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Nick from Islands loves chocolate balls and rhubarb.

Last Monday, at Pustervik, I met Nick from Islands, who has made one of this year’s most under-rated albums A Sleep & A Forgetting. You really should check it out.

If everyday would be a holiday, what would be the holiday cake?

Nick: Oh, you know what that lyric refers to, right? The line is ”Everyday is a Holiday”, it is a pun actually, Buddy Holly is who it’s referring to. When Marc Bolan of T-Rex was killed, he was driving his race car through the rural highway and smashed into a tree. And in his gloves compartment there was a little pin, a little badge that said ”Everyday is a Holly day” and that’s where the line comes from. So it’s a pun if you will. But if there were a cake for that maybe holly… everyday.. I don’t know, something with booze in it because Marc Bolan was drunk and fucked up and I think the pilot who flew the plane that killed Buddy Holly was drunk. And I think Buddy Holly was drunk [takes a zip of beer] Booze cake.

Would that be something you’d wanna have everyday, though?

N: No, an everyday cake should be healthy, it should almost be savoury, lots of greens, lentils, flour, glutenfree, you know. If it’s sugar, stevia. All natural.

Yeah, what ever happened to stevia? I read an article about it years ago but did it ever kick off?

N: No, people just didn’t like it, they just want that good old-fashioned sugar. Or they want that garbage aspartam stuff.

I took this off your twitter, they eat a lot pie in Twin Peaks, right? So what’s your favorite pie?

N: Rhubarb. I fucking die for rhubarb, it’s my favorite. Would you like a beer or something, where are my manners?
R: Sure, thanks. I brought Swedish chocolate balls.
N: Oh, that’s amazing, thank you, holy shit balls! No fun intended. Did you make these?
R: Yeah, I made them.
N: No way, that’s fucking incredible, thank you!
R: I don’t know if I should tell you this because you’re gonna look differently at Swedes but they use to be called N****r balls.
N: That’s pretty fucked up but this is incredible [munches]. Holy shit! This is Peter, our driver, try a chocolate ball!
Peter: Oh, that’s delicious. Thank you. You made these?
N: Is that coconot?
R: No, but you could put coconut instead of sugar on the outside.

If somebody’s ribs are peaking through their fur, what would you feed them?

N: Baby back ribs, it’s the back of a baby cow’s ribs. It’s what you feed Americans in the middle of the country. I’m a vegetarian myself, though, but for the sake of the joke let’s go with baby back ribs.

How do you kick open a coconut?

N: You break it on a rock? And then you kick it. I guess ”kick” is a poetic license, yeah. You smash it with a rock or at the end of a tree. I once was stranded on an island in Panama and had no food, I was stuck, missed the last boat, no one else on the island so I had eat, to survive, on coconuts.
R: Oh, yeah? For how long?!
N: Just for the night, but I was there for the whole day, I was lost. It was fun, though. I had severe diarrhea so I wasn’t exactly hungry. TMI!

If you were to poison someone what would you serve your poison with?

N: These chocolate balls, definitely, cause I would eat a bunch.

Do you often keep bread in your pockets?

N: No. No way, I try to stay away from bread.
R: Yeah, no gluten?
N: There’s no nutrition in bread. It’s just starch.
R: You mean there’s no nutrition in any bread or just industrial?
N: Not really, nothing good, nothing great.

What kind of diet do you have?

N: Well, paleolithic, no I didn’t mean that. But I try to cut down on bread. I eat too much bread. As a vegetarian. And I’m drinking bread. This is bread in a bottle, so yeah, I do carry bread in my pockets.

So where is the meat you eat? I got that off a lyric somewhere.

N: Yeah, that’s from ”Don’t call me Whitney, Bobby”. That was sort of about body dismorphia and body issues, people with body issues who have either anorexia or bulimia or something. I don’t know what the context of the line was but, food, I guess. The food would be the life giving quality that people deny when they have problems.

What have you eaten here in Sweden so far?

N: They fed us here, we had mashed potatoes and sausages. I had a veggie sausage and a little salad, it was good. Last night we came into Malmö really late and I had a salad.
R: You should’ve gone and had falafels. Falafels are really good in Malmö.
N: Really, well we were in the suburbs, so.
R: That might’ve been even better.
N: We didn’t see anything else around, but I will keep that in mind cause we’re going there in a few days.

So where is home and what do you miss from it when you’re on tour?

N: I just moved to Los Angeles, I was homeless for two years, just in between, I would sublet and house-sit and go on tour but I got a place in May in Los Angeles. There’s a restaurant near me that’s really good, an Italian restaurant that I like. But I cook at home a lot when I’m home so that’s probably what I miss the most so I can regulate what I wanna eat and I know what I like so I eat that, it’s very nice. So I miss that. That’s a relatively new phenomenon cause I’m been homeless of drifting for so long.
R: I thought about that, I’ve never been in a band or anything but I’ve done longer trips and I agree that what you miss after a while is cooking. I have this idea of opening up a café at some point and it would be fun to have people who are coming through on tour to come over and cook!
N: You get the ingredients?
R: Yeah, I get the ingredients and people would come and cook.
N: It would be very cool. Yeah, that would be fun. Unless they’re ”naw, I’m too tired”. I mean everybody might not wanna do that. I’d be into it though. Be kinda fun, get to sit around a table. That’d be cool.

So what do you normally cook?

N: I like kale, I like chick peas, I like brown rice, I like avocado, I like onions. Generally those sorts of things. I can make good pastas too. Eggplants, pastas and yeah. But this shit, [holding up a chocolate ball], I gotta save the second half for after the show because I don’t wanna be full while playing. That is fucking gooood. Is that sugar on the outside?
R: Yeah, it’s called ”pearl sugar” in Swedish.
N: It looks like salt or something?
R: Yeah, I know, I don’t know if you can get it outside of Sweden, I was going out with this girl in Spain and she didn’t know what it was either.
N: I’ve never seen it before.

What’s on your rider food-wise?

N: Um, nice meats and nice cheeses and breads and fresh veggies and fresh fruits and local beer.
R: So what kind of beer did you get here?
N: We got Tuborg and weirdly Brooklyn Lager. I use to live a few blocks from that brewery in Brooklyn so that’s weird.
R: You should just go to the bar and get a ”Stor stark”, which is a big strong beer, which is what you say in Sweden if you just want a beer. And then you’ll get a local beer, Pripps, one of biggest.
N: They said they were gonna bring up some local beers.
R: It’s not very good, but it’s local.
N: I like local, I like to see what the locals are eating and drinking.
R: There’s a few micro breweries coming up the last couple of years that are a lot better than Pripps.
N: That’s good.

Do have any recipe you’d like to share with us?

N: I have this really good lentil soup I could make. No, I’ll share my thing which is probably the most exotic for you which is breakfast tacos. I get like sprouted corn tortillas, corn tacos, fry them up on a pan and then I fry up some onions and mix in some black beans and egg. Stir-fry that up, combine it and then I put white cheddar on the corn tortilla. And then the black bean, egg combo thing and then I have cilantro, avocado and tomato.
R: Cilantro?
N: It’s like a green, a parsley-like herb. It’s delicious and makes things taste really good. And then hot sauce and then fold it up and put it in my mouth. I make it every morning, it’s my favorite thing ever. It’s not the healthiest, but yeah.
Islands on Spotify