Interview: Roger Lima Of Less Than Jake / Rehasher

Roger Lima Of Less Than Jake / Rehasher
Photo By Lindsay Carlsen

Rehasher recently released Tasty Slices Vol. 1, Less Than Jake released Silver Linings last year and recently shared a split release with Kill Lincoln. Therefore, I sat with a living legend Roger Lima to discuss his solo project, Less Than Jake, and some other things along the way. Enjoy!

Rehasher is back with a brand new album, but instead of new tunes, you decided to cover some songs by renowned groups/artists. Is this was something you planned for a very long time or just a temporary decision?

Roger: Really, it was a bit because of the lockdown. Alex and i were both living at the studio at the time, and just fell into jamming out some cover songs. Before we knew it, we had a list and started recording. I have always included a cover on each Rehasher record, so this didn’t seem too out of the box.  

The selection of the covered songs is so diverse. There are tunes by The Beatles, The Police, Boston, Steve Miller, Osker, Green Day, Eat Defeat, plus many others. Was selecting an easy task to do, or you had some difficulties picking the tunes that will end up on Tasty Slices?

Roger: There are so many great songs that i love that i’d love to put my own twist on! I just didn’t want to stick to one era or genre. Some of them seemed almost obvious after jamming them out and a couple were a bit more challenging to arrange so they suited a rehasher type vibe, but it was all super fun to do! 

Roger Lima Of Less Than Jake / Rehasher
Photo By Lindsay Carlsen

Did you have any criteria while picking the songs for the album, or you just played on a safe card and go straight with your favorite tunes?

Roger: I did want to challenge myself with some of the guitar solos, so i didn’t shy away from some songs that had more complex solos. really, it’s was just about the vibe, the lyrics and the messages, and just picking out of my favorite songs to make a collection that was diverse, but still could fall into the bands production style.  Not playing it super safe! 

Your previous recordings are leaning towards faster melodic hardcore, melodic punk rock, skate punk sound, while Tasty Slices showcases the calmer side of Reharsher. Is this a temporary move so you could fit the initial arrangements of the songs, or it’s just a permanent decision that will become a tradition on the following records?

Roger: I think that doing the covers will give the band a different shade on certain songs, but as i get older, i also am just writing some songs that aren’t blazing fast and maybe are a bit more chill, a bit calmer and even more personal. So, really, after so many years writing songs, i am open to explore kinda different vibes. the next album still has plenty of rippers on it!

Photo By David Lucas

This material represents the first volume of the cover songs collection, and I guess the second edition will come out soon after this, but what about a proper full-length. Could we expect some regular album anytime soon?

Roger: Yeah,  would think we will make a VOL 2 someday, but the immediate focus is the next album of originals. we are pre-producing those songs now and will likey start tracking that record next month with no hurry and no deadline. 

People probably asked you this question a thousand times, but perhaps our readers would like to know how you decided to start Rehasher anyway?

Roger: Originally,  the band started with a couple of guys from a band i had recorded. they broke up and we started jamming out some of their songs, and started writing more songs to eventually make up the first record.  i wanted to keep playing blast speed punk rock and my other band was doing a bit less of that  round that time. as the years passed, and rehasher became more of my solo, side band, i just have a lot of song. i need to get them out of my system somehow!  

Rehasher sounds a lot different than Less Thank Jake, but there are some similarities in terms of some arrangements, melodies, and harmonies. You’re also playing guitar instead of bass. Are there any other differences between those two bands, and how the songwriting, composing, recording process differs?

Roger: A bit, LTJ has more cooks in the kitchen, Rehasher is more of a direct line to just me and my ideas. I am recording and arranging both bands so, yeah, i think my vibes are in both very obviously, but Rehasher is a three-piece band with lead drums, no horns, and very little ska, right? So i kind of end up with two piles of songs as I’m coming up with ideas….  

Roger Lima Of Less Than Jake / Rehasher
Photo By Glen Bollard

Speaking of Less Than Jake, you guys also have a new split release out with Kill Lincoln, and last year you also recorded a brand new full-length called Silver Linings. Can you tell me something more about the album and what are the reactions of the crowd? Are you satisfied with how it turned out and with the feedback you received from fans?

Roger: Absolutely stoked on Silver Linings and the split! Our fans have shown us lots of love! Just need to get out there and play more of these songs live.  Silver Linings is the first recording with our new drummer, Matt Drastic, (formally of the Teen Idols and The Queers). I feel like it is a very strong collection of songs and look forward to the future of the band. It’s been nearly 30 years, and i feel like we are just getting started.  

We’re all witnessing how the pandemic spoils the music industry. How are you managing your regular band activities during the quarantine, and how you promoted your album since the tours were forbidden?

Roger: LTJ did a couple of live streams and really, hitting the social media. We have lots of band meetings and stay focused on moving forward,  

Any plans for touring with Rehasher and Less Than Jake soon? When can we expect you guys in Europe?

Roger: A couple of Rehasher shows in Aug, and LTJ is touring in the states a bunch. you’ll hear about it! , don’t worry!

That would be it. Thank you so much for answering all the questions. Would you like to say something to the fans/readers of this interview?

Roger: Cheers, thanks for the time and everything!  

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