Do you know the band Psapp? It’s a duo consisting of Galia Durant and Carim Clasmann from England and you’ve probably heard their theme music for Grey’s Anatomy. We emailed them both and asked some questions about food, with the questions inspired by some of their lyrics. Galia is also the excellent illustrator who made our logo! Check out her stuff here: www.galiadurant.com.
A few Psapp tracks, far from all are on Spotify.
Are you feeling peckish?
Carim: No, not right now, I’ve just had some sandwiches.
Galia: Yes! Always. I bet Carim would eat some cake if you offered it to him. He also made a very profound observation which is that you always have room for icecream however full up you are. It’s true — I have never turned down icecream, that would just be madness.
If so, for what?
Galia: I would really like some very smelly cheese on some delicious chewy bread with some chutney and a glass of chocolate milk. And some icecream obviously. Basically just a dairy binge.
You got a song called Everybody wants to be a cat. Do you have cats yourselves? If so, what do you feed them? Mice and canaries?
Carim: Yes, I’ve got a cat called Marbles. I feed her dry and wet food but she tops up her diet with mice and birds. I’ve got a video of her eating a rat in the kitchen — do you want a copy?
Galia: Yes, two tabbies called Badger and Button. They bring in baby rats sometimes and once they’re dead, they try and pretend they’re still alive by throwing them around the room with their paws. It’s horrible to watch but oddly compelling.
Have you ever seen a slug eat a chip?
Carim: No, not yet but I’ll try to tempt some slugs in the garden next time I’ve got some chips. This is a scientific study long overdue.
Galia: The song that the slug eating a chip lyric came from is by David Shrigley from his Worried Noodles compilation — so we can’t quite take credit for it… At the time we recorded the track, we did discuss slugs eating chips. It’s rather improbable as if slugs come in contact with salt then they dissolve.. I just googled slug and salt and found this.
Being Londoners, do you often eat fish & chips?
Carim: Maybe once a year. I know only three places where you can get nice fish & chips: Faulkners on Kingsland Rd., a place on Farringdon Rd. near Mount Pleasant and The Rock and Sole Plaice near Covent Garden.
Galia: Toffs of Muswell Hill is good… I eat fish and chips quite a lot, with big fat sour gherkins and lots of lemon juice but the portions are so massive that even I (a real piggy) can’t finish all my chips. London is very varied in food quality and you have to be careful where you get your fish and chips from as sometimes you end up with soggy precut chips and a cruddy piece of frozen fish with orange breadcrumbs all over it. Be warned, visitors…
What does victory taste like?
Carim: Victory tastes of meat! Arrrgggh!
Galia: Yep, something very bloody and red, maybe a ribeye steak which is just cooked for 30 seconds on each side — is that too specific? I think a big phallic salami might be a victorious flavour too.
Do you bake bread and make milk?
Carim: I’ve only baked pitta bread and pizza dough which is not quite the same as baking bread but I’m quite intrigued by the process of turning flour, water and yeast into solid bread. maybe I’ll start after the next album. I can’t produce milk myself but Galia has donated some of her breast milk for a cup of tea of mine.
Galia: Since I have just had another baby I have new supplies so I am thinking of branching out into breastmilk icecream which is meant to be very nice. I love baking bread — I love the smell and the cosiness of home cooked bread. Carim and i have experimented a little with different yeasts – in Germany it’s much easier to buy fresh yeast and it really makes a difference to the end product — bread made with dried yeast never seems to rise as much.
Have you ever lived on a farm?
Carim: I do actually live on a farm, when I’m not in London making music with Galia. I always used to live in cities so I fancied to do something completely different for a change and now live in the sticks. It’s great fun but I can’t have any chickens, llamas or lambs as I’m away too often and they need daily attention.
Galia: Only when I visit Carim. We drank some fresh warm milk last time I was over, it tastes very different to the pasturised homogenised stuff you get in the supermarket — more cow-like.
What do you buy tinned?
Carim: Chickpeas, bamboo shoots, kidney beans and sweetcorn but I also have dried chickpeas and dried kidney beans in the basement so does that count?
Galia: My grandpa was a bit of a gastro-adventurer and loved collecting odd tinned things — the best thing in his cellar was a tin of ants in chocolate but i don’t remember them ever being consumed… Perhaps they’re still there…
Do you have a grocery list in your pocket now?
Carim: Nope, it’s sticking to the fridge.
Galia: I did up until about minutes ago when i gave it to my chap as he’s off to the shops to buy onions and smelly cheese. I really, really want smelly cheese.
Is the dad in ”Dad’s Breakdown” your dad?
Carim: No, but I do call him dad to amuse him.
Galia: He is my dad in real life, and I think he feels a certain paternal affection for Carim, who is almost a relative.
What did your parents make you for breakfast at weekends growing up?
Carim: I really can’t remember. An early sign of Alzheimer’s I suppose.
Galia: My dad used to buy the croissant pastry you get in tins in the cooler section at the supermarket and then would make a big deal about assembling and baking them — it was a real ritual…
Would you eat a half-sucked sweet?
Carim: Sure, if it’s Galia’s.
Galia: Thanks babes! We like to set each other dares to eat or drink stuff that is rotten or mouldy or just disgusting, I would give some examples but they’re probably too horrible to publicise. Last week we ate the placenta from the baby — my chap made it into a chilli and we have kept a bit for Carim in the freezer when we see him next. It actually tastes quite nice although it is strange eating your own meat…
What’s your favorite fruit?
Carim: Fruit salad, why just have one fruit when you can have all of them at the same time?
Galia: That’s cheating but I AGREE. Also, we have been growing strawberries in our garden and when they are picked fresh and still warm from the sun, it’s hard to beat them.
I heard you’re working on a new album. How’s that coming along and is there any food that gives you that extra boost to create?
Carim: It’s coming along nicely, supported by a strict diet of too much cake and PG Tips [tea].
Galia: Carim and I have a very good symbiotic relationship where I obsessively bake cake and he eats unbelievable amounts of it. At our last session we ate loads of cheap chocolate and crisps. I do like the extremes of good food and crappy processed rubbish — there’s a place in my heart for both.
Have you got a recipe you’d like to share with us? Maybe a soup or a cake?
Carim: I don’t bake cakes as I know too many great cake baking people feeding me but as for soups: make your own stock:
It’s amazing to witness leftover bones and veg being transformed into fresh stock. Especially chicken stock tastes delicious but I also make lamb stock and a mixed stock which I use for sauces. At least once a month I take all the bones and veg cuttings out of the freezer and first roast or fry and then boil them for half a day, let it all sit overnight and then boil it up again the next day and finish it off. My freezer is usually full of bones but no human ones as I don’t think they’ll develop a good flavour.
Galia: This is a recipe from loveable fat-tongued Essex boy Jamie Oliver — a celebrity chef in the UK. These brownies are the best brownies ever, and really easy to make. The sour cherries cut through the fatty sweetness of the brownie in a really good way. If Carim is cross with me, I can usually be guaranteed forgiveness if i knock some of these up. Try it with any angry person in your life.