Welcome to Sound Cheque, where we sit down with one of our favorite bands to get the scoop on their city-by-city dining picks.
Twin Sister. [Photo: Twin Sister]
In the last year or so Brooklyn's Twin Sister went from relative obscurity to every mag's "band to watch." Their fuzzy rhythms and ethereal vocals (call 'em 'chillwave' if you must), have earned them loyal followings in the US and UK. They've toured frequently in North America and Europe, and have developed a special love for the home-cooked meals and simple foods. I caught up with keyboardist Dev Gupta to talk dinner parties and the all-band potluck.
Do you guys have any favorite US cities to tour in because of the food (outside of NYC of course)?
Food on the West coast has always been good. We tend to favor Japanese and Mexican food on tour, and California always treats us well. To be honest, the names of the restaurants become kind of a blur. We don't have the time or money to hunt down great food most of the time, so we usually just ask someone from the staff at the venue. I'm still working on planning a tour that centers around a meal at the French Laundry.
You guys are in Philly right now mixing your latest album — have you ventured out and sampled any local fare?
Stop reading this article and get yourself to Paesano's in Fishtown right now! They have the best sandwiches I've ever had, except for, maybe, Saltie [in Brooklyn].
Do you or anyone in the band have any particular food requirements when touring?
Eric (guitar/vocals) is a vegetarian and Andrea (lead vocals) is allergic to dairy and eggplant!
Has this made it difficult eating on the road?
I'm not the one who has to deal with it day to day, but it seems like venues and promoters have gotten very used to dealing with bands with special dietary requests, and always have a couple of options lined up. In general, it seems that eating vegetarian or vegan has become significantly easier all around the country. Things can get a bit dicey in the Midwest, but Subway's $5 Veggie Delight is always coming up on the next exit.
Can you describe your best food experience on tour?
Our best food experiences on tour have always come from meals made by friends/family at their homes. Eating out becomes tedious very quickly, and no matter how good a restaurant is, they're usually trying to make an impression with their food, which results in food that's a little too rich to eat daily.
We did a European tour in late November/early December, which ended in Barcelona. We were staying with a friend who was holding a Thanksgiving dinner for all of her American friends and about 12 people came over and all made something for the meal. It was the night Barcelona beat Real Madrid 5-0, and we could hear the city losing its mind as we ate. It was great!
What are your favorite local NY spots you crave when you're away?
Best Pizza in Williamsburg is amazing. I really like Almondine in Dumbo and I always miss H&H bagels.
Do you have any dining rituals to stay healthy on tour? What do you guys swear by?
Moderation in everything!
Do you splurge on more fine-dining/upscale restaurants at home or when touring? If so, do you have any favorites, please describe?
We can't really afford fine dining, so we tend to splurge on really nice groceries and produce and cook at home. We are however, always open to being wined and dined by industry big shots.
So do you guys cook together often?
After we made our last EP, "Color Your Life," we wanted to say thanks to all the people who had helped us make it, so we made dinner for all of them, and all of us made something. Eric made a soup he slaved over all day, Andrea made these Vietnamese ribs, I made Raajma and Chicken Tikka Masala, Bryan made grilled shrimp wrapped in bacon served with cream cheese, Gabe marinated some vegetables and grilled them and also made some hot dogs. Normally we make simpler food. Eric and Andrea make great rice and beans, Bryan has been indulging in super slow cooked scrambled eggs lately, Gabe has been exploring the world of noodles, and I've been trying to recreate my mother's Indian cooking.
Do you guys ever try street food on tour (or at home)? What are some of your favorite food carts in the US?
The halal cart on 53rd and 6th in Manhattan is really special, and we got some really great hot dogs in Seattle from a cart whose name I have now forgotten. The Red Hook (Brooklyn, NY) vendors, are however, the hands down winners for best street food.
Do you have a go-to cocktail or beer you have before or after shows?
I like a neat whiskey or two before we play. After shows, it's a free-for-all.
And on the flipside: do you have a go-to hangover remedy on the road?
No, but I'm all ears, please!
And finally, if Twin Sister could be summed up as a food or meal - what would it be?
What's your biggest food vice on tour?
And now for a lightning round of your fave pics:
Best burger: Shake Shack (New York, NY)
Best diner: Candy Kitchen (Bridgehampton, CT)
Best pizza: Best Pizza (Brooklyn, NY)
Best taco/burrito: Tortilla Factory (Brooklyn, NY)
Best coffee/tea shop: Rocket Cat (Philadelphia, PA)
Best bakery or sweets shop: Almondine (Brooklyn, NY)
Best bar: Sweet Ups (Brooklyn, NY)
Twin Sister's latest EP "Color Your Life" is available now at Insound.
Check out Twin Sister's video for "All Around We Go"
· Twin Sister [Official Site]
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