Gainesville, FL - 16 years in this hyper-transient music scene is practically unheard of, but don't tell that to punk/pop/ska band Less Than Jake, who aren't only soldiering on with planned new music for mid-2008 but re-releasing back catalogue with bonus material. But before they get started, they needed to take back control and return to the D.I.Y. spirit that embodies their music and their headspace. Voluntarily emancipated from their record deal with Warner Bros. recently even though they still had one more album in their contract, the band decided to create their own label Sleep It Off and continue their rich legacy, unhindered by major label requirements and sometimes questionable budgets. "It's an amazing concept that a band can actually participate in 360 degrees of its career," explains founding member/drummer Vinnie Fiorello. "After a decade an a half of being in the band, we are now our own bosses for real and the excitement of that can peel paint off the walls."
The first four re-releases out of the gate on March 18, 2008 will be Goodbye Blue And White, Pezcore, Losers, Kings And Things We Don't Understand and a DVD of Peoples History Of Less Than Jake. Packed with new artwork and a bonus DVD component for each of the albums, these will not only be must-haves for their legion of fans but a great introduction to the new breed of indie punk kids. "We wanted to start with Losers, Kings, And Things We Don't Understand, which was our first recorded material as a band," Vinnie continues. "These literally are some of the first songs we recorded together, and it seemed obvious that it should be one of the first releases on our newly started record label Sleep It Off. As a musician, the fact that I can help not only in creative marketing but release the actual audible history of our band on our own label is mind blowing. I think it's a great time for the Music Industry that, despite the lagging sales, you are allowed to write and rewrite the rules. These days, it's like the Old West, so to speak."
The excitement isn't just limited to the band and its fans however. Wonka Vision Editor-in-Chief Justin Luczejko reminisces, "In 1999, the Wonka crew drove in a Philly ice storm to see Less Than Jake at LaSalle University. We didn’t know the opening bands at the time (Lifetime and Weston – go figure) but they all showed up and played for about 25 kids who danced their hearts out ALL NIGHT long. At the time before I started Wonka Vision Magazine (11 years ago), I saw Less Than Jake in Philly more times than any other band. No one compared to their live show (throwing out Pez and water pistols?? Come on!). Wonka will support Less Than Jake till the day that they stop playing music. They are one of the hardest working, most energetic bands in rock today and they deserve every ounce of gratitude they earn."
Less Than Jake will be entering the studio in March to record their ninth album, due out Summer 2008. "We're holed up in Fort Hooker, our warehouse, finishing up songs and dodging the homeless that hang around the parking lot," he adds. "With the new record, we've been more focused on heavy horns and lots of melody. I personally look forward to some time in the studio. I miss that cabin fever feeling."