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Interview: Less Than Jake

With the release of a TV-inspired EP ('TV/EP') just passed and a return to the UK set to take place next month. Alter The Press caught up with Less Than Jake's Peter "JR" Wasilewski to discuss the new release and its critics, their next album, the UK tour and more.

Alter The Press: Hi could you introduce yourself and your role in Less Than Jake?
Less Than Jake: My name is JR and my roll is pumpernickel.

ATP: Let's begin with the new record, 'TV/EP'. How did the idea come about to do a bunch of TV covers?
LTJ: We had been talking about doing it for years but never had the time. We finally had the time so we sat on the couch, got wasted, watched a bunch of TV and boom! 'TV/EP'.

ATP: How has the reaction from fans about the new record?
LTJ: Overall it was good. A few haters, but I don't think they are actually our fans. They just said they liked our band to impress friends and get those oh-so elusive punk points.

ATP: I understand some fans weren't too keen on the 'Animaniacs' take?
LTJ: I think some of our fans think this is a "proper release" or "something to tide over the fans until the next record", when in reality all it is was something we have been wanting to do for fun for years. I think people's opinions are sometimes more serious than the artist's are. I guess that is part of being a fan and having ownership of you favorite artists but I can't understand how people can get so mad over something that is supposed to be fun? They probably weren't hugged enough as a kid... or were hugged too much by the wrong person.

ATP: What do you say to those who wish to hear new material, rather than covers?
LTJ: Patience is a virtue! Good things come to those who wait! Bend over and grab your ankles? Not sure if that last cliche' works but I ran out of them anyways.

ATP: You've just played 'Riot Fest'. How did the show go?
LTJ: Pretty raging gig, I must say. People were a lot of fun and I'd love to do it again.

ATP: Next month you're back in the UK with Zebrahead. What can we expect from these shows?
LTJ: That is such a difficult question. I don't know what you can expect really. We haven't written a set list and have to go to Japan before hand. You can expect it will be what you would expect and more. Yeah. I'll go with that.

ATP: What are your favourite memories of being in the UK?
LTJ: I don't remember anything. I was wasted.

ATP: I read in another interview that you're currently writing a new record. What can we expect from this new record both musically and lyrically?
LTJ: Musically, it will be like Ke$ha. Lyrically like Katy Perry. So it will sound exactly the same as everything else Dr. Luke writes: shitty.

ATP: Will this record be released on Sleep It Off?
LTJ: Yes sir!

ATP: Do you see yourself ever joining another label or is LTJ better off being DIY?
LTJ: We'd sign to a label if it was the right situation, I suppose, but why? Giving someone any control of what we've built over the last 20 years, to help promote some of their awful new signings is not that rad for us. That and Roger doesn't like suits. They make his hair itch.

ATP: You guys have been together for nearly 20 years. How has your approach to making music changed during this time?
LTJ: No real approach changes. We are just going to try to do what we do every record: try to take over the world.

ATP: What new bands are you currently enjoying?
LTJ: We Are The Union, Kids Can't Fly, The Flatliners, The Swellers, Coffee Project, Rehasher (they aren't new but I still like them!) and I've
been really loving Skream and Benga - a little dubstep is good for the soul.

ATP: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
LTJ: Yes. Thank you for caring enough about our band to still want to interview us and thanks to the people reading this. Your support keeps us going. Thanks again.

'TV/EP' by Less Than Jake is available now on Sleep It Off Records.

Less Than Jake return to the UK next month with Zebrahead and We Are The Union
Thursday, November 4th - Oxford, UK @ O2 Academy
Friday, November 5th - Norwich, UK @ UEA
Saturday, November 6th - Birmingham, UK @ O2 Academy
Sunday, November 7th - Leeds, UK @ O2 Academy
Monday, November 8th - London, UK @ HMV Forum
Tuesday, November 9th - Cardiff, UK @ Millennium Music Hall
Wednesday, November 10th - Bristol, UK @ O2 Academy
Friday, November 12th - Portsmouth, UK @ Pyramids
Saturday, November 13th - Nottingham, UK @ Rock City
Sunday, November 14th - Peterborough, UK @ The Cresset
Tuesday, November 16th - Manchester, UK @ Academy
Wednesday, November 17th - Newcastle, UK @ O2 Academy
Thursday, November 18th - Edinburgh, UK @ Picture House

Official Website

Less Than Jake on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Purevolume.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!