On Friday the lovely Fruit Bats play our town’s best venue, Truckstop Alaska (only 100 SEK! Facebook). We got a hold of their frontman Eric D. Johnson and he gave us these lovely answers to our foodie questions! English? Why? Check the bottom!
If you don’t know Fruit Bats, they’ve been around for ten years, play folky pop and have released their fifth album, Tripper, on Sub pop this year. At the moment it’s on #19 in my Albums of the year. Why not listen to the single You’re Too Weird while you read the interview?
Fruit Bats – You’re Too Weird.
Right now, what do you feel like stuffing your mouth full of?
The one thing I consistently crave is spicy, spicy Asian soup – preferably Tom Yum or Tokyo-style Ramen, but any spicy noodle soup will do! Second choices being Middle Eastern food or Mexican food.
As you’re called Fruit Bats, I gotta ask; what’s your favorite fruit?
Definitely passion fruit, with mango being a close second choice. Most kinds of berries as well.
Do you like seaweed in your Thai? Or do you think it serves a better purpose between bloody teeth and smooth stones?
I love seaweed in my aforementioned spicy soups (especially my homemade miso noodle soup) better than teeth or smooth stones.
Do you sleep on a bed of mustard seeds?
Usually not, if I can help it. That sounds uncomfortable.
Spiders and snakes often pop up in your lyrics, have you ever eaten any of these?
I tried rattlesnake once, in Texas, of course. But never spiders. However, I’ve eaten alligator, crocodile, jellyfish, and kangaroo.
What does your rider look like, is there any food on there, or only alcohol?
Definitely food! Good cheese and bread is a must, as well as exotic fruits. Our rider food tonight in Malmö was most excellent (very good fresh made bread, Havarti cheese, goat cheese spread with beets, salami, very nice). But of course beer (micro-brews or local ales preferred) and white and red wine. We like to eat and drink.
If you’re inviting someone over for dinner, what do you make them?
It depends on the amount of people. If it’s a large group, I have a chili that I enjoy making (vegetarian or bison, depending on the group). If it’s a smaller group, I usually do a tapas-style spread or Mediterranean type foods, hummus, baba ghanouj, feta, olives, pita, pilaf.
Did you have a time to celebrate Thanksgiving before you crossed the pond to tour Europe? Also, what’s your favorite part of all the goodies?
No! We left the day before Thanksgiving, and sadly had to miss it. It’s my favorite Holiday, because the only real point of it is to eat. I enjoy the stuffing and potatoes best, but it the turkey is done properly (juicy and not overcooked) the whole thing can be pretty fantastic.
Do you have a recipe you’d like to share with us?
Sure! Here is my chili recipe (the vegetarian version, but you can easily add meat by browning beforehand with the onions and peppers.) If you can’t find the ingredients here, you can approximate with what is around! Make it as spicy or not spicy as you like.
2-4 cloves of garlic
1 large white or yellow onion
1 large bell pepper, or several chili-type peppers like poblano, anaheim or the like
16 ounces of prepared black or pinto beans
12 ounces of well roasted New Mexico green chilies (you can use bell peppers as well, roast them in the oven first)
8 ounces of corn, removed from the cob (canned corn works quite well also)
3 large cans of crushed tomatoes
8 ounces of vegetable broth
1/2 bottle of dark Scottish or Irish ale
several large dashes of crushed cumin
several large dashes of salt and pepper
several dashes of hot sauce like Tabasco, to taste
small dash of cayenne pepper
large cube of salted butter
fistful or finely chopped cilantro
2 bay leaves
On high heat, heat butter in the pan. Add onion until soft, followed by the garlic and bell pepper, cook until well soft. Add some of the cumin, salt and pepper. Add the rest of the ingredients except cilantro, bring to a low boil. Add more salt, pepper and cumin (to taste) and turn down to simmer. Simmer for several hours. Add cilantro before serving, or use as garnish. Add extra broth or a bit of water if it is too thick.
Serve in a soup bowl garnished with chopped raw onion, grated English cheddar cheese and sour cream. Serve with rice, macaroni, or tortillas. Wash down with Mexican beer and lime. Eat outside in bare feet if weather allows. Tastes even better after sitting in the refrigerator for a day or two and then reheated.
English-Swinglish! This site is in Swedish, but on occasion, when we interview people in English, the interview won’t be lost in translation. It’s so more people can read it and enjoy some cooking!