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Less Than Jake (web interview)

August 11th, 2001 · post by anon · Make a comment

An interview with Vinny and Buddy from Less Than Jake in August of 2001 when they played the Extremefest(?) in Nottingham.

Rn: Which band would you rather be in Iron Maiden or Judas Priest?
Vinnie: Iron Maiden, hands down. Judas Priest had a gay man for a lead singer. That has no bearing on it, but Iron Maiden.

Rn: Would you rather be in a metal band in the 80’s or a punk band now?
V: Metal band in the 80’s, for sure.
Rn: Which band would you rather be in Iron Maiden or Judas Priest?
V: Iron Maiden, hands down. Judas Priest had a gay man for a lead singer. That has no bearing on it, but Iron Maiden.

Rn: Would you rather be in a metal band in the 80’s or a punk band now?
V: Metal band in the 80’s, for sure.

Rn: Can you see yourself signing to a major label again?
V: Yes.
Rn: Why?
V: For the biggest, fattest check possible, if they give us a big novelty check y’know, about this big….
Buddy: Yeah like the ones you get given after winning a golf tournament
V: I would sign. You know what, major labels, there are good aspects and there are bad aspects to it, like being on independent labels. See, I really can’t say that one’s better than the other one. You have more control and things are easier to get done on indie, y’know but majors have good points too, you can’t really slag off both. Both have good and bad points. So in answer to your question I’ll give you a resounding maybe.

Rn: Do you prefer playing on eclectic or straight up punk bills?
V: Eclectic bills are better, more variety; you don’t have to sit through the same chcochcochco (insert sound of vinnie trying to sound like a punk guitar riff), for all the bands. It’s especially true in the united states, sitting through an all punk bill is like sitting through the same band for 5 fucking hours.
Buddy: According to some people we wouldn’t even be able to play on an all punk bill cos we’re a ska band.
V: Some people, but they’re assholes anyway.

Rn: What did you think of this year’s Warped Tour?
V: This years Warped Tour was awesome. Rancid, amazing. Bouncing souls, amazing. 311, truly amazing. No one likes 311 here, why? 311’s really good live, I was shocked by it yesterday, when Chris was thanking the bands, y’know thanks to blah, blah, blah, blah, and he gets to 311 and people actually booed. It was like ‘Thanks to The Ataris’, ‘Ahhh’. ‘Thanks to 311′, ‘booo’. It was like, fuck that was harsh. I would say this though, highlight to this year’s Warped Tour, Bouncing Souls and most definitely Rancid. Rancid every day was amazing. It was the only band that actually for 7 weeks I could back every day.

Rn: Which do you prefer playing: Clubs or big stadiums?
V: Clubs, for sure. Clubs are just better, better vibe, better everything. Y’know what I mean, something big, there are barricades and everyone’s far away and there’s no real connection. You play to a lot of people, festivals are fun but we’ve only done week’s worth and I’m already kinda sick of it.

Rn: Do you prefer English or American festivals
V: You know what, English festivals actually because there’s so much more variety and a mix to it than American ones. The only thing we’ve ever really done in America is the Warped Tour, that’s the only well know festival. We’ve done radio shows and all that shit too, but that’s not really the same thing. I back the European ones for sure.

Rn: What do you think of the British punk scene at the moment?
V: Awesome. Capdown, awesome. Vanilla Pod, awesome. Spunge, awesome. Asian Dub Foundation, which I include being a punk band because of their ethics, awesome. The British punk scene for the last three years has grown and grown and grown, there’s amazing bands. Snuff, for one, who I think are underated, they’ve been around for like fourteen years and a lot of kids just don’t like them anymore. It’s shit, they’re still putting out amazing music. I support Snuff 100%.
Buddy: Punk started here.
V: Yes, well, no, let me reiterate this, punk started in the United States with The Ramones, in 1975, ok and then the English took it and made it their own. So we’re getting the story straight right now. Punk started in the U.S, United States, with The Ramones, 1975, thank you very much. Actually you can even go back a little further than that with MC 5 and then The Dictators, which was probably around ‘71.

Rn: Do you actually know anyone that owns all 130 albums with your music on?
V: I own em, every single one. I own every single Less Than Jake record. Doubles in fact.
B: He has all the different colours of vinyl too.
V: I literally have a closet full of them. But you know what, I know kids, there are probably about 300 kids in the entire world that I’ve met, that have everything, that have more than me. That are like, ‘Yeah Vinnie, y’know what, I have the purple colour swirl vinyl with the white, there’s only like twenty made, you got that?’
‘No, I don’t have that.’
‘I paid fucking $300 on ebay for it.’
There’s this one guy that I know that has every bootleg, every video, every record, every colour of record, every format of record. It’s amazing, even Pezcore on tape, we did tapes for a brief period of time, and he has the tape. I have no idea how he has that tape. They’re few and far between, but there are about 300 kids that I’ve met that are fiendishly collector nerd about it.
B: My mum has that tape actually….

Rn: Will the next album follow the lines of Borders and Boundaries…
V: No
Rn:..or go back to ska
V: I’m not going to say it’s going to go back to ska but I’m definitely going to say it’s not going to follow in the same trend as Borders and Boundaries.
B: It’s going to be whatever we’re doing in the next four months, that’s how it always works out, whatever mindset we’re in when we’re writing.
V: You know what, I can say without a doubt that there will be more ska on the next record than there was on Borders and Boudaries.

Rn: Sort of a random question, but why is the inlay card for Hello Rockview in a different order of songs to the actual CD.
V: Y’know what, just because. The back is the same, but if you go inside, it’s a different running order.
B: He does it all the time. Same thing with Pezcore.
V: Look it this way, some things work. Look at Hello Rockview, it was the comic book so it had to have a certain, disconnected feel to work. If you follow it, it actually makes sense, if you ever noticed, no body actually ever notices it, I put so much time and effort and originality into it and no one ever mentions the fact that this is rad. Like inside the paper looks like the old comics, it’s all old looking, no one cares. I slave over things, no one cares. No one even cares about the little twisty thing on the back of Borders and Boundaries. You guys get screwed out of it mind you because Plastic Head didn’t do it but in the United States there’s this little cardboard thing on the back of the CD that’s cut out, that when you spin it you can see a picture and the number of miles from a certain city and then the city, so that when you spin it, it says each little thing. It’s like a mile chart.

Rn: Are you going to get a replacement for Pete?
V: No. That’s not true actually. Who knows what we’re going to do.
B: We’ll give you a resounding maybe. I say we don’t need it, I’m already comfortable with just JR.
V: I’m saying we don’t need it as far as what we’re doing on stage but if I could have Pete back I would cos I miss Pete’s sparkling personality and drunken rambling.
B: Despite the fact he’s hung like a water buffalo. The penis size of Less Than Jake went down eight points on average when he left.
V: I think I’m pretty hung still.
B: You’re all we got.
V: Yup, I’m holding the average up right now, literally, I got the pole positions.

Rn: What’s your favourite thing about England?
V: The punk scene.
B: I think it’s the amount of Simpsons stuff that goes on in every little store, I can walk into anywhere and there’s Simpsons stuff I can buy and bring home with me.
V: There’s this particular brothel that I like, that’s in London.
B: It’s all men, they wear leather, and oil. They only wear hot oil, and leather thongs,
V: I particularly like that a lot.
B: See through leather though, it’s really unique, they only have that in England.
V: There’s something that’s disturbing about England though, and it’s…
B: The amount of fried food?
V: Well that’s beside the point, but when you’re there and you’re doing a bunch of signings before and you’re hanging out or you’re playing a show or whatever, girls they kiss, like ‘Can I have a kiss or a hug or whatever’ but they’re like twelve and it’s creepy.
B: Like they go for the hug and then they come in to kiss you on the cheek or whatever and it’s like what are you doing. You’re like uncle fucking Vinnie or something.
V: I know, (in real redneck voice) ‘you wanna sit on my lap? Family reunion.’
Rn: You are from Florida though, That’s what they expect.
V: What are you trying to say? You’re the one who’s bringing your sister around, pot calling the kettle black.

Rn: Where did the obsession with pez come from, you probably get asked that so often.
V: Yup, the original. How can I describe it, lets say this, you’re growing up and your room was Snoopy and Charlie Brown and things like that so now, go ten years into the future, for some unknown reason you see a snoopy and you pick it up, and all of a sudden you start collecting that. It’s the same thing, that’s how pez started. I started, had them lined up, then Roger said, oh that’s cool so he started collecting them and we both started collecting them.
Rn: How many do you actually have?
V: 363, all different too.
B: He’s at the collector level, where you’re not just picking them up at the store anymore. Rn: Do you go on Ebay and order the limited edition ones.
B: Vinnie doesn’t go on Ebay. Roger does that.
V: That’s cheating if you’re a collector, because the quicker that you get the pez the quicker it’ll be over, then what will I do after that?

Rn: How did you end up having a fire breathing skull on stage every night?
V: Chance, definitely.

Rn: How come he wasn’t on the Warped Tour?
V: He was there he just wasn’t on stage. I’ll tell you this, sometimes you have to throw a fucking monkey wrench into the works, what people think you’re going to do you have to do the direct opposite of what people think you’re going to do. That’s why Warped Tour happened, Warped Tour, we didn’t talk on stage, maybe we talked two minutes out of thirty minutes, Chris didn’t dress up. No skull, no fire breathing, no confetti, no nothing, we just went up there and played songs. Kids actually seemed stoked that bands were doing y’know like eight songs, we were doing sixteen songs on the Warped Tour, we were just like pile driving through songs. Some kids were like, where’s the skull guy but y’know what you sometimes have to take a break from the shtick.

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