Less Than Jake were formed in 1992, by Chris Demakes and drummer Vinnie Fiorello while the two attended the University of Florida in Gainesville. The band takes its name from Fiorello's dog. The dog, Jake, seemed to be treated better than the humans in his household so that everything was dubbed "less than Jake" and so the band assumed this moniker. On July 13, 1992, Less Than Jake officially became a band.
Although their influences are varied, borrowing from post-grunge, old school metal, punk and alternative rock, the band wanted to include a horn section in their standard punk lineup. Having recruited Manganelli as their bassist, in 1993 Jessica Mills was added on horn and the band recorded their first 7'' record, Smoke Spot. Soon after this recording and after playing a show at the Hardpack one Tuesday night, the trombonist from the opening band Dig Dug approached a rather inebriated Demakes and Fionello and offered to play for Less Than Jake. After an audition-come-jam session with the band, Schaub joined on trombone and so Less Than Jake's sound steadily transformed from pop-punk to ska.
The band toured the US in a 1979 blue and white Chevy Nomad van, playing gigs and recording a handful of songs. Schaub left the band to travel around Europe with friends so Nuhfer stepped in on sax to fill in the horn section until Schaub's return. In August 1995, the band signed with Dill Records and released their first album, Pezcore, featuring 21 tracks including two covers of TV theme songs. The album was named for Manganelli's and Fiorello's peculiar fondness for Pez candy, making the Pez dispensers an indelible part of Less Than Jake iconography and a feature on their merchandise.
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