the first track ‘Call To Arms’ made the most sense with the 7 songs on the EP. So ‘Sound The Alarm’ was decided on.

Tell us about the artwork.
Vinnie: Doug Dean did the design. After starting the project with another designer we moved the project over to Doug. We wanted to have an icon piece of art for each song but also use those to make one cohesive piece for the cover. We talked art during the recording, I wanted to have a limited palette and bold images that represented each song. Like past things, we volleyed the idea amongst the 5 of us and agreed on the general idea and let Doug loose on the idea. After talking to the designer and letting him know some of the ideas, not only visually but we also gave him feel directions. “Make it feel positive”, “Heavily influenced by the lyrical content of learning from the dark times in your life and coming out of the storm better for it.”

Who will it be released through, and when?
Vinnie: The record was released through Pure Noise and was released in die cut cover 12 inch, digipack CD, and cassette. I think the art works in large formats. The 12 inch die cut cover really makes the chain of icons pop and gave the design a very cool depth.

Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
Roger: We recorded at my studio, the Moathouse, because it is comfortable, familiar and in our hometown of Gainesville Florida

Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
Roger: I was the producer on this release. I have produced the last few Less Than Jake recordings, and we as a band feel we are getting the results were looking for. We work together and bounce ideas off of each other and it’s a very organic process.

Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
Roger: We actually wrote six or eight songs earlier in the year and scraped them in favor of the songs that appear on the release. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to hone in on the type of songs we are trying to make.

Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
Roger: At this point in our career, we are almost influenced by ourselves and keeping true to our style. Not only something that our fans would be into but also challenging ourselves to come up with the best melodies and song ideas.

Were there any albums you were referencing in the studio to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
Roger: Our previous album, See The Light, was produced in the same way & mixed by the same mixer, Jason from the Blasting Room. We knew what he was capable of based on that record and we were chasing a similar production. I feel like sound the alarm mixes are better than the previous album.

How long did you spend in the studio recording?
Roger: Was a fairly fast process, all the tracking was done in a couple weeks.

WATCH

Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
Roger: We multi track all the instruments capturing the drums with myself or Chris playing guitar, And overdubbing all the instruments one at a time.

Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
Roger: At this point, this is a familiar way of recording in the same basic process that we’ve done for a long time.

Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
Roger: There were no guests and actually no outside influences on the recording, creation or production of the songs.

When it comes to naming the tracks, is there any particular approach or process to it all?
Roger: In our band, our drummer Vinnie writes 98% of the lyrics and he usually tackles the responsibility of naming the tracks.

Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
Roger: Yes, we used lots of different guitar amps lots of different guitars, to try to bring some different tones to highlight the songs.

Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
Roger: Like I had said we have several other song ideas but chose just to record the six songs that made it onto the EP. There were no bonus tracks recorded this time.

What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
Roger: We have really enjoyed playing “Things Change” and “Bomb Drop” on these last few tours.

How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
Roger: I feel like we’re constantly improving the results of our recording, songwriting and production. The blasting room really knocked these mixes out of the park.

Anything else you want to say or about the release?
Roger: Big thanks to the Blasting Room and Pure Noise for making it happen!

WATCH
TOUR DATES

LESS THAN JAKE
With Guests BODYJAR and FOXTROT
OCTOBER
19th – The Prince, Melbourne [18+]
21st – The Gov, Adelaide [Lic/AA]
22nd – The Tivoli, Brisbane [18+]
24th – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle [18+]
25th – Metro Theatre, Sydney [Lic/AA]
—> Tickets available now.
—> For more information, visit [Here].

TOUR POSTER
Less Than Jake
COVER ART
Less Than Jake Sound The Alarm
TRACK LISTING

1. Call to Arms
2. Whatever the Weather
3. Bomb Drop
4. Welcome to My Life
5. Good Sign
6. Years of Living Dangerously
7. Things Change

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