The first in what will hopefully be a long series of interviews asking musicians about food (and maybe some chefs about music). Guto Pryce plays bass for Wales’ finest band, Super Furry Animals.
SoundBites: Is there such a thing as Welsh cuisine?
Guto Pryce: There is. It’s not very good, really. It’s probably a peasant food, not really fine cuisine as such. There are some good cheeses in Wales, though.
SB: Is there a signature Welsh dish?
GP: Well, there’s the Welsh Rarebit…which is cheese on toast. I don’t know what makes cheese on toast particularly Welsh. The signature vegetable of Wales is the leek. When we used to fight the English, you wore a leek in your helmet to distinguish yourself from the enemy.
SB: Are there any foods you strongly dislike?
GP: Butter. I’m not a fussy eater, but that’s just bullshit. I’m not into it at all. Unnecessary. I should clarify — it’s fine to cook with, but I don’t want it on a sandwich.
SB: When you come to America, is there anything you look forward to eating?
GP: I’ve had jetlag all week, so I wake up every day at 6AM craving eggs. Just shitloads of eggs. I don’t know what it is about America that makes me want to eat eggs… we have them at home, obviously. The future of this country is it’s multiculturalism and the fine array of world cuisine you can have just by walking down the street.
SB: Is the band into food, actively I mean?
GP: Oh yeah. Cian [Ciarán, SFA’s keyboardist] is a cook. He can rustle up a tasty meal out of strange ingredients.
SB: Does he have a specialty?
GP: He’s a pasta man. Red wine and pasta is his thing. We’re all big fans of Sushi. We were in Japan recently so we had a whole week of eating all kinds of Japanese food. Japanese beer as well is amazing.
SB: What’s your favorite piece of sushi?
GP: I actually like the vegetarian one — kappa. Cucumber. But a bit of tuna is good. I’m not big on eel.
SB: What about sea urchin?
GP: I like it, but I prefer an oyster. When we were in Brazil mixing the album, the food was amazing. All you could eat — seafood or meat.
SB: The skewer places… it’s called rodizio?
GP: Right. You have a little coin on your table — one side is green for go, the other side red for stop. You just turn it over when you want more food. It’s a challenge and you just feel like Homer Simpson. The idea is to eat more than you spend.
SB: "Receptacle for the Respectable" features a celery solo. How much of the stuff have you gone through since you’ve been performing it.
GP: It’s not always celery. Sometimes it’s crisps [potato chips]. They’ve got a good crunch to them. Carrots, apples… you can’t get celery everywhere you go, so we have to branch out a little. On this tour, though, it’s been celery every night. We go through a whole package a night.
SB: On the album (Rings Around the World) it’s Paul McCartney doing the chomping. Is it celery or something else?
GP: It’s in stereo, and one side is celery and the other side is carrots. I couldn’t tell you which sides is which, unfortunately, but maybe a discerning listener could. The carrots may sound a little crisper in crunch. Put your headphones on, folks.
—Super Furry Animals are touring North America through December 1. Dates can be found here.
Photo courtesy Information Leafblower, who has some really amazing behind-the-scenes SFA photos on his Flickr photostream.