I posted the video for synth-pop band Great Good Fine Ok’s “You’re The One For Me” a few weeks ago. Then their manager hit me up for a food chat, since he’d hooked me up with Brooklyn bands Savoir Adore and X Ambassadors, who played with GGFO in Cambridge, MA just last night.
I actually did have a bunch of questions about that video, so we met up at Dale Talde’s roadhouse bar-inspired Pork Slope for beers and inimitable porky melt sandwiches to discuss other inimitable sandwiches.
Your first single, “You’re The One For Me,” made quite a name for itself. How did it all come together?
Jon: This was the first song Luke and I wrote together and what launched the whole band. The first blog to take notice of us was The Wild Honey Pie. They expressed interest in working with us on a video.
Luke: I was in the car with Eric [Weiner] who runs it on our way to do a Buzzsession because I do audio for them. I had our demo on my phone, plugged it in and played it for him right there. That was that.
Jon: Eric came up with the video concept and I was like, “That’s the best thing I’ve ever heard, I have a passion for sandwiches!” The loose concept was to have a girl make a normal-looking sandwich, it starts off great and sexy, then she gets messy and it would hopefully be gross and sexy and weird. Oh, and the entire production team was us, Eric and the girl.
Where’d you find the girl?
Jon: I put an ad on Craigslist looking for a “hot girl for a music video.” That was a disaster, I got literally thousands of crazy replies and finally I asked my friend who’s an actor if he knew anyone and he knew her. I bought a dress, went to the supermarket, then we shot it in Prospect Park about halfway down the long meadow.
Luke: It was super-hot that day, in the 90s.
Were the props affected by the heat?
Luke: No, just our tempers.
Jon: Everything we had food-wise was fine for a few hours, but it was kind of a sweaty deal.
Luke: We had this great picnic blanket we found in the Prop Shop on President St. There’s so much cool stuff in there and there’s a studio right next door where we record a lot.
Any on-set mishaps?
Jon: She kind of lost it when we busted out the anchovies. They’re not in the video because she wouldn’t touch them or even look at them. We opened the can a little for her to just hold and some of the juice came out. She wouldn’t even hold an anchovy on a fork and pretend to put it on the sandwich, so we had to scrap that idea. She also wouldn’t eat the sandwich. When she brings it up to her face, she stops. In my mind that’s the punchline: she makes this disgusting sandwich and then takes a bite.
Was the bite agreed upon beforehand?
Jon: Well that was another hazy thing: nothing was really agreed upon beforehand. She was not psyched about this idea at first and was almost not going to do it.
Luke: We sort of didn’t really tell her everything that was going to happen. I told her it was a shoot for a picnic.
Jon: I told her she was going to get a free lunch. But she ended up being a good sport. And thanks to The Wild Honey Pie’s editing, the video turned out awesome.
So she’s covered in chocolate and fluff and avocado, the shoot’s over, she’s free to go, and…does she like, walk to the subway?
Jon: She decided to first give me a bear hug, making me almost as messy as she was, then I kindly agreed to drive her to the subway, resulting in chocolate sauce all over my seats.
You let her get on the train like that?
Not to be creepy, but since I lived so close I offered to drive her back to my place for a shower. That’s not creepy, right? But no, she went home kind of a mess on the subway.
Tell me about your passion for sandwiches.
Jon: I don’t cook, so it’s the perfect meal for lunch or dinner. It’s easy, cheap and delicious. I’ve had thousands if not millions of sandwiches in my life and the ones that were perfectly toasted stand out in my mind. I want people to know that it’s really important when you get a sandwich to get the bread toasted. I understand some fresh bread’s not supposed to be toasted for a sandwich, but 8 out of 10 times, bread is better toasted.
Luke: I remember having sandwich-making contests with my younger brothers. I always won, obviously.
With your signature…
Luke: All I can say is that there’s banana peppers on it.
Jon: Here’s the thing: I have a passion for tuna salad sandwiches. I make the best tuna sandwiches, ever.
Have you seen that “Oh, Hello” sketch on Kroll Show, “Too Much Tuna?”
Jon: Yes, I have, it’s awesome. Making tuna is an art I’ve honed over many many years and I’m not going to tell my secrets. I rarely get tuna out because I don’t trust other people making it. There’s a place near my apartment called Bagel Market that has a good tuna salad. And there’s a deli on 5th called 5th Avenue Market.
Luke: A.K.A. “Fancy Deli” or “Wall Of Chips.” It’s all about the Buffalo Blue.
Jon: No, salt and vinegar.
Luke: Biercraft has amazing sandwiches. That turkey sandwich with Istara cheese is incredible.
Tell me about a sandwich fail.
Luke: I walked into Katz’s Deli once and took a ticket, then I looked at the menu and was like, “uhh, nope, I’m out of here.”
Jon: Cause it’s like $18 for a sandwich. But Katz’s pastrami sandwich is amazing and they don’t do overstuffed.
Luke: They also don’t do the pastrami and egg sandwich. Isn’t that your jam?
Jon: No, no. Okay so I’ve been getting this late-night sandwich recently: salami, egg and cheese. Delicious, you should try it.
Have either of you worked in the foodservice industry?
Jon: I’ve catered and waitered. I worked for a high-class catering company that did VIP events and balls with very fancy food. It was really exciting for a food service job. I got really into it and met nice people — everyone’s an actor or a musician. Party Down is really very accurate, because like all foodservice jobs if you do it for a little too long then it’s just soul-sucking.
Tell me a Party Down story. A bad one.
Jon: Let’s just say some of the things those companies do are kind of gross and if anybody knew, they’d probably get shut down. Some of the food isn’t always as clean and fancy as it comes across at these balls and stuff. Let’s leave it at that.
Let’s do some restaurant recommendations around Park Slope.
Luke: Have you been to this Austrian place, Korzo? There’s one on 5th Ave in Park Slope and another in the East Village. Get the deep-fried burger. They cook the burger a little, then add toppings like pickled onions and cheese, then they batter and deep-fry it.
Jon: I really like Flatbush Farm and Purbird, and actually Calexico which just opened up across the street is amazing.
Luke: Ask for the vegetable of the day at Purbird.
Jon: I like their half-chicken. It’s Amish chicken from Pennsylvania.
Jon: There’s also a place called City Sub on Bergen and Flatbush.
Luke: Ahh, shitty shub!
Jon: They have amazing sandwiches. By the way, this interview just got a lot better because “On Bended Knee” by Boyz II Men just came on.
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