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Less Than Jake Gets Back To The Good Times

Of the Oakland Press

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Less Than Jake prides itself on being a good-time band. But the Florida ska-rock troupe experienced a bit of drama during the past two years.

The quintet decided to part ways with its major label, Warner Bros., after 2006’s “In With the Out Crowd.”

Then, rather than signing with another company, it made the decision to start its own imprint — Sleep It Off Records, which released the group’s ninth studio album, “GNV FLA” (named after its hometown of Gainesville), and is in the midst of rereleasing Less Than Jake’s back catalog.

“It seemed like the most natural step,” explains Chris Demakes, the group’s Michigan-born frontman. “Without trying to sound egoistical, we know that we have a certain brand, and a fan base. They enjoy our music. They come see us play live. They follow what we do.

“So we weren’t too worried about what label we were going to be on or that people would leave in a mass exodus ’cause we weren’t on Warner Bros. anymore. It’s just a natural progression to (defecate) in our own back yard, so to speak.”

Demakes, 34, says Less Than Jake adopted the same philosophy in making “GNV FLA,” which he feels hews closer to the group’s earlier recordings than “In With the Out Crowd.”

“On our last record, we worked with a pop-rock producer (Howard Benson), and some of the tempos were slowed down and things were done production-wise that were different,” Demakes says.

“I don’t think we’ve ever gone too far to the left of what our band has been, but I guess the main thing this time was we wanted to get back to what the fans loved about our band and what we did best — really fast, poppy punk and ska with a lot of horns. I think we achieved that.”

Less Than Jake, Goldfinger, Big D & the Kids Table and Suburban Legends perform Tuesday (July 1) at the Royal Oak Music, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $21 in advance, $23 day of show. Call (248) 399-2980.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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