Josh Grier of Tapes n' Tapes loves Letterman's cookies, Surly's beer
No napkin required
Tapes n' Tapes singer Josh Grier is a guy after our own heart: He knows the exact number of steps between his home and his favorite bar, and when it came time to submit a photo, he offered to dig through his extensive stash of food-on-face pictures. Throw in addictions to sushi and Surly, and this is one rock star we'd be happy to invite to a dinner party.
1. Is there a bar or restaurant in town that considers you a regular? What draws you to that particular spot? I used to be a regular at the Red Dragon. I lived 78 steps from their backdoor, they had the best drinks in town, Tony was the fastest server on the planet, and you couldn't beat the atmosphere. But times change--I moved, Tony moved, so it's been a while since I've been to the Dragon. The closest I am to being a regular anywhere nowadays is at the downtown Origami for happy hour. Although recently I haven't been there as often as I would like. How can it get better than first-class sushi at happy hour prices, with a great staff, and some hot sake? I can't get enough, especially since I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to sushi.
2. When playing shows with other bands have you ever experienced any crazy rider requests--for example, Van Halen allegedly requested a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown M&Ms removed. Does Tapes n' Tapes have any unique rider requests or must-haves? Sadly, I've never experienced any crazy rider requests firsthand. I've always thought ridiculous riders were pretty hilarious, though. I used to kill time on thesmokinggun.com looking at all of the insane things that people put down. If you ever want to waste an hour of your time and know way more about the eccentricities of your favorite/least favorite musicians, you should check it out.
We've always had a pretty tame rider. The most specific thing that we ask for is that there be nothing containing peanuts (since one of us has a nut allergy.) It's very rock 'n' roll.
3. Who has better green-room food--Letterman or Conan? I honestly don't remember too much about the food at either show. They both had a veggie tray and some sandwich fixins. I don't eat much before we play, 'cause singing and moving around on a full stomach isn't really the best combo. On top of that, I was pretty geeked out and trying to take everything else in, so I wasn't paying too much attention to the food situation. However, I do remember that Letterman had some really amazing cookies.
4. What's your take on First Avenue serving legitimate food: It's about time, or you prefer the days of frozen pizza on a paper plate? I love it! I was so excited when I heard that they were opening the Depot. How do you make the best club even better? Add a bar/restaurant to it, obviously! Now you can go hang out at First Ave even if there isn't a show going on that night. With Target Field opening up, too, it's just perfect. For touring bands it must be great, too I'm always a big fan of any venue that has an attached restaurant. Getting good food close to a venue can be tough.
5. When on tour, what are the best towns to play in when it comes to food? Now that's a tough question. There's so many places with great food. I'm going to break it down into a few categories.
Best food at a venue: The Bottletree, Birmingham, Alabama. They have the best beans and rice I've ever had.
Best restaurant I always go to near the venue: Brown Sugar Cafe, Boston. This is some of the best Thai food I've ever had. They make a mean curry and a wicked noodle.
Best city to eat in: New York City. You can pretty much get anything you want whenever you want, and it's better than most anything else you've ever had.
Best part of the country to be driving through when you're hungry and in a hurry: California (a.k.a. In-N-Out Burgerland). I crave In-N-Out burger. If I see one I have to stop. At this point in life, I pretty much avoid all other fast food, but I can't resist a juicy Double Double.
Best/worst best place to eat because you never know what you're gonna get: Tokyo. As I previously mentioned, I love sushi, and for that matter, pretty much all Japanese food. But I was not prepared for the food we had in Tokyo. The ramen, sushi, and shabu shabu were amazing. Most of the other food I had was unlike anything I'd ever had. If you ever are in the mood for something completely different, give natto (fermented soybeans) a try. It's supposedly great for your health...
6. In a showdown between Surly, Summit, and Grain Belt, which would you say is your favorite local beverage? No disrespect to the other two, but I gotta go with Surly. That's some mighty fine beer.
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