i should tell you: spook the horses

Well hello there, and welcome to volume seventeen of I Should Tell You, where I ask cool musicians about food to see what they have to say, or indeed, to see if they’ll even answer at all. I haven’t done one of these in a damn while, but yay, it’s back! 

This time around I’m talking with Callum, Zach and Donnie from Wellington band Spook The Horses, whose sound I would describe as “pleasingly grumbly” but is perhaps more helpfully to be described as the sound of “post-hardcore, atmospheric, doom”. Wonderful! If you want to listen to them you could head to their bandcamp site, or you can hear their entire recent album Rainmaker on YouTube. If gruff, dark, moody music that kind of envelopes you and washes over you at the same time when you listen to it really loud tickles your fancy then your fancy will most definitely be tickled by these guys. Look out for them around Wellington as they’re always doing gigs here and there, otherwise just immerse yourself in that blissful doom noise.    

Thanks Callum, Zach and Donnie! The interview begins…now. 
1. Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation?

Callum: I’ve been done the whole degustation and wine-pairing thing at Hippopotamus before which is always good for some bragging but my go-to place in Wellington is Olive. Olive up and down rules. Consistently good coffee, good brunch vibes and the most chill and peaceful outdoor courtyard ever. It’s less of a name-drop and more of a love letter,

Zach: A place that Is always interesting and relaxing to eat at is Duke Carvells. Although I’m not sure if i’ve earned the bragging rights, as the only time I can afford to go there is when my parents are paying. I enjoy eating somewhere that makes as many of the components of the meal as possible on site. I know they do their own breads, and smoked/preserved meats and sausages. They’re all delicious, and are presented in interesting ways.

Donnie: It’s not exactly something to brag about, but I’m a huge, huge fan of pho bò, which is this Vietnamese beef noodle dish, and the best pho I’ve ever had, anywhere, is in this little unassuming fish and chip shop on Bond Street here called the Fisherman’s Plate. It’s one of those places that has burgers, chips, spring rolls all up next to the Vietnamese cuisine, so you’d never guess, but it has some of the best Vietnamese food in the whole city.

2. What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?

Callum: Nachos! Alex and I used to live together and made developed the Spook the Horses classic, Nachos de los Muertos, which is probably terrible Spanish and probably also very culturally insensitive (Sorry.) It’s a chili delivery mechanism above all else. We all love spicy food so the more different kinds of chili the better. Chipotles and green jalapenos are mandatory. Black beans are mandatory. Watties beans are strictly forbidden. What’s not to love about a cauldron of vicious as hell chili?

Zach: My go to solo home cooked meal is probably Putanesca, a pasta dish with a salty and warming tomato sauce. I usually make it because its really quick, and all of the ingredients last for ages – so I always have them lying around. Olives, capers, anchovies, canned tomatoes, etc. Also a lot of people get weirded out about anchovies, so my leftovers never get stolen!

Donnie: I will never, ever pass up the opportunity to make some dope as fuck grilled cheese sandwiches. Love those things. You can chuck anything in them, too. Olives, artichokes, tomatoes, ham, pineapple, corn, mushrooms etc. Two pieces of thick grain bread chucked in a frying pan, buttered sides out, with a ton of cheese in them, and whatever else you’ve got lying around. I think I have to go make one right now.

3. What’s one of your favourite food-related memories from your childhood?”

Callum: My dad is an excellent cook and a total outdoorsman, so he grows as many of his own veges and herbs as he can. My fondest memories are of how proud he would be to serve something he grew himself, or seeing him duck out of the kitchen to the herb garden to season a dish on the fly. I have some weird memories too, like my mum telling me the chicken I was eating was actually “chicken flavoured dough” to silence my objections about eating animals. Maybe my occasional flirtations with vegetarianism would have stuck if not for that bizarre lie.

Zach: The most vivid memories of food from my childhood would have to be of Christmas and new year’s time with my family. There were a lot of dishes that were traditional to have for our family, but my favourite one is probably the trifle my parents made. I’m not talking supermarket sponge cake and Watties canned peaches. It was all beautifully homemade sponge, custard, syllabub and fresh berries. Also lots and lots of booze. It’s one of those rare times you can get drunk off eating solid food. The other memories that stuck would just be learning about having a healthy diet from my mother. She taught me that you can cook healthily and still have awesome tasting food.


Donnie: My mum is a fucking INCREDIBLE cook. Like, she can walk into any kitchen and just work with what’s there and make a delicious feast for eight people. One dish I was always fiending for was her kedgeree, which is a kind of curried rice dish made with smoked fish. This time when we were camping with a bunch of family friends, she made so much of the stuff for everyone that it filled one of those enormous 50 litre washing tubs. I had like six bowls and still wanted more. I’m pretty sure they had to keep me away by swatting at me with a spatula.

Read previous i should tell you interviews here.

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