We heard that LESS THAN JAKE had recently landed on UK soil and were making their way around the country, playing sold out shows to their loyal followers, we were invited along to Bristol to chat to Chris Demakes from the band about the tour, what they enjoy most about being in the UK and most importantly, how wild the after show parties are, read on to find out all this and more!
How’s the Tour been going so far?
Great! Tonights the 5th show they’ve all been sweaty sold out and crazy!
What makes touring the UK special?
Not to take anything away from other places or our fans in other places but there’s an enthusiasm here for our band that just doesn’t exist anywhere else, it’s pretty incredible.
I think the English have a wacky sense of humour and we do too, we’re constantly talking nonsense and having a good time and I think thats translated well.
How long have you known tour mates Reel Big Fish?
We’ve known them for at least 20 years, it’s been forever, we’re like one band almost when we’re out here touring, it’s a lot of fun those guys are great, they’re like family.
Any cities in the UK in particular that you look forward to?
Without being generic and saying all of them I’m gonna say all of them, Nottingham was amazing last night at Rock City, the venue in Bournemouth is awesome and great memories of Bristol, not just saying that because we’re here but we’ve always had great shows. We’re going to Leicester for the first time this tour in a while, Newcastle coming up, Leeds is always great, Birmingham, Manchester they’re just all so good!
SNUFF were a huge influence on you encompassing horns into your band, did you get a chance to catch up with them when in London?
Yeah, I saw their bass player Lee, Lee came out he teaches and he brought his students out to come and they get to watch the soundcheck and we talk to them afterwards, tell them never to get involved in this dirty business. He came before the show and was there after and we’re going to see him in Birmingham too.
How are after show parties these days?
Pretty mellow, sometimes we’ll have some dinner after the show depends how late it is, mostly we just sit around and chill out, you need to kind of decompress after a show you can’t just go straight to bed.
Do the tours still feel distinct after 26 years of doing this, or do they just blur together?
A little bit of both, prior to this we did the Warped Tour in the states, so those are outdoor in really hot sweaty environments and then we only had 5 shows between that and this and then this is all indoor it’s a little cold outside. They blend together to a certain extent but those are two quite drastic tours to have back to back.
Do you have any advice to younger bands?
Yeah, just play as often as you can, if you can play 9 gigs in 7 days do it and if you believe in your music and you got the right people you could be in a band and make it happen.
Was there a moment for you guys when you felt like you transitioned into being a professional band?
When it got to the point where we didn’t have to work jobs and were able to pay our bills with what we were making, we were living on road for like 9 months out of the year at that point, we would tour in a van and play literally anywhere: bowling alleys, basements, house parties, college parties, bars, restaurants wherever we could set up a PA and play.
How have Less Than Jake evolved over the years?
We’ve experimented with some different stuff over the years and a lot of that isn’t because a band wants to change its just, there’s only so many times you can write the same song. It’s kind of like you’re damned if you do you’re damned if you don’t, if you don’t change it’s kinda like ‘they put out another record it sounds the same as all their other shit’ or if you do change up its like ‘This doesn’t sound like them! This is a sellout move’ so it’s like you teeter that line and at the end of the day you have to write songs that you like.
And if I like them or the guys like them then most of the time over the years that’s translated to the fans that they’ve liked them. You’ve gotta be true to yourself, you have to write true from the heart and I stand by everything we’ve ever written.
There’s some songs I don’t like as much as others and some I would probably never wanna play but we tried it.
In terms of songs that you do like, what are you guys listening to at the moment?
The newest thing on my rotation is the new Interrupters record which is great but we listen to everything from the 60’s on up from Garage to Punk to Reggae to Heavy metal & Hair metal, if its a good song then I like it.
We’d like to thank Chris for sparing the time to chat ahead of their Bristol show, you can catch the guys on tour throughout the UK until November 18th, all dates are below.
Interview by Hena Larkin