Nothing goes better with a fine meal than some good tunes. Welcome to the first installment of a regular series we're calling "Band Bites," where we interview cool, up-and-coming bands about everything food -- from what they nosh before the show to their favorite late-night spots to hit up across the country.
This week I caught up with Dr. Dog, the kick-ass retro psychedelic rock outfit from Philly. After signing with Anti-Records in the summer of 2009, the boys -- Toby Leaman (bass/vocals), Scott McMicken (guitar/vocals), Andrew Jones (guitar), Eric Slick (drums) and Zach Miller (keyboard) -- released "Shame, Shame" in April of last year. The band's gearing up for their spring tour now and they've got a lot of eating to do.
What do you eat before a show?
We have our rider with all the standards: pita, hummus, chips, salsa, lunch meats. We're usually trying not to eat before the show so we don't feel all full onstage. We like to leave a couple hours in there.
What's your favorite thing to get after a show?
Pizza or burritos.
What's your favorite post-NYC show meal?
Pizza is always a sure bet there -- it's a bit of a cliché but it's true.
What's your favorite post-LA meal?
After our show at The Wiltern we wrangled up some insanely awesome Korean food -- that was a real triumph. And of course, burritos/tacos are always a winner in L.A.
Have any groupies ever made you anything and sent it backstage?
Well, we don't have "groupies" in the traditional sense -- trust me, we don't. But there are a few superfans who make us cookies, mainly. We have also been treated to a vast array of hot dogs in Chattanooga.
What are your fondest food memories? Any of them documented in your music?
We had a truly epic family-style Italian meal in Berlin at this punk rock, staunchly authentic restaurant owned by a friend of our sound engineer, Whiz. The whole meal itself went on for hours. There must have been 20 courses and then the wine and prosecco and grappa...
What's your favorite city for eating before or after you've played a gig?
Ah, I almost forgot about San Francisco! Lots of great ethnic restaurants there.
What is your favorite tour bus snack?
We have a little egg poacher so in the morning -- or more likely the early afternoon -- we'll make some eggs with some black beans and frozen spinach on top of a tortilla with salsa and avocado. That's some good eating.
What hometown meal do you miss the most when you're on the road?
Decent hoagies are tough to come by and of course the cheesesteaks and roast pork are tough to find. But we don't really eat that stuff all the time when we're home anyway.
Who's the best cook in the band? What's his best dish?
Toby and I (band manager, Brian Winton) probably do more cooking than the rest of the band combined. He can make a killer white chili and barbecue. I've been obsessed with Sichuan food recently and I think I've got a pretty decent Ma-po tofu down. I also make a damn good muffin bread, a recipe I got from my mom and what also got me interested in cooking. Whiz, our sound guy is the real champion, though -- he can grill up some seriously good barbecue.
Any food favorites of the entire band?
All your basic band stuff: burritos, pizza, barbecue, sushi, Thai, In-N-Out.
Backstage requests? Have you ever requested 10,000 M&Ms, but none of them brown?
We get the discarded brown M&Ms at a cut rate.