Artist: Versus The World
Title: Homesick / Roadsick
Format Reviewed: MP3
Format Released: 23rd June 2015
Reviewed By: Dan Stoten
I'm going to open this review with the simple fact that Homesick / Roadsick is the most naturally, organically brilliant record I've heard this year, by an absolute country mile.
What do I mean by that? Essentially, there are no gimmicks here whatsoever. There's no attempt to adhere to modern fashions or styles. There's no try-hard attempt to 'fit' into a scene. There's just sheer ability, combined with a truckload of world experience and music experience. It's natural, organic, and quite simply fucking awesome.
To give a bit of context: Versus The World aren't just any old punk band. They're made up of what can only be termed as punk rock royalty, featuring active and past members of Lagwagon and The Ataris. It's this life and music experience which adds a layer of richness to the whole album: this is a confident release, one which doesn't swerve from the path it wants to tread.
The fact they're not just any old punk band is driven home still further by the music itself. There's a stunning array of styles, features and elements across the eleven tracks, to the point that Homesick / Roadsick fills gaps between post-hardcore and pop-punk, and emo and post-hardcore that you didn't even know existed, but upon listening to this album now seem blindingly obvious. This is a rare thing: it's not often a record fills gaps previously unidentified by opening up what could almost appear to be new sub-genres just by being itself.
So: to the eleven tracks. It's a tricky album to pick highlights from, as it's such a consistently strong and punchy record. It undulates brilliantly, with some faster, more frenetic tracks mixed perfectly with the slightly gentler, more brooding songs; all the while keeping the catchy, melodic and earnest delivery style which appears to be Versus The World's trademark.
Another thing to say is that this isn't a 'modern' record in the truest sense of the word: but at the same time it's not an 'old-school' album either. Homesick / Roadsick just doesn't fit into any boxes, perhaps a sign of why it is quite as good as it is.
If I had to pick out some absolute best-bits, I'd have to mention second track The Black Ocean amongst others. There's some super-deep, chuggy guitars here, combined with some clever and intricate pop-punk style riffs which lend a unique feel to the song. Donald Spense's vocal here is treading that perfect line between gruff straining (read Red City Radio) and melodic punk (read Rise Against), while Bryan's drums have an almost calming influence on the track, which broods and bubbles away earnestly. The chorus is pretty moody and downbeat in it's delivery, which complements the track perfectly: as does the instrumental section just over two minutes into the song. Versus The World know how to draw the listener into their sound, and this is a perfect example of that.
A Storm Like Me has a similarly catchy and melodic chorus, too, and picks up where The Black Ocean left off but with much sharper and snappier drums leading the way. Seven.Thirty One combines frantic pop-punk drumming with post-hardcore style vocals, and is a jagged, choppy track which sits like a glorious musical sore thumb against the earlier songs. This is then softened out again into A Brooklyn Rooftop, which wouldn't sound out of place on an Alkaline Trio album (although perhaps is marginally more smoothed-off than 'Trio). There's the right amount of vitriol in this song, too, adding another layer of richness and depth which hadn't really been exposed up until this point.
I could easily go on, waxing lyrical about the strength in depth this record contains. There's so much to say about Homesick / Roadsick: so much to love about it, so much to discover. Before today, I'd not heard of the band (other than seeing the email in The Punk Archive's inbox a couple of weeks back). It's not often that I go from not knowing a band to playing their album on loop for upwards of four hours. Versus The World have made me do that with Homesick / Roadsick, and I absolutely love them for it.
The Punk Archive aims to be the only blog you'll ever need for reviews and news on the punk, ska, reggae and alternative music scenes. We will review music from the past, present, and future, looking at CD, vinyl, mp3 and hitting as many gigs as we can handle, as well as keeping you in the loop with the goings-on in our scene and interviewing as many bands as we can. Please enjoy the blog and feel free to send any comments or feedback to us via email to firstname.lastname@example.org , or by visiting our Twitter at www.twitter.com/thepunkarchive , or our Facebook at www.facebook.com/thepunkarchive. You can also find us on Instagram: just search for @thepunkarchive.
Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Artist: The Parallax Method
Title: The Owl
Format Reviewed: MP3
Format Released: 11th September 2015
Reviewed By: Ben Chapman
Title: The Owl
Format Reviewed: MP3
Format Released: 11th September 2015
Reviewed By: Ben Chapman
With its odd opening soundscape, enjoyable but vague EP concept story, and debatably (but excellently) punned track titles, it's clear that the Derbyshire instrumental three-piece Parallax Method avoid taking themselves too seriously, often the recurring pitfall of many of their musical influences, whether classic rock, prog, or metal...All of which can be heard on their debut album, The Owl, with playful relish and conceit-free technicality.
The Muzak-style elevator jingles heard in the opener, Welcome One and Owl, is a parody with enough skill that it reaches pastiche, as well as seemingly having to stop itself breaking into a stomping riff around the half minute mark. The EP is loosely based around the battle of two mythically represented creatures, an owl and a squid: the owl and the squid, locked in eternal battle. Futile the battle may be, it gives a great excuse for the series of jam-heavy, prog-inspired grooves, and beefy rock/metal indulgence that make up the conflict's soundtrack. Among the xylophone and lounge music, the hefty rumbles, squeaks and elevator noises preluding the epic struggle that's about to kick off could possibly the sounds of the Owl seeing through a mundane journey in a lift before the album starts, a perfect setting for the ridiculous, wayward rock-out music to ensue.
Honey I Shrunk The Squid, where the album truly starts, sounds like an incredibly well-mixed beast rearing its head. Plenty of bass tone coming through the guitar's bite, combined with some tight and technical drumming, and melodic lines coming from the four-string relentlessly. The band's certainly not afraid of a key change, probably inevitable from the music's instrumental nature. This makes up for the lack of lyrics in other ways, the absence of them helping to keep the album's concept story entirely to the imagination. Indeed, lyrics would attempt to give too much depth to what is essentially a riotous excursion of well-played riffs. Can't pretend there aren't moments where you won't help but imagine some shouty vocals to accompany certain developments or riffs that do pretty well to speak for themselves, but not always quite enough. The longish track length has the music hearken back to its progressive roots, allowing various expressions to show up throughout or even simultaneously during a track. In this case, a sparse and saddening clean-toned chord progression brings the track to a close.
Can Mango Take Me Higher starts off as an altogether gloomier offering. The main riff strays into metal territory, with a grinning and self-referential laying down of cheese in its scalic runs of shredding, and the sheer musicianship of the band and their teamwork enable them to pull it off. The guitar's sustain is another moment of the EP production's beauty helping to show off the harsher elements of the music. The track continues proudly into extended soloing, but none of the instruments are ever left behind through such indulgence. A pause makes way for a twangy bass-led round of call and response, before the song carries forward in a tight but spontaneous-sounding mess, reorienting the earlier riffs into increasingly dark and groovy incarnations.
Radagash the Brown's rush-sounding stabs in the intro betray the band's classic rock and prog influences. Parallax Method's heavy but melodically considered and rounded tone sounds out as a crunchy modern update that stomps between punchy rock groove and metal's dooming feel, the thinly veiled crudeness of the title's Lord of the Rings reference nodding to prog rock's often portrayed preoccupation with fantasy lands. A beautiful tune during a triple metre interlude last for only a couple of bars, before entering some unknowable rhythm. It's all pretty impressive stuff, but there's times when it's difficult to distinguish one fat riff from the next, and great as the musicianship is, it's here that the proceedings might sound a little samey. Final track Owlgarythm is a decent track in itself, but as an EP closer doesn't stand out from the others much, so all the effort that's gone into this otherwise impactive track is lost a little to ear fatigue. It's a small concern: as one long journey in the form of a hard jam that takes all the highlights from a various genres, the EP works damn well.
An EP that's full of original promise and heavily stylised groove, perfect for all kinds of listener, so whether you're after a more thoughtful headbang or just a sit down and Pa-relax, you can do so with The Owl from September 11th.
Monday, 29 June 2015
Format Reviewed: Stream
Format Released: Summer 2015 (Vinyl). Pre-orders include instant download.
Reviewed By: Rania Watts
Ever listen to music that simply puts you in a dream state? Something perhaps, that would play in the background while you read a graphic novel about dark gothic churches and cement gargoyles that come to life during the witching hours. Or perhaps a more specific example would be something like James O'Barr's The Crow. Walleater's album I/II is completely riddled with dark yet exquisitely intense imagery that transcends their music into a private melodious oubliette of raw human interpretation that clearly illustrates the complex interpersonal relationships we fuse with other individuals.
Give It To Me
As I listened I found that the instrumental tracks and vocals were fighting each other during the first section on this song, however these became a bit more balanced towards the end. What I relished most about this song was that at just over the three-and-a-half-minute mark, the music goes from this heavy laden grunge rock sound right into a delicate melody with beautiful chimes filled with delicate undertones. I love it when bands utilise this technique as I feel it really does add a significant amount of depth for the listener. That little interlude of instrumentals affords the listener an opportunity to really get to grips with the diverse sounds from this album.
I found the lyrics of Swallow You were very relatable lyrics. I thought I was obsessed with the frenetic synergy of the instrumental elements up until the 1:35 mark where the lyrics were "I don't want this to ever stop"... After a barely five second break, the music started again. I felt that the dramatic pause cemented the structure of the piece; I did not expect it but I liked the way that it was done. The word "stop" had a perfectly poised delicate popping sound that was totally appropriate for that break before the music resumes.
I've definitely noticed a trend throughout this album: the majority of the songs have mid to long intro's which I really enjoyed. I like longer introductions because they are a great opportunity to not only set a consistent dramatic tone that really does lead beautifully into the lyrics, but also to appreciate the lingering melodies before any lyrics come into play. I heard these incredibly powerful sounds as a prelude to a delicately balanced voice. However, I could see perhaps other listeners not appreciating it as much; clumping all the songs together under the same classification of 'been there done that'! This would be a genuine shame as there really is a very solid variety of songs here, consumed with contemplative lyrics and rhythms as well.
Sunday, 28 June 2015
Headliner: Jaya The Cat
When: 18th May 2015
Where: Jazz Cafe, Camden
Reviewed By: Millie Manders
When: 18th May 2015
Where: Jazz Cafe, Camden
Reviewed By: Millie Manders
I would like to start by saying I have witnessed the glory that is Jaya The Cat live several times. If you are a fan of The Punk Archive and our posts you may well have come across a couple of my previous reviews.
Often, writing a review about a live band you have reviewed more than once can be tricky. With a lot of bands a stage performance can become stagnant and samey because it is just that: often rehearsed so well that without even realising it a band can become almost choreographed. Not in a Reel Big Fish way: theatrics are a different thing, but more in a way that if a band doesn't address it, habits can be slipped into like introducing the songs the same way over and over. A small example but you get the picture.
Jaya the Cat this time around really struck me for two reasons. The way they engage with their music is always fresh. It's the same songs we know and love (if you don't know them I highly recommend a sunny rooftop with some friends, a bucket of ice-cold beer with a possible side of dark rum and Jaya blasted out. Party complete.) but it is never the same performance. Granted, Geoff will never be seen with shoes, and will never be without a bottle of his favourite rum swinging from one hand, Jay is likely to be in long shorts and sports socks and be more full of energy than a hyperactive child and Germ will be a mass of flailing, perfectly in time limbs behind the kit but you will not get the same show twice. At least, I haven't yet…
The second wonderful thing about these guys is their dedication to their fans, whom they call friends. They spend time with their audience before and after shows and they make every effort to support their support acts. Highly commendable from any musicians who travel the world and work as hard as they do.
Jaya the Cat are a mixture of reggae, dub, punk and rock. They are punk in drublic pirate men who gurn at the crowd with crazy eyes. They encourage moshing, hugging and fun. They tour regularly and I invite you to jump on their crazy train by frequenting their shows. You will love it.
Saturday, 27 June 2015
Artist: Alvarez Kings
Title: Fear to Feel
Format Reviewed: MP3
Format Released: 16th June 2015
Reviewed By: Rania Watts
Run From You
To be completely honest, I love anything and everything by Edgar Allan Poe. When I saw that the title of the second track was after one of my favourite stories by him, I thought to myself I really hope I like this song otherwise there would have been a mad rant here as opposed to what I am about to say! This song maintains a steadiness throughout it, no dramatic moments just the simplicity of a mellow yet fast paced song, well, more on the mellow side but not like a lagging mellow. I feel that no dramatic moments allows the song to really stand on its own between the lyrics, vocals and instrumentals. This song reminds me of those painful moments we have in life, where the future is constantly questioned realising there is no place for your heart to go as the lyrics clearly exhibit this quality of contemplation.
"We're already there, we're already there.
I feel cold I feel scared I won't trust anyone,
Not with with her eyes no,
yes her eyes were much to my surprise!"
Fear to Feel
This song brought me to tears… it was the combination of lyrics and vocals that did it for me. I felt the anxiety riddled expression from the minute the first note started to play, up until the very last note. As much emotion that went into this song, there was definitely a sardonic element that was layered inside of a very poignant piece. I'll let the lyrics speak for themselves in this instance...
"We were almost there but my feet won't touch the ground,
what once burned is no longer bound.
We were almost there but your feet won't touch the ground,
Am I a ghost to these strangers now?"
What dawned on me after I put my ear buds down and stopped listening was that this EP feels to me like the stages of a relationship and all of the emotion that renders the insanity of love. Definitely worth the listen in my opinion!
Artists: Rebuke / Money Left To Burn
Format Reviewed: MP3
Format Released: 1st June 2015
Reviewed By: TJ McFaull
Format Reviewed: MP3
Format Released: 1st June 2015
Reviewed By: TJ McFaull
Gothenburg's very own Rebuke have been plying their hardcore-esque brand of skate punk all over Europe for over ten years now, but sitting down to listen to their latest offering you'd be forgiven if you thought it was '99 again and you were playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1... With most of the songs coming in around the 1:30 mark, from the word go, it's an energetic chug-fest. It's playful, melodic and (if at times a little contrite) fun.
As soon as track one, Hunter Street kicks in, the guitar whisks us off on the Swedes' interpretation of a 90s skate punk adventure. The ever-present harmonies give the guys a nice melodic balance, and whilst the drums can at times be seen to be a little at odds with the music, there's no denying that they add a huge amount of energy to all the tunes on this split LP. One criticism that this writer has is simply in lack of depth shown. With its obvious, slightly over-the-top guitar lines and drums that vary very little, it can be a bit predictable, and I spent the whole time waiting for the band to kick it up a gear. However with the drums at full pace nearly all the time one does wonder if they had room to go anywhere...
It must be said that it is of course just a personal opinion (and one of a slightly curmudgeonly writer at that) but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out some of the flashes of brilliance peppered throughout Rebuke's side of this release. The guitar lines in places are perfect for what the band are trying to achieve, they're full of hooks and are always trying to grab your attention. The homage to Jurassic Park on track three: You're A Sick Park is also a nice whimsical touch and there are some thoughtful melodies throughout (notably in track five The Cellular Cosmogony) that provide some insight as to why the good folks at Disconnect Disconnect decided to release this split LP.
Money Left to Burn command the other side, and where Rebuke are sometimes a little lacking, these guys nail the balance between melodic punk and hardcore.
From first track Finish Line, the boys from Nuremberg are successfully playing with tempo and melodies and it's a really well worked end product. They enjoyably incorporate break beat styles contrasting with shredding guitar riffs, and they use all of these to create a clearly purposed, designed musical offering. One stand out positive on Money Left To Burn's portion of the CD are the vocals. From tracks one to five, Alex's vocals are brilliant. The lines are balanced and the harmonies work incredibly well to highlight key phrases and brightening up the music throughout.
The guitars are well balanced and catchy, with a brilliant jagged tone. The guitars on their own could take the listener on a glossy hardcore journey, but when you combine that with the driving bass and heartfelt drums, the whole shebang is really quite special. They are obviously a really talented bunch of musicians and the future looks bright for these Germans.
Again, the only criticism would be that both bands and all of the songs have a very similar sound, (to the point of at times sounding like interchangeable drummers) and it would be nice for either band to take a leap of faith, and develop their sound a little.
All that being said however, overall, Disconnect Disconnect's latest CD is really very good. The artwork is brilliant (like most of Rebuke's work!), and the whole glossy-skate-punk-meets-hardcore works. There are kids filling venues across the world for this sound night after night and it's obvious that both of the bands presented here are very good at what they do. A parting shot however, it would just be nice to hear a little variation, as bands that sound the same, tend to get forgotten...
Thursday, 25 June 2015
Back in March, we sent Millie Manders for a chat with legendary ska-punks Less Than Jake...
It's not often you get to meet a band that has influenced your own music, written songs that were the soundtrack to your college years and who are just generally the type of band that you've had on an inspirational pedestal for most of your young adult life.
On the 9th March 2015 I got that opportunity in the form of Less Than Jake whilst they were on their co-headline tour with Yellowcard.
My sincere apologies for the late arrival of this one. I was so scared I'd made a complete tit of myself during the interview I actually feared hearing it back. Which just proves that I am a tit. Here it is in full...
The Punk Archive: Hi guys! First off, tell us how long you've been back in the UK for.
Less Than Jake: This is the fifth show.
The Punk Archive: How's it going?
Less Than Jake: Fantastic!
The Punk Archive: Yeah? No-one thrown themselves off a balcony yet [this is not a distasteful pun: someone actually did this at Shepherds Bush Empire in a poor attempt to complete the ultimate crowd surf in 2014]
Less Than Jake: Not yet. Nothing that exciting. Not the brightest bulb right there…
The Punk Archive: [laughs] It was certainly the talk of the town for a while! How do you cope with that kind of thing happening?
Less Than Jake: There's nothing you can do! The guy was just really really drunk. Which probably saved him and stopped him from really hurting himself.
The Punk Archive: Is it like watching something in slow motion? Because when you're on stage you obviously can't do anything about it and you're watching one of your fans throw themselves off a balcony...
Less Than Jake: Well you know, if you're gonna do that you're gonna fuck up the whole show for everybody. It sucks. We got really lucky though. Everything stopped, they got the guy out of there and they were able to lift the curfew, so we were actually still able to play because it took almost a half hour.
The Punk Archive: That doesn't surprise me. It was probably rammed in there, right?
Less Than Jake: We would have been bummed if we weren’t able to play because of that.
The Punk Archive: It's nice that they allowed you to continue. Is that the only time you've ever had something like that happen to you?
Less Than Jake: That's the only thing that's ever taken that long. There have been other people that have maybe fallen or gotten hurt or something and that takes five minutes to skate 'em off but that dude was out and they couldn't touch him, they couldn't move him.
The Punk Archive: Of course, in case of neck injury or whatever and he wasn't awake.
Less Than Jake: Exactly.
The Punk Archive: Yeah that sucks. So… I did a little bit of research as I like to do for TPA interviews, and you guys having been around for an amazing 22 years threw up some pretty interesting stuff! I read in one interview from ten years ago, and one of your go-to crazy stories was watching someone from Save Ferris shit themselves on stage.
Less Than Jake: Oh God. Oh yeah that was… [laughter] WOW! 1997?
The Punk Archive: Yeah… That's pretty disgusting.
Less Than Jake: Yeah… He went up for a jump and his lunch came out. [laughter] Of all the research you did that's the one thing you decided to bring up first. Wow.
The Punk Archive: I just think it's good to find stuff that's just really bizarre that's happened to you guys because you must have so many questions that come through where you're like "yeah heard that one. Yeah heard that one"…
Less Than Jake: Yeah well we'll tell you if we have.
...Cue me feeling suddenly under pressure to deliver awesome, never before heard questions… In the face of LESS THAN JAKE *inner voice shouting "oh God oh God oh God"… *
Less Than Jake: [laughs] That was a good question though.
The Punk Archive: Oh good!! Has anything like that happened since?
Less Than Jake: Well this guy jumped off a balcony…There's always something happening. Every night there's something memorable. I think that’s one of the reasons we still do it through our insanity. [Laughs] It definitely keeps it interesting!
Less Than Jake: Oh man. Well from the business side of that... That sounds like an industry question. It's just perseverance with the live show really, more than anything, because that's really what is our bread and butter. It's showing up and playing the shows you know? We never relied on a record company or other forces to take control. We stayed on the road when we had to and gained our fans by performing. We've also learned how to change our approach to things too. We spent money in different ways when we were younger because we had money to spend in different ways and now you know, you learn to live differently.
The Punk Archive: What about personally? You guys are on the road most of the months of the year. Does it ever get to the point where you're just mentally and physically exhausted with it and feel like throwing in the towel and settling down?
Less Than Jake: Well, we have a good balance. This year we are going harder than we have in the past couple of years. A couple of the guys have children now, so we like to go out for shorter spurts but this year a lot of opportunities came our way and we wanted to take advantage of them so we're gonna run pretty hard 'til the end of September this year. We are still able to pace how we want to do it, which is nice.
The Punk Archive: That is good because a lot of bands just get pushed into doing whatever their label wants them to do, whereas you guys still get to maintain control over what you do...
Less Than Jake: We've been on all sides of the fence. We've been the band that said yes to absolutely anything that anybody asked us to do: we would just do it, but we've also been in the position where we've said we're not doing something if we're not feeling it, so now we're finding that middle ground like everything else, you know? There are really good paying shows that we have to turn down because we're not touring at that time, and that's what the band decided. Things like that come up. We are self-managed too so we are able to do what we want essentially.
The Punk Archive: Are you on your own label right now or are you on another one? You've gone through indie labels and major labels…
Less Than Jake: We'll always have our own label that we can do stuff with. The last record we released was on Fat Wreck Chords and the last couple of 7" singles were on Fat.
The Punk Archive: The last album was like a year and a half/two years ago now. Do you have another one coming out? Or is that is for a little while now and you're just gonna carry on touring that?
Less Than Jake: Well we are still playing parts of the world that we haven't yet played on this "Album Cycle". We were talking about this the other day. I think in our band we have a kind of prolonged concept of what an album cycle really is. We just had a single come out in January that is a song off of the record which came out in 2013 but it was another unreleased song on there and it was something to talk about that we are bringing along with us for this leg of the See The Light tour. Yes, we definitely have songs in the works and we are talking about songs individually and we are possibly talking about jumping into the HDTV EP which is the second version of the TV EP that we did a while back off some silliness and that would definitely eat up a little bit of time, but we still haven't played in mainland Europe with this record.
The Punk Archive: Is that happening this time around?
Less Than Jake: Yeah. We will be there in another couple of weeks. Japan is also gonna be this year for this album. A lot of bands with this "album cycle" thing get locked into that and they just do one tour of the States or maybe two and then a tour in the UK and a couple of festivals and the album cycle is over but we are out there a little more extensively than that.
The Punk Archive: With regards to having more longevity on an album, and I personally think that's really cool, what do you think about all of these unsigned bands running around, pulling out an album every year, releasing a couple of EP's in between that, do you think that's like…
Less Than Jake: Good for them.
The Punk Archive: Yeah?Less Than Jake: We did that when we were their age. [laughter] Yeah we were doing a record every year and a half to two years back then and putting out stuff in between a lot. We had more time back then too. We have families now and we've gotten older and we back that within the band. We've all known each other more than half our lives. In the same breath, the record that we are speaking of, See The Light, we collectively put a shit load into that record and I will quote that I worked my ass off on that record. We really feel proud of those songs. It's a joy to get to perform the songs that we are still totally feeling it and backing it just as much as when we did the old material. We want to play those songs.
The Punk Archive: Does it still really excite you being out on tour and doing everything you're doing at the moment?
Less Than Jake: I'm not excited about the toilet in this venue but other than that… [laughter] we still find things to make it exciting. Everyone has their thing that they're into. Like I'm into Nando's. At the end of the day I'm happy.
The Punk Archive: I like the nuts and olives from Nando's.
Less Than Jake: Nuts and sausage [laughter]
I laughed, and almost choked at this point… No nuts, sausage OR olives were involved….
The Punk Archive: Do you mind if I go back to the questions from the fans?
Less Than Jake: I thought that’s what you were doing, right? Or you've been sprinkling them in?
The Punk Archive: Well… Yeah there has been a couple but I've got some really specific ones and a couple of them are fairly weird… One person has asked "Would you rather fight a hundred duck sized horses, or one horse sized duck?"
Less Than Jake: I got asked this the other day in an interview.
The Punk Archive: Really?!
Less Than Jake: Well the girl had sent to my Twitter and I answered "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy".
The Punk Archive: Bizarre! I've never heard that question before so my apologies! Right… On Gainesville Rock City the first line is "This map hung up on the truck stop hall way door". Was there actually a truck stop, was there even a map, or is it entirely fictional?
Less Than Jake: There's tonnes of truck stops and there's tonnes of maps. Back in the early days when we were touring in the van a lot and that kind of thing, you're driving and stopping at those kind of rest stops to take a piss or whatever, every one of those little rest stops or truck stops has the big map right by the door so people can point to it and say "oh here's where you are".
The Punk Archive: So it's a constant reference to being on the road all of the time essentially.
Less Than Jake: Well yeah! I can't tell you how many times I've walked freezing in the middle of the night into some petrol station and there's a map that's like "You are here" and you're in the next town half awake at 3:30 in the morning...so that's what the reference is.
The Punk Archive: This is an interesting one. "Have you ever written a song or an album that you didn't like just because that was what the other people wanted to hear?"
Less Than Jake: There have been a couple of tracks here and there where we slightly agreed to things that maybe were not our first or second instinct, that kind of thing… Compromising.
The Punk Archive: Because the record company wanted a particular sound?
Less Than Jake: But there are sometimes also where there are ideas that you didn't think would go to the next level of a song or make it onto the record and you kind of feel indifferent about it. There's a couple of those but that's like everything else in life. You can't make everything perfect.
The Punk Archive: That's art in general isn’t it? You come away from art loving it and then later maybe hate it.
Less Than Jake: Yeah, and even those songs will have their good point and their merits but overall they might not be our favourites.
The Punk Archive: That's fair enough! OK. The last one from the fans was "What music are you guys currently in to?"
Less Than Jake: Oof! Um… Disco metal.
The Punk Archive: Really? Awesome! [Laughter]
Less Than Jake: Have you heard of Tragedy out of New York City? They dress like disco but they do metal versions of the Bee Gees songs.
The Punk Archive: I actually saw an article about that today but didn't get a chance to have a look at it. There's apparently a lot of YouTube stuff going around at the moment. Lots of long blonde haired, pretty people and sequinned outfits right?
Less Than Jake: Yeah!
The Punk Archive: There's been a lot of that floating around my news feed. I'll have to check that out later on. And actually I've seen a lot of Babymetal too… Cute squeaky little girls fronting metal bands. That's pretty cool too! What else?
Less Than Jake: Um I've actually been pretty old school, just listening to a lot of old music. I'm actually pretty stuck in that studio mentality of I'm listening to whatever band I'm currently working with.
The Punk Archive: Because you do a lot of production, don't you?
Less Than Jake: Yeah I'm the guy with the studio and all that stuff. There's all sorts of other things going on, but that just happens to be what I do.
The Punk Archive: That's awesome though! But does that not mean you get to be listening to loads of new band demos and unsigned acts meaning you have the finger on the buzzer of up and coming stuff?
Less Than Jake: No, not really. It's more about bands that contact me that are like "hey I heard stuff that you recorded and we'd like you to work on something” and I'm like "OK cool!"
The Punk Archive: Ah I see. Right. Before I run off, is there anything the UK fans need to know about that's happening this year that they can get excited about?
Less Than Jake: Get very excited. We did you guys a favour. We are NOT playing Reading and Leeds this year. [Laughter] You don't have to go. You don't have to bitch about it because you don't wanna go or about how much the festival sucks because we won't be there.
The Punk Archive: But you're going to be at BoomTown, right?
Less Than Jake: Yes. We will be there and we will be at a few other select dates.
The Punk Archive: Thank you so much for your time guys, I really appreciate it!
Less Than Jake: No problem!
Once again readers (and Less Than Jake), my apologies for the very late arrival of this interview. Apparently you can meet your heroes, they can be awesome people, and you won't necessarily make a complete ass of yourself. Whew! I'm off to have another fan-girl moment…