Just when you thought you heard it all with Reality TV stars vying for a chance at running the US, seemingly wholesome punk/pop/ska band LESS THAN JAKE were on the receiving end of picket signs and protests from the Westboro Baptist Church during their show last weekend in Pensacola, FL.
Asked why he thinks his band would be targeted by the controversial religious group, drummer Vinnie Fiorello replied, "I have no idea. I mean, let's face the facts: Less Than Jake doesn't exactly send parents running for cover. The fact that we do have a certain amount of obscenity and are fairly liberal could and obviously did ruffle some Christian feathers."
Faced with slightly more than a dozen picketers with "signs that talked about whore mongering, adultery, sin,"
Vinnie was a bit perplexed by the reaction. "It had to be a slow night at the bible study last night... Or they heard the truth that we are a traveling band who love Satan but hate guns," he told AltPress.com.
He added, "I find it silly... Grouping us with [recent targets, like Lady Gaga, fallen soldiers, Justin Bieber] is like comparing apples to oranges. Pop punk with a penchant for up stroke guitar and using the word 'f*ck' while drinking high-powered alcohol is not anywhere close to the headline grabbers on that list."
Whether or not Less Than Jake belong on that list of WBC targets is rather debatable, but it's still baffling to Vinnie exactly why. "It's really a nonevent, but it did happen," he concludes. "They have a right to say what's within their rights... as long as I'm allowed to create whatever art I want to."
Less Than Jake recently re-released expanded versions of 1996's Losing Streak and 1998's Hello Rockview on their own label Sleep It Off and are gearing up for some major announcements shortly. The band just wrapped up a handful of Florida dates and are preparing for the entire Vans Warped Tour this Summer.