Silly Interview with Chris from Less Than Jake
See The Light sounds very much like old LTJ musically but with a twist of a new style of writing… can you describe how the writing style differs from your other albums?
WE WANTED TO MAKE A LESS THAN JAKE GREATEST HITS RECORD. NO FILLER. I FEEL LIKE WE SUCCEEDED.
What were some of the perks that came with recording the new full-length at Rogers home studio? WE DID EVERYTHING AT OUR LEISURE. NO TIME CONSTRAINTS. IT WAS SUPER LAID BACK AND FUN.
I can imagine being easily distracted when you record somewhere that feels almost like your second home – and at the same time, writing the album in your rehearsal space - what do you do to stay focused? Smoke a shit ton of weed?
WEED MAKES YOU FOCUSED? UM, WELL, FOR STARTERS, WHEN YOU FEEL BURNED OUT, STOP! THAT IS THE GOLDEN RULE. NEVER TRY TO FORCE SOMETHING. WHEN WE ARE OUT OF IDEAS, WE BREAK FOR THE DAY.
Speaking of weed, what percentage of the LTJ material was writing while stoned?!
ABOUT 17.335665577%. IT'S SLIGHTLY MORE ON SUNDAYS. ALTHOUGH, WE TOOK SUNDAYS OFF FOR THIS SESSION. HMMMM......
So, back on Fat! Did you guys approach Mike asking him to put out this album for you or vice versa? Why not release it on Paper + Plastick or Sleep It Off again?
FAT HAS GREAT DISTRIBUTION, MARKETING AND PUBLICITY. WE HAD A DRINKING CONTEST WITH MIKE. IF HE WON, WE DID THE RECORD WITH FAT. OBVIOUSLY, WE LOST.
Your new video for "My Money Is On the Long Shot” is fucking great. There’s tons of cameos in it from awesome bands like NOFX, Goldfinger, Big D, Reel Big Fish etc. etc. etc., how do things like that come about at the level you guys are at now? Do you personally pick up the phone and call and ask or do you have your ‘people’ do it for you!?
WE DID IT OURSELVES. WE HAVE KNOWN EVERYONE IN THE VIDEO FOR YEARS. THEY WERE ALL PERSONAL FAVORS. ALL OUR FRIENDS WERE SUPER COOL ABOUT IT. IT CAME OUT GREAT.
One thing I wondered after seeing the video though is your thoughts on all the controversy surrounding Falling In Reverse who make an appearance… referring only to how they treat their fans at shows… rumours of them spitting on fans, throwing mic’s at them, being incredibly homophobic, kicking out fans of other bands on the same bill as them… that shit?
THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM TO DEAL WITH AND AT THE SAME TIME, WHO KNOWS HOW MUCH OF IT IS TRUE? AH, THE FUCKING INTERNET....SIGH.......
You guys have been play ska through its good times, and through its not-so-great times… what can you say about the popularity of the genre when you started out vs. what it’s like today?
IT WASN'T POPULAR, WE WERE A BAND. IT HIT BIG COMMERCIALLY, WE WERE A BAND. THE SKA-PUNK GENRE SHIT THE BED COMMERCIALLY, WE WERE STILL A BAND. WE HAVE SEEN SO MANY MUSICAL TRENDS COME AND GO WE LOST COUNT. WE JUST KEPT BEING A BAND. THE ONLY THING WE KNEW TO DO.
Do you think there’s a new generation of ska fans?
YEAH, OUR OLD FANS WHO NOW HAVE KIDS AND ARE BRINGING THEM TO OUR SHOWS :) SERIOUSLY!
Do you notice a difference in terms of who is in the skank pit when you play these days? Fans (like myself) who have been with you since 1992 are all probably around 30+ years old now, is it still THOSE people who you see skanking around in front of the stage?
NO, THEY ARE AT THE BAR ENJOYING A COCKTAIL OR TEN. EXACTLY WHERE I HANG OUT AT SHOWS THESE DAYS.
Put yourself (if you can) back into the mindset you had years ago when you wrote “Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts” … what would LTJ back then say about the band today? Ticket prices, album prices, all that kind of stuff is inevitably higher, and you guys have families to feed… Is there any irony in playing that song live now?
NO IRONY AT ALL. IT'S CALLED INFLATION. WE, ALONG WITH EVERY OTHER BAND HAD TO RAISE PRICES AT SOME POINT. ALTHOUGH, I WOULD PROBABLY LAUGH AT HOW FAT AND OLD WE GOT.
Are there any tracks off Pezcore or any of those super early albums that actually still excite you to play?
ABSOLUTELY. MOST OF THEM, ACTUALLY.
What’s it like to belt out lyrics you guys wrote like 20+ years ago? Do you all have a different mindset now?
NOT REALLY A DIFFERENT MINDSET TO BE HONEST. BEING A MUSICIAN HAS KEPT ME YOUNG AT HEART. I TRY NOT TO ANALYZE SOMETHING I DID 20 YEARS AGO. IF PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR THOSE SONGS, IT IS OUR PLEASURE TO PLAY THEM STILL.
Since this new album is such a throwback to old LTJ I thought it would be fitting to ask about past members! Do you guys still keep in touch with Jessica, Nuhfer or Pete?
ALL THREE, YES. THEY ARE ALL DOING VERY WELL.
Do they regret their decisions to leave the band when they did?
NOT SURE IF THEY HAVE REGRETS?? YOU'D HAVE TO ASK THEM.
Less Than Jake’s lineup has barely changed (other than the above mentions) in over 20 years, is this something you guys consciously work on – keeping everybody together, happy and on the same page – or did it just happen naturally that you found people who all had the same goal and dedication to the band?
WE ALL GOT LUCKY THAT WE ALL HAD THE SAME VISION TO SEE THIS THROUGH. OR…
does a band that gets high together, stay together?
WELL, OUR DRUMMER VINNIE ONLY SMOKES REGS ABOUT TWICE A YEAR, SO YOUR THEORY DOESN'T QUITE WORK WITH US.
You guys seem to transcend genre barriers when you’re touring with other bands, obviously Bon Jovi was one instance… and you’ve also played with Linkin Park, Snoop, Korn… what’s the reaction like from the crowd towards your set when you go on tours like that?
LOTS OF BLANK STARES, PISS AND BEER BREAKS. WE STILL PLAY LIKE WE'RE PLAYING TO A FULL HOUSE GOING CRAZY AND EVEN MANAGE TO INSULT A FEW AMBIVALENT PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY :)
What’s the worst reaction you’ve ever received from a new sort of crowd?
TOO MANY TO LIST. YOU GOTTA REMEMBER, WE CUT OUR TEETH IN REDNECK FLORIDA BARS BACK IN THE EARLY 90'S.
I know it’s been such a long time, and you’ve probably been asked about this a lot…buuuuut whatever, do you have any Bon Jovi stories that still stick out in your mind from that gig?
THEIR GUITARIST, RICHIE SAMBORA HAD HIS FAMILY OUT IN NEW JERSEY. I WORE A PAIR OF ASS LESS SPANDEX THAT NIGHT AND HAD TO PASS BY HIS FAMILY ON MY WAY TO THE STAGE. YOU COULD HEAR A PIN DROP.
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