Less Than Jake

LTJ

Photo by Dan Cox

Less Than Jake is the best! Conor sat down with Chris during the band’s stop at The Gorge on the 2003 Vans Warped Tour. Chris had a twinkle in his eye and some funny stories to share! Roger also came over at the tail end and talked about his Pez obsession.

Hey, I’m Conor from Belchin’ Waffles. It’s nice to meet you.

Hey, I’m Chris. . . I love waffles!

Right on! Who doesn’t?

I like the whole waffle and pancake family. Have you ever had a cheese blintz from IHOP?

No.

Oh. . . it is fantastic. It’s almost like a crepe/pancake material. And they put like cream cheese and stuff inside and you roll it up and put syrup on it. It’s called a cheese blintz. You’ve heard of IHOP?

Oh, of course!

You’ve got to go get a cheese blintz from IHOP!

Will do! For anyone who doesn’t know, can you just give a brief history of the band?

Uh. . . yeah. We are a band that has been directly influenced by the likes of David Hasselhoff, Gary Coleman, and Dee Snider. We’re smoothed out on the R&B tip with a little hip-hop thrown in for a little flavor. We also do meringue style and we have a horn section.

What’s the best part about being on The Warped Tour and what’s the worst part about being on The Warped Tour?

The best part is being able to play to ya know, eight. . . 10. . . 12 thousand people a day. The worst part is trying to find a place to take a shit every morning. Horrible. It’s actually humiliating, that’s the only word to describe it.

Do you think it’s impersonal at all?

What. . . The Warped Tour? I wouldn’t say it’s any more impersonal than half the stuff that I see go on. I mean, I don’t know. Being in a club with 300 people could be more intimate and more personal. But at the same time I’m not going to hang out with all 300 people at the end of the night either (laughs). Maybe a couple of ’em, but. . .

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened on a Less Than Jake tour?

I was in San Francisco on Warped Tour ’98. We were rocking. . . like, it was one of the best shows ever! Like 2:30, 3:00 in the afternoon. . . and the night before the tour, this girl had made hundreds and hundreds of vodka Jell-O shots. I must have swallowed a hundred of ’em. And the next day I kinda woke up, felt a little weird. Popped some Aspirin, drank some water, ate some lunch. 2:30. . . 3:00 we played our set. 15 minutes into our rockin’, I go up to do a jump and I shit my pants!

(laughs!)

Yeah, just fuckin’ diarrhea squirt disaster.

Oh my god!

Yeah, the stage manager’s gag reflex is going ack. . . ack. . . ack, ya know? It was pretty crazy!

Did you finish?

Oh yeah! The guys finished and I went behind my amp, took my pants down, crouched down, ripped my boxers, wiped my ass with ’em and threw the boxers off and just freeballed it in my pants. I took one for the team! Most people wouldn’t tell a story like that, they’ll say like, “Oh, the funniest thing was when we were here and this girl came and she brought us brownies.” No, that’s not funny. Shitting your pants is fucking hilarious!

What do you like least about punk rock these days?

Um. . . wow. Is nothing an answer? I mean, I really. . . the things I don’t like, I don’t pay attention to. Ya know? I don’t pay attention to a lot of bulletin boards and Web sites that the kids get on and bitch about stuff. Because all those things are so negative and when you start reading reviews about your band and people start saying stuff. . . they get personal in ways that you don’t even want to go there. It’s like, how could you attack our music or our band in that way, when we just made an album? We’re like any other band that’s out here. We’re making music to make music. So, that’s probably the only thing about punk rock that I don’t like is the negativity within the punk rock community. There doesn’t seem to be a solidarity going on.

If you could get rid of one band, who would you get rid of?

Give me a second, this has to be good. This has to be the right band. Hmm. . . you ever heard of Foghat?

Foghat? Heard of them, but never heard ’em.

Old ’60s, ’70s band. They’re like in their 60s now and they’re still touring around. So I’ll say Foghat just for the hell of it. Go home and fuckin’ be grandparents!

Which one of you guys collects Pez?

Our drummer, Vinnie and our bass player, Roger.

Do you know how many they have?

Oh. . . hundreds each. Hundreds of different ones.

Do you know how much their collection is worth or anything like that?

Thousands of dollars, that’s all I know. I couldn’t even begin to put a monetary value on their collection.

Priceless. . .

To them it is, yeah.

You guys are known for putting out a lot of cool memorabilia and things like that. What do you think is the coolest thing that you’ve put out?

Probably our new bobbleheads that we have. I don’t know if you’ve been to our merch booth yet, but they’re about a foot and a half tall.

Of each one of you?

No, there’s a skull bobblehead that has a CD holder at the bottom that holds CDs. You should go check it out.

That’s rad! Alright, if you could be anyone for a day, who would you be and what would you do?

I’d be Jerry Springer and I’d fuck Oprah Winfrey in the ass.

What are three CDs that every punk fan should own?

Operation Ivy, their first record. Screeching Weasel — My Brain Hurts, and The Descendents — Milo Goes To College.

What do you think of MP3s and people downloading your music on the internet?

Well, if Lars Ulrich from Metallica couldn’t stop it, I don’t think I’m going to fare much better. So. . . whatever. How do I say this without people attacking me for my opinion on this? It is blatantly stealing from an artist. Blatantly stealing music. I know all the pros. . . it gets your music out to other people, blah blah blah. But, it’s stealing! Plain and simple, right? I copyrighted something that people are stealing. But, it’s been going on for years. People were doing it with tapes in the ’80s and before that taping vinyl to cassette tapes. I really don’t pay much attention to it, I can’t do anything to stop it so whatever. Until the government steps in and figures out how to regulate it, if that ever happens, then. . . whatever.

What are some smaller bands that people should check out?

Motley Crue, Ratt, Twisted Sister, Dokken, and Whitesnake.

What was your last purchase over $100?

It was before I started this tour. I bought running shoes that were like 80 bucks and then I also bought some shirts. So it came to like $110.

What would you say is your guilty pleasure?

Let me think about this one. It has to be good too, because I have many guilty pleasures, I’ve gotta have the right one. Ugh. . . I don’t want to go there, but I’m gonna have to. This is the one guilty pleasure I have. The guys in my band hate it. I told you earlier that one of the worst things about being on Warped Tour is finding a clean shitter in the morning. I’ve remedied that problem. See, you can’t shit on tour buses, you can only piss in ’em because you carry the shit with you and it would just stink too bad. So, I line the fuckin’ toilet with a plastic bag and just shit in it. It’s called trailblazing because if anybody’s sitting in the front lounge of the bus, you’re going to blaze the trail with your bag of shit as you walk the fuck out the front door. So, that’s my guilty pleasure, trailblazing.

Ok. What are your favorite movies?

“Debbie Does Dallas,” “Deep Throat,” and “Sex Trek: The Next Penetration.” Great movie!

Ok, now we’re going to do some word association. I’m going to say a word and you say the first thing that comes to mind. Ska . . .

Punk.

Metal.

Hair.

Fat Mike.

Fat Wreck Chords.

Britney Spears.

Uh. . . Fred Durst.

Coffee.

Diapers. Coffee makes me shit like twice a day.

Allright. Is there anything else you want to add?

No, just keep on rockin’ in the free world!

(Roger comes over) I just want to know how many Pez dispensers you have.

Well, you’ve got to remember a couple things when you ask a question like that. Number one, I don’t count stem variations. I don’t know if you know what that means or not…

Different colors?

Different colored stems, it doesn’t matter. That doesn’t count. And there are just some variations that I just don’t bother to collect. Like, there’s these weird ones. Some people know people at factories n’ shit and they’re like “Hey man, you’ve gotta make me this one crazy one with a green nose or whatever.” Eh. . . that counts, but it doesn’t really count. So, I’m at like 385 completely different ones. I think there’s only like in the 440 range of actual real released different dispensers. I have a lot of them.

Do you have a favorite?

I have the psychedelic eye from the ’60s. It’s like an eyeball in a hand. It says Go Go Go Pez on it. It’s pretty dope. Yeah, my mom gave me that, it’s the most expensive one I have. It’s my favorite one pretty much.

Do you ever use eBay to get them?

All the fuckin’ time!

Did you know eBay started to. . .

eBay was created because the people that run eBay were Pez collectors and they were looking for Pez. Yeah, I know that. I was actually on eBay the first month that they were a company in what is it? ’95? ’96? Something like that. I don’t know. Because I was buying Pez in the old days. Actually on eBay for a while there was nothing but Pez. There was Pez and then some other random shit, but it was mostly Pez.