by Adam Holtzapfel & Jared Elek
This week we sat down with Less Than Jake’s horn section Buddy Schaub & Peter “JR” Wasilewski during their stop in Columbus on their tour with Reel Big Fish. We talked everything from food to music while enjoying some Oh my cod! Tacos!.
MBQ -You guys have been around for a long time. Especially with ska music and even in this town it’s never gone away. How do you feel that stacks up across the country?
JR – I’ve always stood by the assertion that people like to have a good time. So I don’t like to say we provide that, but we’re pretty good at we do. I don’t think that goes away. People get older, they get jobs, they get wives, they get kids, they get mortgages and it gets harder for them to go out 3 to 5 nights a week like they did in their late teens early twenties.
It doesn’t go anywhere because there’s that hand down from brother to sister, sister to brother, sometimes father to son, mother to daughter. We’re seeing that come back. As far as the music style goes I don’t think there’s a time for that. Ska bands are doing well, country bands are through the roof, hip hop continues to grow. Music is music. People are a fan of what happens. I don’t think it’s a time or place, it’s a feeling.
BS – It’s not as trend based anymore. You have so many avenues to listen to music. You used to have just the radio telling you what to listen to, now you don’t have that anymore.
MBQ- That’s kind of the follow up is how do you see your record sales physical vs digital?
BS – What are these record sales you speak of? Even that’s going way down too because of the streaming stuff. People can just get it on Spotify.
JR – It’s kind of a market cross road, you want people to hear your music but you don’t want to give it away for free. Why would you sell hamburgers if you’re giving steaks away? It’s a good thing because it gets music out there. You hope on the back end people will buy t shirts, buy tickets. The entertainment dollar is stretched. There are a lot of things that are hunkered under that umbrella now that we weren’t competing against before.
BS – We were never a band that made money off of record sales. We were more of a live band that made some money at shows and stuff. Because of that there’s a lot more fish in the water. Now there are a lot of older acts that aren’t making money
JR –Yeah, Led Zeppelin wasn’t touring. Now they’re going back out and making a new record.
BS – You’re competing with them and all of these new bands. Every kid wants to be in a band now. Now everyone can be in a band because of Garage Band and all of that stuff.
JR – I think there’s an ebb and flow to the whole thing. It used to be not making money anymore now labels are making money which leads to artists making money. It’s basically the constant fight of humanity vs technology, how do we make money of this?
BS – You can’t poo poo it. You gotta rise with it.
JR – That’s why the industry destroyed itself to begin with. Because they were like bah this MP3 thing will never take off. Let’s keep selling cd’s for $20. I’m never fighting for a cd or mp3 player at that point I’m fighting for a player not the music. Fighting for the format. I don’t give a fuck about the format; I care about the music. However it gets out to the people I guess, is it good, bad, indifferent? It’s hard to say. Where does it go from here it’s hard to say too.
BS – It inspires you to be more creative on how you sustain your band. There are ways to make money you just need to find out how to do it.
JR – Fifteen years ago if you wanted to hear all of our records you’d have to go to the record store and hopefully they had it for distribution and would cost you $100. Now you Google Less Than Jake archive and it’s on your hard drive for free or on Spotify.
BS – It’s like Star Trek.
JR- These guys all live in Gainesville, I live in Connecticut. When I’m in Gainesville there’s this bar downtown called Loosey’s they make the best burgers and wings in town. They only serve American beer, which I think is very cool. The owner has been a good friend of ours for a while. They just do it right, you go into a place and they know what they’re doing. They make the burgers right. You gotta butter the bun.
BS – You gotta have truffle oil on the fries.
JR- In Connecticut where I’m from it’s another burger place. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of the steamed cheeseburger. They have this cabinet it’s very indigenous to central Connecticut. The cabinet sits on top of a burner with a water pan under it. It has these shelves. You can buy it for like $350.00. Little plastic containers that you put the meat in and the cheddar cheese in. It steams and cooks the meat, it’s not very greasy. You butterfly it, that goddamn cheddar cheese, put it on a Kaiser roll with some raw onion and it’s the best burger you’ve ever had. My friend owns this place called K LaMay’s in Meridan, CT. You pay $5 and it’s seriously the biggest burger you’ll ever get. You pay $5 at McDonald’s or Burger King and it leaves you wanting more.
Regardless of where we are we try to go to local places and avoid chains.
BS – I cook at home a lot because I get my taste of going out when we’re on the road. Like the fresh fish tacos that you made are a lot better than oh where to get food next.
MBQ- You said you were a line cook, what things do you like to cook?
BS – My fiancé does all of the cooking. At first I cooked and thought I was a good cook, but she has a lot of recipes I like. JR’s a great cook, whenever we’re writing and album and he stays with us he has to make his meatballs as rent payment.
JR – If I’m cooking for real I’d do some sort of steak like flank. I love a ribeye, that’s a perfect cut. Roasted potatoes and I love garlic olive oil green bean. Like you were saying earlier meat and potatoes kind of guy, I like to keep it simple. If you can make a good steak or a good burger. 7 minutes a side or 8 minutes a side on a ribeye.
BS – You should call this article the secrets of JR’s meats.
MBQ- Last but not least, In a fist fight between Frankenstein’s Monster and Clint Eastwood who would win? We’re talking Outlaw Josey Wales Clint, not Gran Torino Clint.
JR – In real life Frankenstein’s monster
BS – Frankenstein’s monster Clint can punch his hand off and just reattach it.
JR – He’s reanimated dead
JE – He’d hold his own
JR – If we’re talking Dirty Harry and he had his gone
AH – It’d be a different story
JR –Clint now is Frankenstein’s monster
JE – Right? We’ve come full circle
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