Interview: Less Than Jake's Chris Demakes talks ahead of Birmingham show

It’s hot, it’s loud, it’s covered in funky hair and has a hint of cinnamon…It’s the Fireball Whisky Fuel the Fire tour – headlined by ska legends Less Than Jake.

Interview: Less Than Jake's Chris Demakes talks ahead of Birmingham show

Less Than Jake will appear at Birmingham's O2 Institute on October 7

Formed in Gainesville, Florida in 1992, the group released their debut album Pezcore and continued to rise into the stratosphere with album released on major label Capitol Records and various tours with the likes of Reel Big Fish, Blink 182, Anti Flag, New Found Glory and many more.

The group formed their very own record label Sleep It Off Records which released their seventh full-length album GNV FLA. Recently, in 2013 the band released their eighth studio album See The Light and have played festivals and headline shows across the US.

The Fuel the Fire tour comes to Birmingham’s O2 Institute on October 7, and we sat down with Less Than Jake vocalist and guitarist Chris Demakes after their recent stint across the US:

“We were recently part of the Vans Warped Tour for two months this past summer in the United States.

“The shows were packed, hot and sweaty…We loved it!

“Our festival shows differ from our upcoming venue performances but they are both great in their own way. The only way festivals are different is we get to make arses of ourselves in front of more people!

“We can’t wait to come back to Birmingham, the area is amazing. Black Sabbath and Judas Priest are from Birmingham. Need I say more?”

Their upcoming UK dates feature on the Fireball Fuel the Fire tour, a drink they have a personal affinity with.

Chris Demakes
Vocalist and guitarist Chris Demakes

“The kind folks at Fireball came to us. They heard we can drink our collective weight in Fireball Whisky and decided to take us up on the challenge. We’ve got many a tour story thanks to Fireball Whisky”.

“All the support bands we’re contacted to, we’ve toured with them all before except for Matt Stocks and Mariachi El Bronx so we’re really excited to be with them all too”.

This year, as well as being a very busy year for the band, is also the year that their sophomore album Losing Streak turns 20 years old.

The album was released in November 1996 and featured such hit songs as Automatic and Dope Man that then led to the band releasing the highly successful Hello Rockview in 1998.

We asked Chris what his highlights of this record are.

“We wrote all those songs while touring for our first record, "Pezcore". The recording itself was fairly quick and painless.

“I love playing the whole album so much. The punters seem to love it as well.

On recent dates, they’ve been playing both Losing Streak and Hello Rockview in full…But will the UK be just as lucky?

“That's the beauty of a Less Than Jake show. You truly never know what to expect.

“There is a good chance we could play either of those records, sure. As far as what else to expect, that depends on how much whisky we consume!

So the jury on that is still out, but we can ensure that whether or not you hear old favourites from Less Than Jake – new favourites are coming.

“We are working on new music and recording as I speak, following the release of See The Light back in 2013 which went down a storm, we will be back soon with new music”

Finally, we wanted to know what we can expect next from Less Than Jake.

“Aside from the new album we are writing, lots more touring! Currently we are booked through until March of 2017”.

Less Than Jake will be appearing on Fireball Whisky’s Fuel the Fire tour, which appears at Birmingham’s O2 Institute on October 5.

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