Less Than Jake’s first full length album, Pezcore, professed an avid love of Pez candy. This joie de vivre carried through their band philosophy and quickly found them in cahoots with the likes of Capital Records. Their party vibe and humor carried them beyond the late-’90s ska boom along with its major labels. They’ve returned to their friends at Fat Wreck Chords to release their ninth album, See The Light this Tuesday, November 12 as they headline the 2013 Fat Wreck Chords Tour with Anti-Flag, Masked Intruder and Get Dead at Royale. Vocalist and bass guitarist Roger Lima won’t share his dreadlocks with anyone, but he shared a piece of his soul with us.
See The Light was very DIY. How did that come about?
I kind of have been working as producer for the band previously. See the Light was an experiment to see what we could do with my studio, because we’ve always gone to more modern, acoustically designed spaces, but we felt we had a pretty good handle on it. We strived to write really great songs that could be recorded anywhere.
Did you feel you had all the time in the world to record?
To some degree—bands can spend too much time in the studio getting stale. Everything’s too perfect and lined up. We wanted to keep some kind of energy and vibe on there. So we limited our time in my studio.
The lyrics get self-deprecating and existentialist at times.
If you have super happy music and you’re always singing about eating ice cream it’s just too much positivity. There has to be realness to it, because life is like both things at once. We play catchy stuff and have fun shows but the lyrics have depth. See The Light is about a need to follow your path. It’s sort of like Buddhism in a really simple nutshell.
What prompted going back to Fat Wreck Chords?
We did the Seasons and Seasons Greetings EPs without any intention of making that an album. Then Fat Mike heard some of the songs and was like, “We should put this together and make an album.” That kicked the door open with Fat again last year. It’s nice to have a few more people on the team that you can trust and who know how to run a record label. Fat just has a bigger reach than us doing that end ourselves and it’s just cool to have Mike be involved. It was a pretty easy decision.
Do you think you guys would ever try to make your own Pez dispenser?
Yeah, there is someone we’ve been talking to that is savvy in the 3D printing world, and there is some possibility of that. It’s something we’ve kind of always fantasized about. We had two custom made ones made back in the 90s that looked like the losing streak monster. There are only two in existence, I have one and Vinnie has one. They’re very cool, but trying to mass-produce something like that back then would’ve been a fortune.
If a Punk Rock Hall of Fame opened, would you cut off a dreadlock to put alongside Melvin’s (of NOFX) and HR’s (of Bad Brains)?
Do I have to cut them all off or just one?
Just one of the big ones.
Maybe not quite yet–give me another 20 years. At this point it’s kind of part of me—it would feel weird to lose my dreadlocks.