Minneapolis indie rockers Tapes 'n Tapes finally released the album they've always wanted to make in January of this year. "Outside," consists of 12 playful and melodic tunes that capture the essence and energy of their live show. "We had a great time making 'Outside' and we wanted our enjoyment of the process to be audible in the recording -- I think we succeeded," says Josh Grier, lead singer. All of this hard work has left the boys hungry. We caught up with Grier this week to discuss cooking for one, BBQ, and bratwurst.
What do you eat before a show?
We usually try and find whatever is the tastiest/most affordable thing we can find within walking distance of the venue. If we're lucky it's sushi, Thai, Indian or BBQ.
What's your favorite thing to get after a show?
I don't typically eat much after a show. The one exception is if we're in Austin, I will hunt down the nearest Best Wurst stand and get a brat with everything on it. The name doesn't lie--it really is the best.
What's your favorite post-NYC show meal? Post-LA show meal?
Sadly, I don't think we've ever been out to a post show dinner in NYC or LA. It sounds like a great idea, so that needs to change. Ask me again in a year, and I'll have an answer for you.
Have any groupies ever made you anything and sent it backstage?
I don't think so. I hope I'm not forgetting anything, but I don't think we've ever been given the gift of food.
Any food that musically inspires you?
There really isn't any one food that inspires me, but the food I eat definitely effects my general state of mind. If I don't get enough spicy food, everything starts to look grey, so I try to keep things hot. Having a good variety of food, and enough heat in my diet keeps me in a good mood, which definitely helps me make music.
What are your fondest food memories? Any of them documented in your music?
I've never brought good food memories into any of our songs. We do have an old song called "Moldy Bread," about the perils of buying food/cooking for one. I think my fondest food memory is from eating dinner at La Belle Vie in Minneapolis. It was an unforgettable meal. I haven't used any of it for musical inspiration, but I think I could probably get an album's worth of material from that one meal. I'll have to get started on that...
What's your favorite city for eating before or after you've played a gig?
It's a tough call between New York and Austin. I've got BBQ on the brain right now, so I've got to go with Austin. There are so many great places that are all within walking distance of downtown.
What is your favorite tour bus snack?
My favorite tour snack is Snyder's Jalapeño Pretzels, but they can be hard to find, so I probably end up eating granola bars more than anything else on tour.
What hometown meal do you miss the most when you are on the road?
I miss home cooking the most when I'm on the road. There's almost always a good restaurant every night, but there's nothing like a homemade meal.
Who's the pickiest eater in the band? What's his deal?
Jeremy, our drummer, is the pickiest eater. He's suspicious of a lot of things... food in particular.
Who's the best cook in the band? What's his best dish?
I think we're all good cooks, so it depends on what's being cooked. Erik makes a mean chili, I fancy myself as a grill master, Matt whips up some great healthy fare, and Jeremy makes the best cup of coffee.
Any food favorites of the entire band?
Kreuz's Market in Lockhart, Texas. They have no sauce and no utensils. We went there a month ago and their smoked meats have been brought up every day on tour since. I can taste it now just thinking about it.
Any on the road food discoveries, restaurants or roadside vendors? Any hidden gems you've come across?
We try to keep track of good places to eat in each town that we play. Food is always a good point of reference for every city. Kreuz's is definitely the best place we've come across recently.
For a while we would get sandwich fixings, but now the most we ever ask for is some fruit and granola bars. There's only so much food four guys can eat in a day, and being on tour is a good excuse to eat out, so we try to minimize the food backstage.
Have you ever requested 10,000 M&Ms, but none of them brown?
It would be way more interesting if we had, but no. The most specific request we have is no peanut products, since one of us is allergic.