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Less Than Jake - Interviewed

- Mitch West

Photo Credit: Less Than Jake

If ever there was a band that hits all of the nostalgia feels for me it's Gainesville, Florida rockers Less Than Jake. These high-energy ska-punk rockers have been bringing the vibes for over 25 years now earning the reputation as one of the most beloved ska-punk bands around. On Tuesday, August 15th Less Than Jake brought the 'Welcome to Rockview Tour 2023' tour to Lincoln, NE at The Bourbon Theatre along with support from all-female punk rockers Venomous Pinks and self-coined "Chicago, Illinois biggest crybabies" Devon Kay and The Solutions. 2023 marks the 25th anniversary of Less Than Jakes 1998 release 'Hello Rockview' which fans will hear in full this tour. We had the chance to slide some questions to Less Than Jakes saxophone player JR Wasilewski before they came to town.

The 'Welcome to Rockview Tour 2023' is a celebration of the album from 1998. It was such a nostalgic album for so many of us. That album came out during the resurgence of skateboarding and the music just fit that time so damn well. What is it about skateboarding and Ska-Rock that fits that culture so well?

"Not sure why it works so well? I blame Tony Hawk! We are just glad people liked the record."

'Welcome to Rockview Tour 2023' features Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Toasters, and on certain dates Venomous Pink, Devon Kay Pink Spiders, or Spring Heeled Jack. When putting together a tour, how do you find your featuring and opening acts?

"We talk amongst ourselves and then ask our agents what bands are available. In this case, it was important to have a certain aesthetic for this tour. We are glad all the bands were available."

The album 'Silver Linings' is meant to be a celebration of them but not necessarily looking for them. It's a message that so much of society needs now more than ever. Music grounds us. What are some of the things you do or traditions you have on the road to stay grounded?

"Call my family, call my friends, talk to each other about how we can make the day better for others."

Every stage and every show is a special one. What have been some of your favorite places, venues, events, etc. that you've performed in/at through the years?

"Every show that people show up to and send and receive energy are my favorite shows."

Photo Credit: Less Than Jake

Less Than Jake has shared the stage with so many greats and has been in so many places, who remains on that bucket list of bands you'd love to tour with someday?

"Most of those bands no longer exist. So far, we are doing pretty good!"

So much has changed with technology and now more than ever. How do you all embrace technology? When it comes to music and AI is that something you guys will embrace more? steer clear of? or a little of both?

"Haven't really thought about it. We are still a punk band with horns so if we decide to add those elements it becomes difficult live because we don't play to a click track or tracks. Not saying it won't happen but who knows."

You guys are road warriors and have put in some serious mileage and sweat equity through the years. When it comes to Nebraska or even just the Midwest in general, what have been some of the most memorable moments? Is there anything that sticks out about playing here through the years?

"Again, the shows that stick out are the ones where the energy is palpable. The Midwest always brings it"

If you could go back to when any of you were first putting a band together or just starting to write/learn an instrument what would you say? What advice would you give now to future rockers?

"Don't sweat things you can't control"

What music are you guys listening to now? Who are some bands people need to check out that have been on your radar?

The 'Welcome to Rockview Tour 2023' tour is starting to wind down going through the end of August and wraps up on the 30th in at the legendary Mohawk in Austin, TX. Make sure to listen to their latest album 'Silver Linings' on your favorite streaming platform.


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