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Founded in Gainesville, Florida in 1992, Less Than Jake began life as a Power Pop trio consisting of Chris Demakes (lead guitar, vocals), Roger Manganelli (bass guitar, vocals) and Vinnie Fiorello (drums, percussion, lyrics) before adding Ska Punk elements to their sound with the addition of trombone players Buddy Schaub and Pete Anna and baritone sax man Derron Nuhfer.
Despite lacking a clear signature song, Less Than Jake's brand of infectious, horn-infused pop-punk sound was a big hit with ska revivalist fans in The Nineties and they established themselves as a popular live act noted for their DIY ethic and carefully constructed albums, with the 1998 Concept Album Hello, Rockview! bringing them their greatest success.
Although the departure of Nuhfer and Anna and their replacement by ex-Spring Heeled Jack USA saxophonist Pete "JR" Wazilewski prompted their brief shift towards straight-ahead Punk Rock, they've more recently returned to the ska-influenced sound of their earlier work and remain a very popular band on the ska scene.
Less Than Jake features examples of:
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: The most common account of the origin of their name relates to a dog Vinnie's family once owned called Jake, who was treated better than everybody else in the house, who were consequently "less than Jake".
- Concept Album: The songs in Hello Rockview! (one of their most well-regarded albums) are unified by the central concept of man returning to his home town after many years spent away and finding it so changed that he struggles to fit back in.
- Vocal Tag Team: Chris is usually recognised as their official lead singer, but he shares lead vocal duties with Roger often enough that it's become one of the defining features of the band's sound.