07/25/2011 10:52 am ET | Updated Sep 24, 2011

Band Bites: Avoiding 'Stage Sludge' With The Fling


The Long Beach, Calif. indie rockers known as The Fling draw inspiration from an eclectic mix of folk, rock, pop and psychedelic music. Their sound has been described as, "Classic '60s pop, '90s alternative and contemporary indie-rock clashing fluidly to create a strangely nostalgic effect." The foursome -- Dustin and Graham Lovelis, Justin Roeland and Justin Ivey -- released their first full-length album, When the Madhouses Appear, just last year. As the band continues to tour the country, we wanted to know what keeps them fueled up. Here's a look at what the guys are eating on the road.

What do you eat before a show?
Dustin: I usually eat way too much before a show.
Graham: Yeah, something small. You don't want stage sludge.
Justin R.: I try not to eat anything too close to show time -- I get too burpy. I usually eat some fruit or a carrot stick works too.
Justin I.: Something tiny as well. Don't want to have a brick in the belly.

What's your favorite thing to get after a show? Does it vary depending on city?
D.L.: We've been known to get a little rambunctious at Taco Zone.
G.L.: Something heavy and exotic.
J.R.: I often feel the need to reward myself after a show, or just fill up the gullet quickly. I've been known to stoop low at this point, like 7-Eleven sausage biscuit low... very dark.
J.I.: It depends on the city for sure. You can't go wrong with Mexican food in L.A. I had some pretty insane pizza in N.Y. near Webster Hall. I usually like to get Thai food after a show if it's around.

Have any groupies ever made you anything and sent it backstage?
D.L.: We got a cake once for our album release. Thanks, Becky.
J.I.: That cake was delicious.

Any food that musically inspires you?
D.L.: Whiskey.
G.L.: Sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese on sourdough.
J.R.: I think the process of taking the time to gather ingredients and put some thought into coming up with a unique meal inspires me. I like to put a record on, make a night out of it, even if it doesn't turn out perfect it just feels good to share it. Usually if you cook, you're pardoned from dish duty too, it's worth it.
J.I.: Any kind of Gumbo. I get super jazzy if I have any of that -- especially shrimp gumbo.

What are your fondest food memories? Any of them documented in your music?
D.L.: I miss the days when I could eat a Snickers without having to take an Advil and sleep for 3 hours.
J.R.: I would have to say my fondest memories are stuffing half chewed green beans under my napkin as a kid because I couldn't stand them, and then I 'd fill up on potatoes and bread. I remember when I discovered how much I loved cooked spinach as a bachelor, I couldn't live without it now. Oh, and peaches -- I could eat peaches for days.
J.I.: My grandmother's green beans and fried okra from her garden in east Tennessee. My dad is a great cook and he makes an incredible pasta dish that will blow your socks off. Anything he makes will change your life.

What's your favorite city for eating before or after you've played a gig?
J.R.: I'd say NYC or Chicago, there's always places open and if you know where to look you can find exactly what your hankering for.
J.I.: Chicago for sure, Giordano's Pizza is the best pizza I've ever had. I ordered one and had them bring it to The Metro when we were there. It was destroyed by us -- so good.

What is your favorite tour bus snack?
D.L.: Bands still have tour buses? I'm pretty into assorted nuts.
J.R.: Dustin plows through sunflower seeds like a deranged pigeon and leaves a heaping pile of shells on the floor -- it's actually kind of impressive.
J.I.: Protein bars and trial mix -- gotta have 'em.

What hometown meal do you miss the most when you are on the road?
D.L.: Hole Mole, it's the cheapest Mexican food I know of -- you can eat for under $3 if you're smart about it.
G.L.: Coco Renos tastes like home to me. It's the size of a breadbox and it's attached to a bar -- it's cozy.
J.R.: Star of Siam Thai restaurant, duck curry.
J.I.: My girlfriend's cooking. She makes this amazing chicken adobo dish that I crave when we are gone. She usually makes it for me the day I get back.

Who's the pickiest eater in the band? What's his deal?
D.L.: Probably Justin Roeland since he grew up on farms in upstate New York where you actually grow your own food.
G.L.: I'll eat anything except those circus peanut candies -- those should be illegal.
J.R.: True I am picky, but Graham and Ivey are close behind.
J.I.: I think it's me, at least about convenience. I don't really eat fast food, so I usually have to dig a little deeper to find something when we are on the go. I also don't eat a lot of meat, so it makes it tough sometimes.

Who's the best cook in the band? What's his best dish?
D.L.: I'm a pretty good cook, but I did have some fish that Roeland made once and it was pretty good. It's a close call, we should have a cook off.
G.L.: I make a mean steak au poivre.
J.R.: Yes, challenge accepted. Rachael Ray, wanna get in on this?
J.I.: I have aspirations of being a good chef, but it just doesn't work. I make a great shrimp and vegetable dish and I'm a great kitchen helper.

Any food favorites of the entire band?
D.L.: On tour it's got to be Subway's five dollar foot-longs -- I just had the meatball-pepperoni the other day.
G.L.: We drink a lot of Pellegrino -- something about those bubbles...
J.R.: Subway or Wholefoods. Wholefoods can seem like an oasis after endless truck stop grazing.
J.I.: I need to have water by me -- I'm always thirsty, so a Smartwater or a Pellegrino can usually be found pretty close to us.

Have you come across any on-the-road food discoveries, hidden gems, restaurants or roadside vendors?
D.L.: Diablo dogs in Austin are insane.
G.L.: So were the gourmet quesadillas -- Austin has amazing street food.
J.I.: There is a place in Philly called The Original Turkey -- It's my Graceland.

Backstage requests?
D.L.: Just whiskey and water for now. Eventually I'd like to get a football helmet filled with cottage cheese.
G.L.: I just request that we have a backstage.
J.R.: Sometimes it's tough enough just to get a bottle of water. How about brie with the rind cut off? A little ham hock?
J.I.: I'm with Graham, I just want a place to hang. If it has whiskey, that's a bonus.

Have you ever requested 10,000 M&Ms, but none of them brown?
G.L.: I usually request 10,000 M&Ms, one of them brown.
J.I.: I would never want to have that job.