The name Less Than Jake almost automatically means ska, but the Florida quintet,
after ten years together, wouldn't mind shorting that connection. Anthem, due April 1st, sees the band experimenting
with a broader spectrum of sounds.
"When you're a younger band," explains guitarist
Chris (the band doesn't use last names), "you get a formula and it kind of works. You want to give fans what they want, and
you paint yourself into corner a little bit. With this record, we were definitely able to branch out."
The album was recorded in New Orleans with producer Rob Cavallo (Green
Day, Butthole Surfers) in sessions fueled by a steady diet of eggs, grits, Po' Boy sandwiches and coffee. The results are
such spicy fare as the reggae-flavored "The Science of Selling Yourself Short" and "The Brightest Bulb Is Burned Out," which
begins with two minutes of Chris (the band doesn't use last names) on electric guitar.
"Maybe we didn't do it before because maybe we didn't have the song
in us," Chris says of his band's newfound desire to innovate. "Now it's like, 'Well, what kind of band are we? Let's push
the limits a little bit and do what we want to do.'"
also features a cover of Cheap Trick's "Surrender." "We did really choppy staccato quarter notes with a punk drum beat underneath
it," Cavallo says. "It changes the intent of the song, while still being true to the original . . . now it's Less Than Jake."
(February 20, 2003)