IRVINE, California — Who needs expensive video directors to
send in treatments when you have creative minds in your band?
"I have a video idea," Less Than Jake bassist Roger said, surprising his
bandmates Saturday when asked about plans for "The Science of Selling
Yourself Short." "It's like we're all like trying to do things, but we're
horrible at it. Like, you're a golfer and you're trying to golf, but you
can't and you keep slicing it. Like, you're bowling with little kids and
you're getting gutters the whole time and they're kicking your ass. Stuff
"I don't have anything better," singer Chris responded.
Less Than Jake were originally going to follow up "She's Gonna Break Soon"
with the Billy Bragg collaboration "The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out," but
Los Angeles' KROQ-FM recently began playing "The Science of Selling Yourself
Short" and the response has been good.
The song, which will be the second single from the band's sixth studio
album, Anthem (see "Less Than Jake
Want More Than Partying On Anthem LP"), is about as
self-explanatory as songs come.
"It's about the science of just doing all the stuff bad to yourself that you
shouldn't be doing," Chris said backstage at KROQ's Weenie Roast (see "Pink Teams With Transplants, Good Charlotte
Unplug For Weenie Roast").
"It goes along with the rest of the lyrics for the record," added trombone
player Buddy (no last names in Less Than Jake). "The title of the record,
Anthem, kind of sums up all of the lyrics. They can be an anthem for
anybody who's going through any of the problems or any of the situations
that are in the songs. The whole record was kind of written from that
After nearly a dozen years together, Less Than Jake are finally garnering a
mainstream audience. "She's Gonna Break Soon" has even appeared on "TRL," a
surreal experience for a band that was happy just to see past videos on "120
"That never would have happened, the 'TRL' thing, if it wasn't for our
fans," Roger said. "I mean, that's insane. I know people who were, like,
calling, calling, calling all day."
"It was mostly our sax player's mom," Buddy added. "She's our #1 fan."
Less Than Jake attribute their recent success partly to the rising
popularity of pop-punk and partly to their own hard work.
"We spent a lot longer working on these songs than any other album before,"
Roger said. "A lot of the stuff before, we would write in the studio or have
a few weeks to work on, and on this one we really took time and we sorted
through like 30-something songs to come up with the songs for the record, so
we definitely did our homework too."
The Gainesville, Florida, band will continue to bust its collective butt,
beginning with the Vans Warped Tour on Thursday (June 18), an adventure Less
Than Jake know from past summers.
"The best part is looking for a clean Porta Potti every day," Roger said.
"It's like 350 dudes on tour and like three Porta Potties."
"I earned the name Chafe the Clown about three weeks into it," Chris joked.
"I'm walking like a penguin to the bathroom every morning."