The night of Less Than Jake's show March 2nd at the Palace in Hollywood I met up with singer Chris Roth. We ended up doing the interview in the parking lot. Why? read on to find out.
Highwire Daze: We're here doing an interview with...
Chris Roth: ...David Lee Roth.
HD: How has the tour been received so far?
Chris: Well, this is the first night. We did a snowboarding show on Saturday, then yesterday we did an in store at Rhino Records[in Claremont]. Today's the first show. We did the East coast leg of this [Hello Rockview] tour with All so this is like a continuation of the tour. I'm sure it will go well.
HD: (As a helicopter hovers overhead.) Why are we in a noisy parking lot?
Chris: I got locked out of my bus.
HD: Something crazy always happens at Less Than Jake's shows, true?
Chris: 99% of the time, true.
HD: What would you consider newsworthy from the last part of your tour?
Chris: When we were in St. Louis, Roger, our bass player got beat up by a hooker. He went out to the bus and someone was trying to get in and it turned out to be a guy dressed in drag. He punched Roger in the mouth. That was probably the only bad thing that happened. Good thing, all the shows were really well attended and the kids had a good time. No one broke down and got sick.
HD: What album or bands do you like that some of your fans wouldn't believe you had in your collection?
Chris: I have every Motley Crue record. The first Boston record, great album.
HD: You wear T-shirts from bands like Winger and who else when on stage.
Chris: Slaughter, Helix, Great White, Keel, Ratt, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Black Sabbath, Pantera, Trixter, Bullet Boys, Bang Tango, Enuff Z'nuff, Tuff, Pretty Boy Floyd...
HD: So basically every popular or semi-popular band from 1985-90.
Chris: 85-90, that's a good assessment.
HD: Did you have long hair?
Chris: I had a mullet. The full "Kentucky Waterfall," business in the front, party in the back. Really short, high and tight in the front much like it is now, but I had the Billy Ray Cyrus hair cape coming to about the middle of my back. I had a mane.
HD: Do you guys bang your head on stage?
Chris: That's probably why my neck hurts right now, because we haven't played in a month and the other day I was banging my head.
HD: Do you play any of the songs from those bands during your shows?
Chris: I might have to pull out Home Sweet Home by the Crue for you.
HD: Where might we find your previous albums?
Chris: Our first CD came out on No Idea records, then we did Pezcore on Asian Man records, the last two albums have been on Capitol. We also did the Greased soundtrack on No Idea, we have a new CD coming out on Fueled By Ramen called Goodbye Blue and White, a comp of our 7" singles, b-sides and out takes. We have a like CD coming out through our P.O. Box which you can get off of the internet at www.lessthanjake.com.
HD: What job did your parents expect you to get when you got out of high school?
Chris: They thought that by this time in my life I would be screwing you, over a martini, over your life insurance right now. I'd be a life insurance salesman. (In a stuffy voice) 'The fixed income rate is 8.5% and I'm telling you , at this rate, you must sign right here on the dotted line. But of course I would be reaping the benefits. I'd be a life insurance salesman. Or a proctologist, but we don't want to talk about that.
HD: Is your family supportive of you now?
Chris: Yes. I left college to go on the road with the band and at the time I was as scared as they were. [My parents] were scared and a little aggravated but they really saw quickly that I was determined to make the band work. That meant many long hours at the pizza place. I didn't want to have to call them every month for rent money, I made a promise to myself. After six months or a year, before we were even signed, they saw that I was happy that doing what I wanted. It was rough, but I can't complain. I'd do it all over again in a second.
HD: To wrap up the interview, what would your like to tell your fans in the L.A and Orange County areas?
Chris: Ladies, don't wipe back to front, you'll get a yeast infection.
HD: Thanks a lot Mr. Roth, we appreciate that.
Less Than Jake play this year's Warped Tour. Look at Ken's web site for reviews of the day's shows at members.tripod.com/~kmon666/index.html.
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