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Band Bites: Goin' Veg with Beach Fossils

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Just as Dustin Payseur was about to leave Brooklyn, N.Y., and move back home to Charlotte, N.C., he got the break he was looking for -- a record deal. Soon after joining forces with guitarist Chris Burke, bassist John Pena and drummer Tommy Lucas, Beach Fossils signed to Captured Tracks in 2009 and released their first full-length LP the following year. We recently caught up with the founding member of the four-man indie outfit to chat about water, sleep and yerba mate.

What do you eat before a show?
Cole and I get steamed veggies at the closest Asian restaurant around the venue. The others will eat anything if it's sloppy and meaty enough for them.

What's your favorite thing to get after a show?
Water and sleep.

Does it vary depending on city?
I suppose so; if it's a big city, we'll stay out later and try to find something more delicious.

What's your favorite post-NYC-show meal?
Water and sleep.

What's your favorite post-LA-show meal?
Water and sleep.

Any food that musically inspires you?
Yerba mate.

What are your fondest food memories? Any of them documented in your music?
Cooking at home or fancy dinners in Manhattan that I shouldn't be able to afford. I've never put it into my music before, though.

What's your favorite city for eating before or after you've played a gig?
NYC for sure -- so many amazing vegetarian restaurants. They're everywhere, and they are all so different.

What is your favorite tour-bus snack?
Bags of tea soaking in a water bottle, and Kinder chocolates (the hazelnut is what does it).

What hometown meal do you miss the most when you are on the road?
Cuban food at my grandparents' house.

Who's the pickiest eater in the band? What's his deal?
Cole, he's strict vegan, and I love it because it pushes me to go from vegetarian to vegan when we're on the road. It's nice to come home after a month of no sleep and drinking not feeling like I did something too awful to my body.

Who's the best cook in the band? What's their best dish?
Probably Cole again. Minimalism is his secret; he can do wonders with a lot of nothing.

Any food favorites of the entire band?
Hummus.

Any on-the-road food discoveries? Hidden gems you've come across?
Mexican food in the Southwest -- it's so good.

Backstage requests?
Our rider is insane. I bet we look like such divas, but we really do save a lot of it for the van. We ask for way more than what we need because a lot of venues will only come through with about a quarter of the request -- probably because every band asks for too much. But when we walk into a greenroom after sitting in a grimy, sweaty van for hours and see a month's worth of groceries sitting in coolers, it's like walking into heaven.

Have you ever requested 10,000 M&Ms, but none of them brown?
Not yet.

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