Sound Bites Interview: North Highlands

As you may know, I'm curating a series of daytime shows at the Seaport, which kick off this Sunday (5/30) with Brooklyn quintet North Highlands. Having just celebrated their first birthday, the band are currently working on their debut album. Until that's done, you can pick up their Sugar Lips EP and here's an MP3 appetizer:

MP3: North Highlands – Sugar Lips
If you live in NYC you can also catch North Highlands tonight at Cameo Gallery where they play with Montreal's loud No Joy. But you should definitely come on Sunday for the big kickoff event. As these Seaport shows are helping to promote the Fulton Stall Market, I asked the band a bunch of food questions. The band (who have a song called "Fresca") were clearly up to the challenge.

You'll be playing across from the Fulton Stall markets. What's your favorite vegetable?

Daniel Stewart (mandolin, violin): I'm fond of the cabbage relatives like kale, brussels, and brenda was over while i was making kimchi last night, but i'm definitely a beet fanatic. 
Mike Barron (guitar, vocals): Definitely onions. I have no idea why, but I've always loved them. It started when I was about 2 years old, and my parents thought I was super fucking weird because all I wanted was onions on everything.

What's your least favorite vegetable and why? 

Brenda Malvani (vocals, keyboards): I just found out that me and Mike both hate mushrooms, right on. 
Daniel: The bastard child of the cabbage family is cauliflower. Its fine but i can't think of a blander color next to beets. [Might I recommend orange or purple cauliflower? -Ed.]
Jasper Berg (percussion, vocals): I have never been a fan of brussle sprouts. They look like the balls of nature.

Has food ever influenced your songwriting? 

Mike: If it weren't for food, I wouldn't be alive to write songs.

Any good food-related band anecdotes? 

Brenda: I always get scolded when I mention adding ketchup to anything. Also, we shot part of our music video in a fitness club from 7pm-4am and had quite the pizza party.

Does North Highlands ever eat together as a band? 

Brenda: Yeah, it's pretty important to me that when we are working on projects (recording, etc.) that we start the day off together. Feels like family, grabbing bagels and coffee before noon.

Ever cook together? 

Brenda: We mostly BBQ. I love loitering around Daniel's kitchen. His fridge is generally full of beer and pickled foods. He also taught us the right way to dress a hot dog — with Friendship sour cream and jalepenos and mustard?

Where do you eat in Brooklyn? 
Brenda: I usually go to Egg for breakfast, they have great home made jam. 
Mike: The vietnamese sandwiches at
Hanco's are pretty bangin. 
Jasper: Top three bangin' food joints: City Subs (Park Slope), Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream (Greenpoint),
Pies n Thighs (Williamsburg).

What's your cheap eats go-to joint? What about when you're willing to splurge a little? 
Daniel: Greenpoint's God Bless Deli (Hallowed be thy name) is my bodega of choice by proximity.
Jasper:  Arby's on Fulton. The most hilarious restaurant in the world. Whenever there's the desire to splurge a bit, it's generally a toss-up between Diner, Dressler, and Madiba.
AndyKasperbaur (bass, vocals): I don't splurge too often due to this economical fiscal climate, but when I do I always enjoy going to M Shanghai in Williamsburg. Steamed juicy pork or vegetable buns that are to die for!  Mae the owner is awesome and I think she just opened a noodle shop on Metropolitan as well.

What's your hangover food of choice?

Andy:  I stick to fruits like apples and bananas. But some days I will hit up Tom's Diner and get some Lemon Ricotta Pancakes and their Cherry Lime Ricky drinks are exquisite!  
Mike: Bloody Mary + anything that I can put hot sauce on. 
Jasper: The Lumberjack at Manhattan Inn has recently taken over the standard bacon egg and cheese bagel as my personal favorite.The Inn's hashbrown ball is perfection. 

What food would you imagine your music being paired with? 
Brenda: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Ala Mode. 
Andy: Disco Fries? 
Daniel: elote or toast. 
Mike: Ceviche with mango. 
Jasper: Perhaps one of those badass Korean hot dogs that are so hot right now.  I had one at the LCD show (on the roof cuz I'm a pimp), and it had a chicken dog, mango, onion, bok choi, and this hot ketchup that made me go, 'damn'. 


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