"Less than Jake are baloney-sandwich-eating buffoons!"
- Goldfinger »
First of all, how are you enjoying your time in Britain?**
Charlie: “Oh, we love England tremendously. We did a covers album about a year ago and every song on there is originally by a British artist except for the one by Peter Tosh, who’s a Jamaican artist. The UK is really tough on American bands though because it’s so fucking cold here! Especially if the bands are in a van, you just don’t get any sleep. We’re averaging four hours a night! I’m not complaining, we’re having a great time; most people don’t ever get a chance to do this but we get to do it a bunch. I wouldn’t meet people like you if I didn’t do this for a living but it still wears on you and when you put on the kindda show we do, y’know, my legs are on fire right now! It wears on you but it’s still the best possible job you can have in the world.”
Do you have any plans to come back?
C: “Never, we’re never coming back to your Godforsaken frozen island!”
Umm, I want the truth!”
C: “No we will, probably in June but my original answer was much funnier!”
We don’t have that kind of humour over here…
Tim: “I thought it was funny but I heard Buddy from Less than Jake tell it as well so it sort of lost it with you!”
C: “He said ‘Godforsaken frozen island’?”
T: “I dunno, he said the same sort of thing but well played anyway!”
C: “Y’know, that band really needs to quit borrowing our jokes!”
Do you see ska becoming more mainstream anytime soon?
C: “No, in fact in the States it’s three years over. What’s happening here was happening in about ’96 in the States.”
T: “Another example of how Britain is three years behind America!”
C: “No! No! We trade. The States are ahead in some things but for the most part, in music it seems like Britain is ten years ahead. Especially with drum ‘n’ bass and certain types of R‘n’B. When we came over here for the first time in ’96, the Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys were massive! I was like ‘What the fuck is this?!?” I’d never heard of them and there were screaming girls chasing them down the street! I thought ‘This shit will never fly in America’. Six months later it was in America and it had infested our youth but it had caught here first, y’know what I mean?”
So are you going to concentrate more on Britain now and do more tours over here?
C: “Now we have the means to get here. We’ve always wanted to play here more but it’s just really fucking expensive. It costs a tremendous amount of money to get us over here and to keep us over here. Money is just so boring to talk about though, ask me another question!”
I’ve got to ask it but what are your views on bands selling out?
C: “Y’know what, I want to buy a house! When you move out of your parents house you’re going to want to buy a house and find a way to pay your bills too. If that’s through playing music, music that other people get off on, there’s not a fucking thing wrong with that. It seems like the people that have a problem with band selling out are more obsessed with money than the bands doing it!”
Isaac: “But is it ok for bands to change their style to suit the audience?”
C: “That’s a good question. You have to keep something in mind; human beings age, if they’re in a band or not and the older you get, the more your interests change. A lot of the time you mellow, I’m not nearly as angry now as I was when I was eighteen but I still love heavy, angry music. For example, that last Green Day album is pretty mellow but I honestly believe that that’s the record they wanted to make. I don’t think they thought they’d make more money if they put out a mellow record. If people think they sold out by making a mellow record then those people can go buy a fucking AFI record because y’know, they’re not mellow!”
C: “Oh, you should check them out, they’re pretty fucking amazing. I don’t think they like us very much but they’re a good band!”
They’re touring over here in May…
C: “Oh, let’s have a little plug for AFI! Who’s supporting them?”
They haven’t said.
C: “Damned if I know! Speaking of the Damned, do you like them?”
No, not really!
C: “The Buzzcocks?”
No! They’re too old!
C: “Really? The Damned are my favourite punk band! I was in a room full of people the other night that had come from our show in London and they were as punk as kids get today but they had no idea who the Buzzcocks were! That really depressed me because they were English kids! The Damned are amazing! Who’s your favourite band?”
Less than Jake…
C: “And you don’t like the Damned?!? WOW!!! OK!”
Nowadays music is just much better quality! In the production and in the music…
C: “Not at all! Better produced yes, absolutely 100%”
My view is that there was no good punk music before the nineties.
C: “THE NINETIES?!? <
Look at NOFX records!!! Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll and the stuff they did in the eighties is the worst stuff they’ve ever released! Now look at them in ’94 and they’re amazing!
C: “Yeah, absolutely, bands grow and they get better but what about Gen X or the Pistols for Christ’s sake?!? You will not find a better produced punk rock record than ‘Never mind the Bollocks’. EVER!”
Random person: “The Offspring!”
C: “The Offspring?!?”
They were one of the only good bands in the eighties!
C: “THE OFFSPRING?!? Have you ever heard of a guy called Sammy Haigar? He sang for Van Halen for a couple of years…”
That’s not good!
C: “No, it’s not good but his original band were called Montrose and that’s exactly what the Offspring sound like! But anyway, when you get older you’ll go back and you’ll start listening to X-Ray Specs, maybe the Exploited although their records do sound like shit! They’re a great band though. Fuck, the list is endless!”
So what’s influenced you as a band?
C: “I think the loyalty of the people that keep coming to our shows. It’s un-fucking-believable! There’s this one guy in the States who’s been to 40 Goldfinger shows! I don’t know who he is and I’ve never had a conversation with him but he’s always there! We’ll be in Kansas and he’ll be in the front row. We’ll be in Hawaii or New York and he’ll be in the front row! I don’t know what he does for money, if he’s selling his ass in fucking truck stops on the way but he shows up!!! There’s people with Goldfinger tattoos. I don’t have a tattoo of any of my favourite bands and I would lay down and die for Fishbone! Chicks have also influenced us because I’m not really an attractive guy!”
You shouldn’t put yourself down!
C: “Were it not for playing music, most musicians couldn’t get girls to talk to them!”
I: “Nah, if it weren’t for guitars! I’m a drummer and girls just leave me alone!”
C: “Nooo! Girls like drummers! Girls that I know at least.”
T: “You should move to America Isaac!”
What bands have influenced you then?
C: “The Police and the Replacements are probably Goldfingers collective biggest influences and Fishbone as well. Even other bands that we don’t really sound like, like the Chilli Peppers, because we grew up in Los Angeles. The Chilli Peppers used to be a really sincere, unbelievably fucking amazing live band, they were crazy! They were one of the best live bands you’ll ever see in your life. Again, have they sold out? No, they’ve just gotten older, they don’t want to jump around with socks on their dicks anymore! They’ve got kids now…Here’s a thing; if you get older and your music doesn’t change then I think you’re selling out.”
C: “Motorhead can only speak one language and it’s amazing! They’re different, they’re an exception to the rule. I’m talking about bands like Aerosmith, they refuse to age gracefully! They just look like idiots now. At one point, they were an incredibly valid rock ‘n’ roll band, now they’re a joke.”
What about the Vandals?
C: “I don’t know shit about the Vandals! Not thing one! I know Josh is a buddy of mine but that’s it. I know they’re funny!”
Well, they used to be!
C: “You seem very jaded, very judgmental. You have plenty of opinions!”
Yes I do! Have you ever got into any fight s with any of the bands you’ve toured with?
C: “Oh, fuck yeah! We’ve had words with Less than Jake on several occasions!”
C: “We supported them in 1996 and we thought they were cool and we had no problem with them but apparently our tour manager had some sort of problem. It was all unbeknown to us, we had no idea but they blamed us and ever since then they’ve run around talking shit about us! To kids, in interviews, whatever! Every time we have a show with them or something we confront them and we’re like ‘What’s the fucking problem?’ because we thought there wasn’t a problem and they never stand up to us. Then six months later when we’re in the same town we read an interview and they’re talking shit about us again so they’re a bunch of pussies! They’re a bunch of two-faced, shit-talking girls!”
I’m not listening!
C: “Well it’s the truth and y’know what? We’ve had it with their shit! We’ve never started shit with them, we don’t have a problem with them, we’ve never had a problem with them but for some reason they can never a)shut up about us or b)man up to their own words! So our patience is over with them! We’re done with them!”
That doesn’t sound like the Less than Jake I know!
C: “Well, y’know, they’re happy, fun-loving, baloney-sandwich-eating buffoons! We’ve given them plenty of chances because we are not an angry band. We’re not and we get along with plenty of bands but for some reason they have to be a bunch of little bitches when it comes to us! And you can tell them that when they come over here next month, you can play them that tape! We’ve tried to make our piece with them and they won’t have it.”
When I asked them if they’ve gotten into any fights with anyone they didn’t say anything…
C: “It’s never gotten into a physical confrontation. It got to a point at a show in Florida where we rolled up on them and we were gonna fight them but they all backed down!”
You shouldn’t do it in Florida, it’s where they come from, they own that place!
T: “You should’ve whooped their asses in their home town!”
C: “You see, the thing is, we don’t want to fight with them, we don’t have a fucking problem with them, or we didn’t at least! Actually, I know other bands, like the Voodoo Glow Skulls and several other bands who’ve told us that they’ve had similar experiences with Less than Jake.”
Well, I’ve heard bad things about the Voodoo Glow Skulls!
C: “Bad Religion as well! How can you talk shit about Bad Religion?!? None of us would be here if it weren’t for Bad Religion!”
T: “Is that the only band you’ve got into a fight with?”
C: “We’ve had bands that we’ve got problems with but we’ll keep that to ourselves because we’re that kind of band. But Less than Jake, I have no sympathy for or no patience for because they won’t drop it. Either that or there’s a bunch of reporters and a bunch of kids that just lie!”
I: “The media lies!”
What’s been the best show you’ve ever played?
C: “Opening for Kiss at Irvine Meadows in 1997. It was their reunion tour and it wasn’t just us, it was a festival. It was us, No Doubt, KORN, Social Distortion I think, and Kiss headlined. Pretty fucking amazing!”
Do you know of any small bands back in America that deserve more recognition?
C: “Yeah, there’s a little band called the Deftones who you might not have heard of. They’re friends of ours and they’ll be pretty big one day! No, there’s a band called the Blue Meanies out of Chicago. Psycho! It’s crazy, like no music you’ve ever heard. There’s also a band called American Headcharge. They’re the ugliest, heaviest music you’ve ever heard. They have a record coming out in June I think, produced by Rick Rubin. Heavy, ugly, amazing music!”
I: “How many spoons to do you own?”
C: “It depends on if I’ve had junky friends over or not because they tend to burn them! It’s variable.”
I: “What’s your favourite type of spoon?”
C: “There was a band in Los Angeles in ’84, ’85 called Spoon. They had a girl singer and they were really ugly and amazing music. That’s my favourite Spoon.”
I: “Do you have any spoons in your tour bus?”
c: “No, we’re currently experiencing a spoon depletion! We’re spoonless as oppose to some bands who are spoon-fed!”
I: “Have you ever had any paranormal experiences with spoons?”
I: “Explain please!”
C: “In my youth there was a TV show called “That’s Incredible” and on the show there was this psychic who could bend spoons with his mind…”
I: “Uri Gellar? Or was he the astronaut?!?”
T: “That was Uri Gegarin!”
Y’know, the CIA once left Uri Gellar in a room with a pig and told him to kill it by the time they got back because they wanted to see if they could use his mind powers as a weapon in war! He didn’t do it though.
I: “You learn something new everyday!”
C: “No I don’t, but that’s great! Y’know what? Maybe Uri Gellar was a nice person and maybe he didn’t want to kill an animal.”
Maybe he couldn’t kill it?
I: “Have you got any sentimental value for any spoons anywhere?”
C: “When I was in Junior High I thought it would be cool to take a spoon in my metal shop class, flatten it out completely, bend it around my wrist and wear where it as a bracelet. I thought that would be really unique. But I got a bunch of shit for it! People were like ‘Is that in case you get hungry and you don’t have anything to eat with?!”
I: “If you could give a spoon as a present to any one person who would it be?”
C: “You! A gilded, jewel-encrusted spoon..”
I: “With food left on it?”
C: “No, with cocaine in it! A coke spoon! In the seventies all the guys with hairy chests wore a little coke spoon around their neck. I believe Paul Stanley from Kiss wore one.”
I: “Just out of general interest, do you know who out of the A-Team is still alive? <
C: “I think all of them with the exception of George Poppard.”
I heard Mr. T died of cancer!
A couple of years ago?
C: “No he did not! Absolutely not! If you’d have said in the last couple of weeks I’d have believed you because a friend of mine does production work on television commercials and he just did a commercial with Mr. T. He’s alive!”
I: “I’m sure Face is dead, Hannibal’s dead, Murdoch’s dead but Mr. T is still alive.”
C: “NO! MURDOCH’S DEAD?!”
Murdoch can’t be dead!
T: “He was the best! He’d always get them out of their messes!”
C: “Oh yeah, all the good ones die, look at Jimi Hendrix. Jimi Hendrix and Murdoch…”
T: “Brothers in arms!”
I: “Is there anything else you’d like to say to Birmingham?”
C: “I’d like to buy the world a spoon! No, I have to say, this has to be the least painful interview I’ve done in at least a year! The most interesting…it’s just felt like a conversation. You guys are welcome to interview us anytime you want!”
I: “Darrin, has anything interesting ever happened to you with a spoon?”
D: “Err, I think I had a spoon up my ass once!”
I: OK, that’ll do!” <
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