Having spent a huge portion on 2012 touring the world and being away from home, everyone’s favourite funk-infused rock band, The Cat Empire are coming home and bringing the instruments with them! Having just played Queenscliff festival along with a series of solo shows in the new year, and recording a new album, the boys are set to be busy and fans are bound to be satisfied as they have just been announced on the forever growing mammoth Bluesfest line up for 2013.
Upon their return to the country, we sat down with the band to talk food comas, festival food and remembering to turn the oven on.
What were your food influences when you were growing up and what kind of food did you eat at home or with your family?
Lots of meat and vegetables. The BBQ was rarely turned off! I have strong memories of eating cereal and toast at many times of the day. Breakfast was always a big production and I had to get up early enough to allow cooking and eating time – cereal, toast, eggs and bacon, banana smoothie etc.
What dish or cuisine do you most like to eat on tour and why?
Simple, healthy food is harder to come by on the road because your options are often limited to what’s within walking distance to the venue. When I get sick of making the same old sandwich in the bandroom, I’ll try and search for some good Japanese.
You’re currently making a new record; do your food/eating habits change when you’re in the studio and recording?
My intentions always start well! Meaning that at the beginning of the recording I will make my lunch at home and bring it in – healthy sandwich, fruit, bottle of water. As the weeks go by I get lazier, and sandwiches start turning into the $9.80 burger combo deal with hot chips and can of drink from the local fish n chip shop. It’s hard to beat! However it puts you into a food coma for an hour or two!
What are your favourite tour van munchies?
Chocolate is a regular guest on our tour bus, and here to stay. As are corn chips. Leftovers from the bandroom rider will make their way in dribs and drabs back to the bus, and it’s always fun seeing what can be made with those bits.
Where’s your favorite music venue to eat at?
Recently we were at Slim’s in San Francisco. We ate some fantastic Mexican food! Such a great chef. He really knew what he was doing. Otherwise, the way they do it in Europe is the probably the best. Each venue usually has a kitchen, and it’s all part of the deal when hiring the venue – you’re effectively hiring the kitchen and staff too. So, a big spread is put on with everything you can imagine hot and cold!
If you were throwing a dinner party and could invite any musicians, living or dead, who would they be and why?
Keith Moon and John Bonham (both dead unfortunately). I don’t think you could get better entertainment! I’m sure there’d be a food fight too.
What has been your biggest cooking disaster to date? Tell us the story.
Had some friends over. Made pizzas, put them in the oven, we were on a time schedule and everyone was hungry! Got them out 15 mins later only to find that I hadn’t even turned the oven on!!! It was a disaster because I am hopelessly impatient when it comes to waiting for food.
When you tour overseas, what food from home do you miss the most?
Good muesli and cereals, and Dad’s steaks.
What’s the most outrageous food you’ve ever requested on a rider?
Can I say that we have never ordered anything outrageous because we haven’t! The most outrageous thing is how often we debate how many grams of ham we should have. Is 300g enough? What if everyone decides to make a sandwich, including crew? Should we make it 500g?
This is your last day on earth, what would your last ever breakfast be?
1. Coffee milkshake (with vanilla essence and ice cream)
2. Muesli and yoghurt.
3. Poached eggs with mushrooms, avocado, spinach, jalapenos on toast.