11/23/2011 12:20 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2012

Crystal Stilts Battle for Best Chef


JB Townsend and Andy Adler of Brooklyn's Crystal Stilts talk to Band Bites today about their love of Mexican food, eating what the locals eat, and bad luck in Madrid. Check out their newest music as soon as possible and gift them some beef jerky at their next show.

What do you eat before a show?
JB- We usually eat dinner locally while on tour. Often somewhere recommended by the promoter or local denizens.
AA- Yes, the best thing to do is play to strengths, focus on local and regional specialties and cuisine. And try not to eat anything too heavy close to show time. The rich food is best after.

What's your favorite thing to get after a show?
JB- Well, we once got some amazing food after a wild show in Manchester at an excellent place called Abdul. The story however has become somewhat of a band myth, or one could say the farcical recounts of a whimsical pack of sleep depraved hessian dogs. I allegedly, or at least the way some people would like to think it went down was -- I alone ate TWO and some claim THREE giant burrito style shwarma sandwiches. This however will now be on the record as 100 percent false, as I clearly and quietly ate one giant sandwich.

Does it vary depending on city?
JB- It really does. You don't go for American food in Poland etc. I've learned that the hard way. It's actually a very big part of the tour experience in the states as well.
AA - Indeed. Keegan is very good at hunting down the local delicacy, be it well-known or a hushed mention. It is always worthwhile to ask around, survey the citizens, also to use a discerning eye when wandering.

What's your favorite post-NYC show meal?
JB- Probably a nice beer. I don't eat much late night but if I do I'm usually on the hunt for Mexican. Some of the best in New York is probably the Taco trucks in Queens.

What's your favorite post-LA meal?
Maybe some ice cream?

Have any groupies ever made you anything and sent it backstage?
JB- If you mean like somebody once made "something" and set it on fire and threw it at us, then yes.

What's your favorite city for eating before or after you've played a gig?
JB- Whoa! We had some bad luck in Madrid last time. Kinda struck out on a good meal there.

AA - Oh, I had some excellent food in Madrid. Seafood tapas, and a terrific, fried potato, egg, bacon concoction, the name of which I forget right now. Though we were somewhat thwarted by the differing hours of Spanish dining. In Spain it seems one can walk into any bar and get great small sandwiches. Good cheeses, anchovies, and more.

What is your favorite tour bus snack?
JB- beef Jerky.
AA- Never underestimate the simple power of a Triscuit. Or a dark chocolate Hobnob.

What hometown meal do you miss the most when you are on the road?
JB- when in Europe it's Mexican.

Who's the pickiest eater in the band? What's his deal?
JB- Ah well, things like eating and internal clocks get weird when you're on tour. I think we've all had our moments of disgrace. One gets Hangry at times.

Who's the best cook in the band? what's their best dish?
JB- That would be me. My tomato sauce from scratch is soaring to new heights right now.
AA - I think Keegan and myself might take umbrage at that claim to the title. I made a stellar Thai chicken, yam, curry soup the other day if I dare say so.

Any food favorites of the entire band?
JB- Indian food in the UK is really good.
AA- Our friend Andy took us for an authentic Bavarian beer hall meal/experience in Munich. Beer and brats that'll blow your mind.

Any on the road food discoveries or restaurants or roadside vendors... some hidden gems you've come across?
JB- We had a good meal after looking for a place to eat for a while in Bavaria at this secluded restaurant
AA- La Super Rica in Santa Barbara. Though championed by Julia Child perhaps it isn't too obscure but that in no way takes away from just how good it is. Bean dip in Phoenix. Cuban sandwiches in Seattle. Slows in Detroit. Niki's West in Birmingham. JB Sr's Mussels in La Rochelle.

Backstage requests? Have you ever requested 10,000 M&Ms, but none of them brown?
JB- All brown only.