Less Than Jake Biography

One of the burgeoning army of American punk/ska bands to gain success in the wake of Rancid and the Dropkick Murphys’ breakthrough, Los Angeles’ Less Than Jake are led by singer Chris Demakes. The band was founded in Gainesville, Florida in 1992 by Demakes, Shaun (bass) and Vinnie (drums), and was actually one of the first proponents of the punk/ska style. Roger replaced Shaun and a brass section comprising Jessica (saxophone), Aaron (saxophone) and Buddy (trombone) was brought in to bolster the band’s sound. They released two lively independent label albums, Pezcore and Losers, Kings, And Things We Don’t Understand, which continued ska’s tradition of irreverence and spontaneity. The subsequently signed a major label recording contract with Capitol Records, but one of their most endearing releases to date is the independent Greased, a mini-album featuring eight cover versions of songs from the Grease soundtrack. The 1998 release Hello Rockview, featuring a line-up of Roger, Chris, Vinnie, Buddy and Derron (saxophone), was an attempt to establish themselves in the mainstream. It was co-produced by Howard Benson, whom the band met while recording a cover version of the Partridge Family’s ‘I Think I Love You’ for the Scream 2 soundtrack. Benson helped deliver clarity to the band’s ebullient rock ‘n’ roll/ska hybrid. The best example was the attendant single release, ‘History Of A Boring Town’, which received regular plays on MTV. Although navigating a shift to the mainstream, Less Than Jake remained conscious of their fans, continuing to insist on a low-pricing policy on all their albums. They broke away from Capitol in 2000, issuing Borders & Boundaries on No FX frontman Fat Mike’s Fat Wreck Chords imprint.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

Filter Results