Our Conversation with BUDDY from LESS THAN JAKE!

Today, [UTG] James spoke briefly with Buddy from Less Than Jake regarding their new album, new label, upcoming tour, and their evolution as a band. Below you can find the interview that transpired and don’t forget to buy their new album GNV FLA when it hits stores next week [see the nifty banner on the side of the site]!

J: Hello Buddy, how are you today?

B: Doing fantastic, first day of tour, so a bit hectic. Making sure everything fits the trailer, etc.

J: So, let’s get right to it, your new album GNV FLA is due to hit stores next week, can you tell us a little bit about the title and why you chose that for the album?

B: Stand for Gainesville, Florida. Symbolically, us coming home to start everything, leaving Warner Bros. and doing things on our own. It’s our old airport code and sometimes people change just to change not because there’s a need to change it.

J: You guys chose, “Does The Lion City Roar,” as the lead single for the album, why?

B: It’s a metaphor for any city that has a lot of stuff going on. Such as Rome, like whenever a city gets like that, there’s a breaking point. So it’s kind of a question about when will the city break. We chose it in the UK we needed of pick a song and it kind of fits the album and shows a lot of the sounds on the album. Mixing our old sound with the newer style, there’s a lot of horns and such, but also lot of punk noise as well.

J: You, as a band, have undergone quite the evolution since Pez Core in 1995 in terms of more pop punk then versus the more heavy ska sound you show on the new album. It almost seems like it’s gone from a more angst feel to a bit more of a social consciousness while keeping things fun. Would you attribute that to simple maturity or is this more of the direction the band has always wanted to take?

B: We actually feel we have a lot more angst on this album, trying to bring things back to the days of our youth. After playing all of our albums over the last year we found sounds that we wanted to use on this record. We did our homework and found styles and sounds we haven’t used a in awhile and it kind of opened our eyes and we knew what we wanted to do.

J: Earlier this year you started your own label, Sleep It Off Records, why did you choose to leave your contract with Warner Bros. and go it alone?

B: Well, during the last record cycle. We started going through how everything was marketed and everything we realized that with the current changing industry, they were still doing things in like the dinosaur stage [without the internet]. What they do now is better, but they still use a lot of promotion that works for a lot of there big artists, but for punk/ska bands like ours, you have to use some promotion styles they weren’t big on yet. So we took it on ourselves and have been making more use of the internet and such.

J: To start things off with this new label you reissued a few of the old albums and a dvd, what’s the story behind doing that?

B: It was a symbol of taking the reigns ourselves. We took everything we could that we owned and could get from labels and giving to our fans to show that we were in control of our music totally and that we have the final say in what happens. It was a learning experience because we got to go through old videos, as in VCR tapes and gather things for the reissues. It went along with us doing our homework for the new album a bit, thouh we’d worked on a lot of it by then.

J: I read that you’ve yet to play any of the new material live, is there a reason behind that?

B: Well technically that’s incorrect because we played two shows in the UK where we did a few new songs, but tonight will be the debut of new stuff state side. We did a small our in May in the US, but that was mainly to get our touring legs back and kind of start to prepare for this summer. We just wanted to keep them on the shelf for a bit to give something new on this tour. We’ll be playing 4 new songs, but rotating between three different ones to keep things fresh.

J: Speaking of your live show, you’ve got a big tour this summer, care to share a bit about that?

B: This is the, “Shout it Loud Tour 2,” and as opposed to the last one we’re trading up who will be playing with us. Goldfinger is doing a large amount as co-headliner. Mustard Plug, Suburban Legends, and Big D and the kids table. Bands will be rotating, so things should be quite interesting. We’ll be playing about 65 min. or so depending on how many Jager shots find there way to the stage.

J. Well we here at Under The Gun Review will be at the July 1st show in Detroit, hopefully we’ll be able to speak a bit more then, but I know your time is short now. One last thought though, we always like to ask bands what they’re listening to or what bands they think need more attention, care to share your picks?

B: Teenage Bottle Rocket. Beat Union, it’s like Elvis Costello meets the Jam. Subways, hard to describe, but their bass player is a girl who rocks out like a guy which is awesome. The Herbs! The Figgs.

J: Alright, thank you so much for taking this time to talk to us, any last things to say to our readers?

B: I’m not real good at the whole self promotion thing. You know how they say, “Give love a chance?” Well, give this album a chance! This is a return to form for us. It’s just the 5 of us, no suits or anything, just us and our music.

WRITTEN BY: James Shotwell

James Shotwell
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