Less Than Jake

Premier Concerts and Manic Presents:

Less Than Jake

Mest, Punchline, Kali Masi

Tue, April 16, 2019

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

College Street Music Hall.

New Haven, CT

$22.50 - $25.00

This event is all ages

This event is General Admission Standing Room on the Floor. There will be limited first-come, first-served seating available in the back of the room, but seating is not guaranteed.

Less Than Jake
Less Than Jake
Who is Less Than Jake?

That's a legitimate question for someone who has been out of touch with the independent or punk music scene for the last quarter of a century. To some, the name may bring you back to a movie soundtrack or a video game; others are transported to a sweaty day on the Vans Warped Tour. One thing that can not be argued is that if you have experienced Less Than Jake live, it is something that you will never forget.

With ten full length releases, numerous EP's, 7" singles and compilations, the band has quietly sold millions of records worldwide, with little support from radio and television outlets. They have been self managed for the last 6 years and have shown no signs of slowing down their break neck touring schedule. To quote an industry insider, "while their contemporaries crowds have diminished, Less Than Jake's draw has seemingly gotten larger." If asked how this was accomplished, the band members shrug and respond, "we never stopped touring or trying to be an active band.”

Continuing to play over 150 dates a year while also writing and recording new material has kept the band fresh in a time when "ska" has become something of a four letter word. The list of acts they have supported is staggering (Bon Jovi, Linkin Park, Snoop Dogg) while the list of bands that have supported them makes even the most hardened music industry veteran do a double take (Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Yellowcard). All the while the band has held firm to its punk rock roots and have managed to live through many musical trends simply by just being Less Than Jake.

With well over 300 releases on various labels under their belt, most would think their legacy is already in tact, but the status quo has never interested Less Than Jake. They continue to write and perform new material and have no thoughts of letting up. With the energy and exuberance of a band half its age and the determination of savvy veterans, there is seemingly no end point to this enduring and entertaining band. So who is Less Than Jake? Go see a show and find out.
Mest
Mest
Since forming in a working class suburb of Chicago in 1995, Mest have been tearing up the punk rock scene. Playing in local Chicago punk clubs, the group self-released their debut album, “Mo’ Money, Mo’ 40′z”. The band got their first real break when frontman Tony Lovato sent the band’s album to Goldfinger’s John Feldmann who helped them get signed to Maverick Records, and produced their major-label debut, “Wasting Time”, which was released in July 2000. Since then the band has released 3 more albums on Maverick — 2001’s “Destination Unknown”, 2003’s self-titled disc, and 2005’s “Photographs”– and toured the world as part of the Warped Tour.

“Mest was a band that was always known for their live show. It didn’t matter if we had 10 or 10,000 kids at the show, we always put everything we had out on stage every night,” remembers Mest singer Tony Lovato.

Tensions between the band members about the musical direction of the band, growing up, starting a family and not wanting to tour as much caused the band to break-up in 2006, and Mest announced their breakup, as well as a farewell tour entitled “So Long and Thanx for the Booze.” With the band broken up, Lovato spent the next couple of years battling the demons that had built up in his closet. Years of alcoholism and drug abuse had been quietly concealed by living on the road as a part of a traveling circus, but now Lovato was left alone with his addictions staring him in the mirror.

“When I got off the road, I was partying pretty hard and it went from recreational use to a daily thing. It got to the point where I wouldn’t leave my house for two or three days at a time, because I had such bad anxiety,” remembers Lovato. “I remember going on a binge of drugs and booze that didn’t stop for a few days. I went to take a shower and my heart just kept racing faster and faster. It was at that point that I knew if I didn’t do something to change the way I was living I would be dead. I needed to deal with a lot of the issues that I was covering up with drugs and alcohol. I needed to learn how to be a human being again and regain my life.”

After spending some time working on himself, Lovato was inspired to start writing music again. He joined up with new Guitarist Mike Longworth and new Drummer Lil Rich Gonzales. The experiences he had over the past few years had provided him for the perfect place to be creatively reborn. The end result was a series of pop-punk songs that paid tribute to Mest’s past, but pushed the band forward into a future that was wide open. Now after fine tuning the material on the road, Lovato and Mest are ready to have their fans scream the songs from the rooftops as they release their new album, “Not What You Expected.”

“As an artist you have to constantly evolve and if you don’t then you will become stagnant. It was impossible to write the same kind of record as I did in 2002, because I’m just not in the same place in my life,” said Tony. “If I were to try and write the same album, it wouldn’t be genuine and fans would be able to see right through it. This album is just the next evolution of Mest and I think it shows how we’ve progressed as musicians, and creative people.”

“Not What You Expected” is a return to the care-free days of listening to bands like Green Day, Blink-182 or Social Distortion blasting with the windows rolled down. It’s punk-rock with infectious guitar riffs and sing-along choruses that instantly transports you to another place, away from all the world’s problems. More importantly it’s a return to form for a band that has been sorely missed in music.

“When I got back out on the road playing shows, people would always come up and tell me how much of an influence Mest was on them. It is the most humbling and most flattering thing to have someone come up to you and say that you inspired them to want to go out and play music,” he said. ” Then, to have guys from bands like A Day To Remember or Escape The Fate who inspired me to start writing again tell me how I influenced them was a great feeling.”

Lovato brought the circle of inspiration back around when he asked new friend Tom Denney from a day to remember to co-write a song with him. The track is “Radio (Something To Believe)” and is an ode to all the bands that the duo grew up listening to.

“I can’t recall who was more stoked to work with whom. I would say that I was, but he would probably say he was more excited,” laughs Lovato. “It’s a really cool experience to work with someone when you have mutual respect for each other’s songwriting and records. Jeremy, from A Day To Remember, jumped in the studio to record a part for the song, which was amazing. That’s what music has always been about; supporting one other.
Punchline
Punchline
The combination of energy and sincerity has long been the hallmark of Punchline, a Pittsburgh, PA band that prides itself on constantly trying to craft honest and meaningful songs. In an era of short attention spans, their new album LION is a testament to their commitment to creating a truly memorable musical journey. The largely self-produced roller coaster ride starts with the album’s first single “Friend From The Future”, an upbeat yet emotional punk rock song that is sure to appeal to both the band’s longtime following and new listeners alike. The distinctive voice of singer Steve Soboslai offers thought-provoking lyrics paired with infectious melodies, challenging those who cannot seem to see the present tense for what it is — an opportunity to make a change and make a difference.
What follows the opening track is a collection of songs that at one point or another touch every area of human feeling. “Darkest Dark” (which features Matt Thiessen of Relient K.) is a reminder to loved ones that you're always there, “Dead When It Hits The Shelves” is a self-effacing homage to frustration, and “Sensory Overload” is a fiery exploration of resentment in a modern world that sometimes seems like too much to handle. The styles of the songs vary throughout the record, but the inspiration and passion behind the tunes is the thread that ties them all together and makes them work in perfect harmony.
Friends Matt Theissen of Relient K and Anthony Raneri of Bayside even drop by for guest vocalist appearances on Lion. In typical Punchline fashion, the styles of the songs vary greatly throughout the record, but the inspiration and passion behind the tunes is the thread that ties them all together and makes them work in perfect harmony.

1998-2002: early years

Punchline was formed in 1998 as a three-piece band consisting of Steve Soboslai (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Fafalios (bass guitar) PJ Caruso (drums). At the time, Fafalios was a senior in high school and Caruso and Soboslai were juniors. They played local shows and recorded their first album, How to Get Kicked Out of the Mall, a blend of pop- and ska-influenced punk. In later recordings, the ska influence became less prominent.

In 1999, the band self-produced and self-released the full-length Punchline album.

After being joined by Paul Menotiades (guitar, vocals), they recorded and co-produced Major Motion Picture with Billy Rossi for an August 2001 release. The four collaborated with Rossi again in 2002 on The Rewind EP. The EP's four tracks marked a transition into what became their signature pop-punk sound.
2003-2005: gaining popularity, Fueled by Ramen

In 2003, the band signed to Fueled by Ramen Records. The Rewind EP was remixed and remastered by Shelly Yakus for its Fueled by Ramen re-release. Early pressings included The Rewind Documentary DVD, a collection of footage of the band.

On the February 2004 album, Action, produced by Sean O'Keefe, Punchline set itself apart in the world of pop-punk music with bright three-part harmonies, unique melodies, catchy riffs and a strong rhythm section. Soboslai, Menotiades and Fafalios all sang on the disc and the first 10,000 pressings also included a DVD entitled The Action DVD.

During a tour, Menotiades left the band. The remaining members enlisted Greg Wood, a long-time friend, to fill in on guitar and vocals for the remaining shows. Wood, who also performed as a solo artist and was a member of the now defunct Connecticut band West Beverly, later joined as a permanent member, and played keyboards and piano in addition to guitar on Punchline's 2006 release 37 Everywhere.

In 2005, TDR Records (formerly known as To Define Records) released an Over It/Punchline split 7-inch vinyl with two exclusive songs. The Over It side has an acoustic version of "Partner in Crime", and the Punchline side has a previously unreleased acoustic version of "Battlescars".
2006: 37 Everywhere

37 Everywhere, produced by Shep Goodman and Kenny Gioia, was released by Fueled by Ramen Records on April 11, 2006. The album is dedicated to the life and times of John "Beatz" Holohan (1974–2005), the former drummer of Bayside.

The album's title refers to a theory suggesting that 37 is the most commonly seen number. The album's liner notes state: "The number 37 is everywhere. It is in your daily routine and it will surprise you. Look for it and it will look for you." Jason Sho Green, the artist/designer for the album, says the liner notes contain 37 instances of the number 37.

The album has guest vocals by Anthony Raneri of the New York band Bayside and Vinnie Caruana of I Am the Avalanche and formerly The Movie Life on "Flashlight", John Johansen of the defunct Stryder on "Caller 10", and Josh Bonner of the defunct Unsung Zeroes on "Wars Will Always Happen", as well as guest guitar work by Ryan Mendez of Yellowcard on "Don't Try This at Home".

On August 28, 2006, the band announced the departure of Wood. Wood is said to be in good standing with the band and left to pursue other interests, specifically a solo career and teaching guitar.[4]

He was replaced by Jon Belan, a long-time Punchline friend and a former member of The Berlin Project and the lead singer of Gene the Werewolf. His first tour with Punchline was the "Better Than Knowing Where You Are Tour", headlined by Spitalfield, with support from Over It, Valencia, Peachcake and Boys Like Girls, in addition to Punchline.
2008: Just Say Yes and Modern Short Stories

Punchline's follow-up to 37 Everywhere was recorded in 2007 in two parts. Part 1 was recorded at Room Sound Studios in Tempe, Arizona, with the producer Jamie Woolford (formerly of The Stereo and now[when?] a member of the band Let Go). Part 2 was recorded at Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin, with Sean O'Keefe, who had produced Punchline's Action album.

On February 7, 2008, the band announced its departure from Fueled By Ramen in a brief statement:

"After many years on fueled by ramen its time for us to move on, after fulfilling the obligations of our contract with FBR we decided that we wanted to look for a new home. Armed with a new record that's already recorded we are excited to move on to something new. Thanks to the people at the FBR that supported us and helped us it means alot [sic]. onedoor [sic] closes and one opens."

On July 11, 2008, Punchline created their independent label, Modern Short Stories, using the winnings ($25,000) from Heavy.com's Contraband Contest.

On "37 day" (March 7) 2008, Punchline announced in their AIM chatroom that the new album would be called Just Say Yes. It was released on September 16, 2008. A four-song bonus disc, Just Say Maybe, was included with the first 500 pre-ordered copies.
2009: more line-up changes and Night Lights

On January 25, 2009, Punchline announced the departure of its long-time drummer and original member Caruso. In a blog entry posted the same day, Soboslai told readers that the split was amicable and announced a temporary stand-in for already scheduled shows. He reassured fans that they planned on making music for a long time to come, and announced plans for a spring 2009 tour and DVD release, as well as a new album.

On May 3, 2009, Punchline premiered their new music video for "Ghostie" at 7:37 PM EST during an Absolutepunk.net chat.

On August 30, 2009, Punchline offered the new song "Heart of Gold" for free download, but those who paid $3 or more received 5 bonus songs, including rare Punchline tracks.

On September 12, 2009, during a hometown show in Pittsburgh on the AbsolutePunk.net Next Favorite Band Tour, Punchline asked the temporary drummer Pat Dee, formerly of the band Victory Lane, to become a permanent member. Punchline announced the departure of Belan later that week. Menotiades returned to replace Belan for the fall 2009 US tour and later rejoined the band.]

On December 1, 2009, Punchine released a digital collection of unreleased songs called Night Lights.
2010–2011: Delightfully Pleased

Beginning in May, Punchline went to Ohio to record with Jamie Woolford. Somewhere around this time, the former drummer, Dee, was let go from the band. Cory Muro, of Paul Menotiades' other band The Composure, also a Pittsburgh, PA band, is Pat's replacement.

A couple of weeks after their recording sessions were completed, Punchline released a song for fans of the television series Lost, a single rough mix track entitled "Roller Coaster Smoke". The track was released on the day of the Lost series finale. The official music video was released on July 23, 2010. It was directed by the Pittsburgh filmmaker and comedian Joe DeWitt.

On June 24, Punchline revealed that the new album would be called Delightfully Pleased and it would be released on August 10, by Modern Short Stories and TDR Records. The artwork was also released and the first song, "21 Forever", was released on their newly relaunched web site, PunchKids.com, on July 18. According to the band, this was their best album yet. Punchline's website allowed the downloading of Delightfully Pleased for any price. The name is refers to a crunkcore group, Brokencyde, that was involved in a fight with Muro at a show in Pittsburgh on April 25, 2011; Muro sustained minor injuries. Any money from the selling of these EPs was to gp towards Muro's hospital bills..
2012–present: So Nice to Meet You

On January 3, 2012, Punchline released a new EP exclusively on iTunes called So Nice To Meet You. The band had a social media push to get to No. 1 on the iTunes charts. On January 4, 2012, the album peaked at No. 7 on iTunes Overall charts and No. 1 in the Rock category. So Nice to Meet You also reached No. 4 on Billboard's Heatseekers charts, No. 29 Rock Albums, No. 16 Independent Albums and No. 23 Alternative Albums. Punchline appeared on the Fox reality television show Mobbed broadcast on April 1, 2012. Soboslai performed the Cheap Trick classic "I Want You to Want Me" with a flash mob for a long-distance friend Dana to profess his interest in a relationship
Kali Masi
Kali Masi
Kali Masi is a punk rock band from the Midwest. They've been heavily touring and self-promoting for the last 6 years; steadily evolving the angular, emotive, and urgent sound found on their 2017 LP 'WIND INSTRUMENT' (Take This To Heart Records).
Venue Information:
College Street Music Hall.
238 College Street
New Haven, CT, 06510
http://www.collegestreetmusichall.com