Touring musicians have a great gig. Rock and roll! It’s doubly great when they’re interested in exploring the international culinary world. We do realize some bands subsist solely on Taco Bell and Coke Zero. Shame on them! There’s Hatch chile to sample in New Mexico. Pappy Van Winkle in Kentucky. Doppelbock outside Hamburg. Tortas on the California-Mexico border. In Good Food, Rocks, we track down a band member serious about their grub—and who has held a job in the food industry too.
Nathan Williams is the frontman of bratty surf-rock trio Wavves, which releases an EP today called Life Sux. But life is hardly sucking for the San Diego native, who we recently hung out with prior to a show at New York City’s East River Park. While sipping an inhumanly large can of bodega-bought Bud Light, Willams talked about his first food job, his love of Kentucky bourbon and cooking with Mother Nature’s sweetest herb.
Have you worked in the food service industry?
My first job was at Subway.
So you’re a sandwich artist.
I worked there for two weeks and I saved up enough money to buy a TV and quit. That was always the plan. It smelled like farts in there. It was fucking disgusting and they made me put my hair in a ponytail. So, fuck Subway.
The San Diego food scene is really famous for burritos. Do you have a favorite?
Santana’s. Santana’s, Santana’s, Santana’s! They changed their name to Fresh MXN, which is horrible. They want more white people to come there, probably. But it’s still the best burrito in San Diego.
Do you have a favorite food city to hit while on tour?
Definitely New York. There is this great vegan soul food place called Red Bamboo. And I like the pizza there. It’s really authentic. I went to this place called Sbarro the other night. It’s New York’s greatest slice. It was hidden in this little hole-in-the-wall place called Time Squares.
What do you like to drink when you’re recording albums?
Beer mostly. Tequila sometimes. Tequila doesn’t make you tired. It just makes you like a banshee and unaware. You gotta go slow with tequila.
Do you put anything specific on your tour rider, in terms of food or booze?
Maker’s Mark, always. And Bud Light. That’s basically it. They are easy to drink and it doesn’t get you as drunk. You gotta understand, as soon as we get [backstage for a show] we’re just drinking. So if we’re going to have 10-11 beers a night, the lower alcohol content is probably the better.
But what about the whiskey?
That gets a little bit hectic sometimes.
You’re a fan of the Mother Nature’s sweet herb. What is your favorite weed-baked good?
To eat? Probably Rice Krispies Treats. The dispensary nearest me has really good Treats. They also have these vegan shakes. Recently I was drinking one in the car on the way to the airport. It’s just a purple shake and it’s really delicious and then I just couldn’t walk. I kind of felt bad, because you can tell it’s for people who are really in pain. I couldn’t feel my body.
What about your own baking skills…
I don’t really bake. I had an experience with my old roommate. He made some raw weed oil that sat in the freezer for a while. Then one night we ate it and I was high for three days. It sucked.
It was way too strong, and our friend Danny had a freakout on it at his work. It was too much. I’ve been careful since.
You can listen to Wavves’ track “Bug” from the band’s new EP Life Sux