Featuring members of Midnight Oil, Hunters & Collectors, and Violent Femmes, The Break are Australia’s best cosmic surf rock supergroup. After releasing their latest slice of studio excellence, Space Farm, in mid-March, The Break enjoyed an exceptional run of shows supporting Rodriguez on his recent national tour, as well as a star turn at the bumper 24th annual Bluesfest.
The Break are now ready to don their customised issue space suits once more for another series of live headline shows through May and June, unleashing their unique blend of driving rhythm, reverbed guitars, trumpet and theremin. Following on from catching up with Tone Deaf in March to chat about Space Farm and their love of Rodriguez and collaborating with Engelbert Humperdinck, The Break’s Brian Ritchie sits down to discuss good eating, food’s worst nightmare, and his ideal last meal on Earth.
What were your food influences when you were growing up and what kind of food did you eat at home or with your family?
Brian Ritchie: I grew up in the Midwest USA in Milwaukee. Therefore we ate things like grilled cheese sandwiches, pot roast, fried chicken, and other staples of American “cuisine”. I didn’t have fresh fish, shellfish, or even a salad until I was about 18 years old. Things have changed since then.
Do you think there’s a connection between food and music?
They both are best if the person making it knows how to improvise and use the ingredients at hand. A good chef or cook can walk into any kitchen, survey the ingredients of the refrigerator and cupboard and make a fantastic meal. I have done this myself upon entering the homes of unfortunate friends.
Where’s your favorite music venue to eat at?
Nowadays my most frequented gourmet music venue is MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart. The music is great, because I curate it, and the chefs there are Michelin.
Do you have any food horror stories from being on tour?
This is a horror story by any standard. I was on a solo tour of Italy and we were driving on the highway. It was a 40 degree day and suddenly we were engulfed by an appalling stench. We scanned the scene to see who or what was the offender. A truck had overturned, spilling its load of pig heads, organs, limbs, etc. And the driver of the truck was standing in the midst of the pile, shovelling the load back into the truck. I turned to my colleagues and said, “If you ever wondered what hell is like, there it is, but for eternity.”
If you were throwing a dinner party and could invite any musicians, living or dead, who would they be and why?
I would invite Bach, Syd Barrett, Japanese flute master Watazumido, John Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, and Pythagoras. Only because I’d like to hang out with them. I have actually dined with some of my musical heroes, and it has usually been a letdown.
Is there anything you wont eat?
The only things I don’t like are spleen and brain. I have eaten fermented bee larvae and many other insects, live crustaceans, snakes, whale, horse, donkey, guinea pig, frog, sea slugs and a lot of other things that are no-go zones for most people
Do your food/eating habits change while you’re recording?
Yes. There is a sushi truck that comes by and delivers food to Jim Moginie’s Oceanic Studio. So it’s a sushi diet.
What’s your signature go-to dish to cook?
I cook many things but my wild boar ragu was judged the best recipe when it was published in I Like Food, Food Tastes Good, a rockstar cookbook that came out in the States.
What music do you play when you’re cooking?
I almost always listen to jazz and blues when I’m cooking. It gives the food a loose vibe.
This is your last day on earth, what is your final meal?
Funny you should ask, I just discussed this with a friend the other day and I said it would be percebes. Percebes are barnacles, which I usually eat when I’m in Portugal. I love them. I’d eat it and then enjoy Laguvullin single malt scotch and a fat Partagas Lusitania Cuban cigar. Party all the time!
The Break’s new album Space Farm is out now – Catch them live on the following dates:
Thursday 30th Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh RSL VIC (03) 9568 1432 Tickets via – http://www.caravanmusic.com.au/
Friday 31st Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury VIC (03) 9484 9831 Tickets via – http://thornburytheatre.oztix.com.au/?Event=3436
Saturday 1st Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns QLD (07) 4032 6600 Tickets via – http://www.ticketlink.com.au/events/FutureEvents.aspx
Sunday 2nd Darwin Entertainment Centre – The Studio, Darwin NT (08) 8980 3333 Tickets via – http://www.yourcentre.com.au/buy_tickets_now
Saturday 22nd The Standard, Darlinghurst NSW (02) 9660 7953 Tickets via – http://www.moshtix.com.au/v2/the-standard