Sound Bites Interview: Elbow

This is a continuing series of interviews in which musicians talk about food, and chefs talk about music. Elbow, a most excellent rock band from Manchester, England, are not named after the macaroni. The whole band probably would’ve talked for an hour about food but, sadly, there were other questions (not found here) on the agenda as well.  Singer Guy Garvey (left) and bassist Pete Turner (right) did most of the talking, as guitarist Mark Potter (middle) was too engrossed in his Eggs Benedict to contribute to this interview. Can’t blame him. 

SoundBites: Are you all into food, beyond sustenance?

Guy Garvey
: I would say I’m less into food than the rest of the band, even though I probably eat the most. We talk about it a hell of a lot, though. When we recorded Leaders of the Free World we got these guys, The Soup Collective to film us writing and recording it and Mark, the guy who was editing the outtake footage, said he could three hours out of us alone discussing food.

: Do you have special food requirements on your tour rider?

: We tend not to. I don’t eat meat and chicken, and Pete can’t eat Brazil nuts or anything Brazil Nut-related, or he could die.

Pete Turner
: The rider is mainly booze. We ask for snacks and stuff, but you want to spend the majority of it on booze. Our crew are greedy as fuck! They drink as much as we do, so we have to order lots of alcohol.

: As far as food goes, I could tell you what most of the band would order off a menu. After ten years as a band, we know each other’s orders quite well.

SB: OK, let’s hear it.

: Pete likes his food very simple and traditional. He likes meat and two vegetables. A good piece of meat and some good fresh vegetables. He likes prawns.

: Well, at the moment I’m very into scallops. It was mussels before that.

: Didn’t you overdo it with lobster once?

: Well, lobster can be a bit sweet, a bit rich. It’s easy to overdo.

: My favorite food is probably pasta. I eat far too much of it. Very good at cooking it, if I do say so.

: I used to live with Guy about five years ago and it wasn’t that he couldn’t do it, he just wouldn’t try cooking anything. I knew that he could, because late at night he’d cook things up but if I was around he wouldn’t do it. I think it’s living by yourself, but he’s become quite a good cook.

: I live in the city center, so it’s very easy to eat out all the time. So I got into cooking to combat that.

: Do you actually go as far as to make your own pasta?

:  I’m not that adventurous. My friend Andy does, though, and he sometimes drops some off — he’s got a pasta maker. But maybe someday.

Elbow’s third album, Leaders of the Free World, is in stores now. The import was my pick for Best Album of 2005.

Check out more food-related Q&As in the Soundbites Interview Archive.


  1. "Elbow, a most excellent rock band from Manchester, England, are not named after the macaroni." That would rule if they were though!

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