Vinnie, drummer and lyricist of Less Than Jake and co-founder of Fueled By Ramen recently posted a lengthy blog entry discussing his departure from the label. In it he speaks fondly of many of the label's early acts, including bands like the Impossibles, Blueline Medic and Ann Beretta while at the same time showing a disconnect with the future direction of the company:
My point from all this? Basically the same reason I started the label is ultimately the same reason why I left Fueled By Ramen, and that is passion for the music. I didn't feel the same way for some of the bands we had talked about signing in the future or the direction that the label was taking.

I always prided myself on the thought of a label being equal parts about creativity and business but months back I felt like music was more about being famous then the actual songs themselves, it felt like style was outwieghing substance. At one point I wasn't feeling the same passion for the direction the label was headed. So faced with staying around and it just being "business as usual" or trying to steer an iceberg in the way I wanted the direction of the label to go. I decided that it was time for me to step aside and let the label grow with its natural progression.

Vinnie founded the label with John Janick in 1996, launching with the "take-out" sampler cassette in August of that year.

Let me just go ahead and pull the band aid off really quickly to this, Months ago I decided to leave FUELED BY RAMEN, the record company that I had helped build up for the last 10 years. A few weeks ago everything was finalized so I figured since the new year is coming up quick and new starts are coming up quicker this is a perfect time to say a few last things.

I remember there was a time when I drove all night, behind the wheel of our tour van, I just had gotten the mixes to THE IMPOSSIBLES first record and I thought it was amazing. I fell in love with it, I listened to it for hours and hours, over and over on the drive. Words couldn't and still can't describe how excited I was to have a chance at releasing that record.

In Chicago I had gotten a demo tape of 3 songs from ANIMAL CHIN, I literally knew after listening to those songs once that I wanted to release anything they ever recorded. Hell the same exact thing happened when I was in Australia and got a BLUELINE MEDIC demo passed to me and thought they were channeling the ghost of JAWBREAKER. That's how good it was. You know the feeling when a band becomes your favorite band? The song or the experience while listening to the songs that stays with you? Well now imagine how it feels to be able to put out your favorite bands record. Not just once but time after time.

When the label first started I sat on the side of the stage in Jacksonville, Florida and watched ANN BERETTA play songs that would become a CD I would release later, I sang every song with them on the side of the stage, I sang every lyric. I believed every word of it.

Listening to GYM CLASS HEROES when there was no loops or drum machine, it was guys playing this amazing music, and travis telling stories over it. I was blown away with the lyrics and the melody. I was on the outskirts of Boston when I listened to it through headphones, I knew right then Fueled By Ramen had to release it, there was no business planned behind it, there was no marketing plan, this was me loving a band, it was blind faith that I just loved the music and hoped other people would also. It was me walking around the parking lot of the hotel again and again playing it on repeat.

Being able to put out music from THE PIETASTERS, TEEN IDOLS, DISCOUNT, BIG WIG, JIMMY EAT WORLD, PUNCHLINE, KANE HODDER, and THE STEREO were easy descisions to make simply because I was fans of the bands already,I had all the old records, I had shared stages with some of them, some I had been friends with for years, those bands at different times were the soundtrack and background music to amazing parts of my life.

Watching FALLOUTBOY, and THE ACADEMY ISâ?¦ grow from pratice spaces to playing over crowded shows filled with people that know every word to every single song makes me proud to have been involved, even if it was for a small piece and for a brief time.

My point from all this? Basically the same reason I started the label is ultimately the same reason why I left Fueled By Ramen, and that is passion for the music. I didn't feel the same way for some of the bands we had talked about signing in the future or the direction that the label was taking. I always prided myself on the thought of a label being equal parts about creativity and business but months back I felt like music was more about being famous then the actual songs themselves, it felt like style was outwieghing substance. At one point I wasn't feeling the same passion for the direction the label was headed. So faced with staying around and it just being "business as usual" or trying to steer an iceberg in the way I wanted the direction of the label to go. I decided that it was time for me to step aside and let the label grow with its natural progression.

Music has always been the one thing I count on, the very first thing and last thing I do every day and I want to feel that way until the day I die. I want to love the music that I'm involved with. I want it to become my favorite bands.

You know, there's a point when things have to be good on the insides, my insides and my head wanted to do something different. I have an incedible amount of respect for everyone that worked day in and day out for the label and continues to do so as I type this. To everyone that worked countless hours because of passion for the bands, the label and music I have to thank you for the inspiration to move on in my own direction. I've made friends and made family working through fueled by ramen over the years I hope the best for everyone in the future.