Ska punk bands Pepper and Less Than Jake will perform at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 at The St. Augustine Amphitheater, 1340C State Road A1A S. Tickets for the are on sale now.
Pepper just released a new self-titled album, and the process really challenged the band.
“It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done as a band to make this record,” says Kaleo Wassman, gutarist/vocalist. “It speaks loudly and widely to a broader audience while maintaining everything good about the band, which, first of all, is our positive attitude.”
After releasing five albums, Pepper has opened a new chapter in their career, which began in 1997 when the trio moved to the mainland from their hometown of Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Pepper has toured extensively with groups like 311, Slightly Stoopid, Flogging Molly and Sublime with Rome, and spent several summers on the acclaimed Warped Tour.
The band’s music is about enjoying life and being grateful for each experience, a sensibility that’s very familiar to the three musicians. From their 1999 debut "Give’n It" to their 2006 standout album "No Shame," which was recorded with 311’s Nick Hexum, No Doubt’s Tony Kanal and Butthole Surfers’ Paul Leary, Pepper has embodied not only a style of music but a lifestyle, one that’s most easily found on beaches across the world, but also one that’s relatable to anyone anywhere.
Pepper’s music has appeared in various movies and TV shows, including "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Good Luck Chuck," as well as several video game soundtracks.
As Pepper turns the page into a fresh chapter with its new album, it’s clear that the band’s passion for music and life will continue on for years to come.
“We’re so blessed to be in this position,” Kaleo says. “We want to do the best we can with it. We had humble beginnings in our small town in Hawaii, and we’re still that same humble band. We don’t take any of this lightly. Every day I wake up and think about how I have the best job in the world. The level of gratitude and happiness I have that we’re able to do this is incredible and I hope people can hear that when they listen to our new songs.”
Less Than Jake is a ska punk band from Gainesville. The group is made up of Chris DeMakes (vocals, guitar), Roger Lima (vocals, bass), Vinnie Fiorello (drums, lyrics), Buddy Schaub (trombone) and Peter "JR" Wasilewski (saxophone).
Less Than Jake released their debut album, "Pezcore," in 1995, following a series of independent seven-inch single releases. The band's subsequent two studio albums, "Losing Streak" (1996) and "Hello Rockview" (1998), were released on Capitol Records, and the band's fifth studio album "Anthem" (2003) was the group's most commercially successful album to date, featuring the singles, "She's Gonna Break Soon" and "The Science of Selling Yourself Short".
In 2008 Less Than Jake founded their own label, Sleep It Off Records, and released its seventh full-length album, "GNV FLA." In late 2012, the band combined their EPs "Greetings from Less Than Jake" (2011) and its counterpart, "Seasons Greetings from Less Than Jake" (2012) to create the compilation album, "Greetings and Salutations" (2012).
Not only are they currently serving up their first full-length albue in five years, "See The Light," but — after more than two decades together — Less Than Jake is embracing a back-to-basics approach.
“We started out very internal, and nowadays we handle a lot internally again,” says Fiorello.
While some other bands of a certain vintage are latching onto musical trends, you won’t find any dubstep beats or vocoder distortion on "See The Light" — a title that nods to the band’s history of marrying dark lyrical content (the tunnel) to bouncy musical arrangements (the light at the end).
Less Than Jake isn’t turning away from its roots, and, echoing Mark Twain, Fiorello points out that the rumors regarding their genre’s demise are greatly exaggerated.
“Punk has been declared dead every year for 30-plus years and it’s still going stronger than ever. People like to declare things dead just because it’s dead to them. But if bands are passionate about what they’re doing, they’ll attract fans who are passionate.”
Less Than Jake pulls in a multi-generational audience, which, Vinnie notes, is often a family affair.
“Our crowd now is 16 to 40, and I’ve met kids as young as 8 or 9. Dads bring their sons and it’s a weird rite of passage; moms bring kids in saying, ‘We’ve watched you guys for 15 years.’”
Tickets for the show can be purchased at The St. Augustine Amphitheatre and Ponte Vedra Concert Hall box offices, ticketmaster.com, all authorized TicketMaster outlets and by phone at 800-745-3000.