As a fan of bands who at one time wore tight leather pants, teased hair, and more makeup than your Aunty Sharon, you can see why I never got into Less Than Jake. Their upbeat ska influenced sound is bouncy and fun to listen to, which explains their legion of fans, but I just never connected with it. It’s possible that if Less Than Jake were a New Jersey sensation like Bon Jovi was 25 years ago, perhaps I’d be an LTJ junkie. What’s strange is how many New Jersey references a ska band out of Florida could be responsible for. Upon finding their track “Never Going Back to New Jersey” on the You Tubes, I was compelled to investigate further.
Vinnie Fiorello, drummer and lyricist of Less Than Jake, is the reason to LOVE Less Than Jake. Fiorello moved out of Jersey and down to Florida at 16, and soon became a founding member of the band. In what’s probably several million shades more angry than third wave ska, Fiorello has said his drumming is influenced by Dave Lombardo of Slayer, hence the 2 Slayer cover tunes LTJ has released. With his extensive musical background and savvy for the business, Fiorello co-founded the Fueled By Ramen record label in the late ’90s. The label rose to fame thanks to bands like Jimmy Eat World, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, Paramore, The Academy Is, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heros etc.
Once the company was overran with faygeles like Pete Wentz, Fiorello, in a Jersey-style manner, told the label to F–k off. He left to start 2 of his own record companies, Sleep it Off Records, and Paper and Plastick. He’s also got Wunderland War
, a company that makes radtacular toys and clothes. Right on Vinnie!
In an article published on Buzznet via Kerrang, Fiorello described how up and coming bands are better off trying to break into the business independently: “You don’t need Pete (Wentz) hyping you…It’s a brand new game out there kids, f–k the old model. Don’t believe the hype.” Hey Vinnie, just so you know, The Sexy Armpit wholeheartedly shares in your distaste for Pete Wentz! Just type in “Pete Wentz Sucks“ in Google. That’s just a link to my article on Pete Wentz SUCKING!!!
I have no idea where he gets the time in his busy entrepreneurial schedule, but Fiorello has also written a children’s book called Sometimes Robots Are Happy Being Robots: 13 Stories Looking Into the World of Robots, and he keeps a blog: www.pickyourpoisons.com. Here’s a pic of a few of the cool things you can buy at Fiorello’s Wunderland War Online Store: