What does one of the hottest indie rock bands in the country eat after a show? This week, we caught up with Local Natives to ask them about All Things Delicious from coast to coast -- as well as backstage (think: homemade double-fudge brownies in Dublin). Fresh off the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, the Silver Lake, CA quintet is currently touring -- and eating -- across the U.S.
What do you eat before a show?
We really try not to eat anything a couple hours before a show because it messes up our performance/singing. It's tough to say no though when you're in a different country and the promoter plans just enough time for you to eat a huge meal they've prepared and then go right on stage. We were in Italy once and they took us out to this restaurant that had such amazing food and it was like torture. We had to go on in 45 minutes and I had this gnocchi/linguini Bolognese combo that I could only eat half of and I was still burping up garlic bread on everyone in front of me during the show. Gross.
What's your favorite thing to get after a show?
Well, because we try not to eat before, we are pretty starving right afterwards, and also since it's usually late we don't have many options. It's usually going wherever our friends swear by and eat what they eat. It turns out really great a good percentage of the time.
Does it vary depending on city?
Indeed it does. Although eating late really limits your choices, we've been lucky enough to have found a go-to joint in most of the cities we normally play. Magnolia's is a great one for Austin, their queso dip is incredible.
What's your favorite post-NYC show meal?
I'm not saying it's the best pizza joint in New York, but we always have fun at Rosario's Pizza. It helps to be drunk or high. Garlic knots!
What's your favorite post-LA meal?
As far as late-night eats are concerned, we're talking about either Britespot for a sit-down time, or Burrito King for standing up or to-go. The California burritos there are amazing. Again, it always helps to be effed up.
Have any groupies ever made you anything and sent it backstage?
We've gotten cookies before, but one time this woman made some double-fudge brownies and brought them to a promo thing we did in Dublin that were incredible. We had not eaten much that day either, so you can just imagine how tasty those were.
Any food that musically inspires you?
For me, preparing a meal connects most with making music. There is so much care and dedication to making a great meal or song -- you want to be proud of it and enjoy it hopefully as someone else would. I annoy a lot of friends and my lady by taking an hour just to make a sandwich. But then they taste it and say, "Ahhhh! This is really good!" Then it's all worth it.
What are your fondest food memories? Any of them documented in your music?
The first time I ate at Paseo in Seattle. I was on tour with the Union Line, a band we're friends with from Orange County, and I had no money to eat at this place we decided to go to. One of the guys took pity on me and bought me a Cuban shredded pork-shoulder sandwich from there. It came with this garlic aioli, sautéed onions and jalapenos on this perfectly-made baguette -- it is to this day one of the best things I've ever tasted. We go back every time we're in town. As far as that being documented in music, the love I felt from the gift of that sandwich I will never forget, and it makes me want to be a better person, which hopefully will allow me to make better music. Yeah, I might be reaching, but you have to have this sandwich to understand. Jesus it's good.
What is your favorite tour bus snack?
Well, we've only been on a tour bus for one tour, but I guess I'd say the bagel sandwiches we make from the rider the night before.
What hometown meal do you miss the most when you are on the road?
We live in L.A., so we always miss the Mexican food. No one does it as good as L.A., and the farther you get, the sadder it is. Ever try a burrito in Dublin? Nachos in Berlin? It sucks because you want it so bad that when you see it on the menu anywhere you are, you get it even though you know it's going to be absolutely horrible. That's addiction man.
Who's the pickiest eater in the band? What's his deal?
Everyone in the band loves good food, so there isn't anyone holding the group back in that sense. Although, Ryan is always hungry so he thinks with his stomach and not his brain. We've agreed that I have to review everything he wants to order before he orders it. A hungry man can make some pretty poor decisions when he's not careful, like, truck-stop steak dinners in Spain. Super-gross.
Who's the best cook in the band? What's his best dish?
Me (Kelcey Ayer)! I guess everyone would say my guacamole. I don't know if it's the best I've got in me, but it's certainly the dish I make the most frequently.
Any food favorites of the entire band?
L.A. Mexican food, deep-dish pizza from Masa (LA), and Cuban pork sandwiches from Paseo (Seattle).
Any on-the-road food discoveries, restaurants or roadside vendors? Some hidden gems you've come across?
Salt-Lick just outside of Austin is definitely an amazing barbecue institution that we finally became acquainted with just this last weekend. Pine State Biscuits would be more of a hidden gem I think in the Portland area -- best fried chicken biscuit sandwiches I've had in my life. Again (broken-record alert) Paseo in Seattle. I challenge anyone to make a better pork-shoulder Cuban sandwich (no one has even come close). Last but not least, apparently there was a lobster-roll truck a few blocks away from First Avenue in Minneapolis that I missed out on. I actually don't really want to talk about that.
Good-quality hummus (bad hummus is a huge bummer), a bottle of Jameson or Makers, Throat-Coat tea, and local micro-brew beer. Most of the time we get a ton more food and drinks and it gets wasted because we can't drink or eat it all and we feel terrible, but I think these would be the necessities of what we really need backstage.
Have you ever requested 10,000 M&Ms, but none of them brown?
Oh no. No, no, no. We love all colors. I guess you could say we are color-blind. Are you trying to trick me?