Belly Kids: Hookworms

Categorised as INTERVIEW., MUSIC.

Belly Kids are teaming up with Mint Magazine to talk with our favourite musicians about food, cooking and all things eating. It’s something of a passion of ours and I know we aren’t alone. Ever since I put together The Mona Pizza recipe book, investigating the food culture behind music, it has become an obsession.

Call them freak beat, psyche, krautrock or any other twisted genre name, Hookworms are a band who love to pump out a serious jam. They’re fast getting the reputation as a mega must see live band and the Leeds 5 piece have a new record out on influential label Gringo. With previous releases with Polaris, Lords, Spin Spin the Dogs, Bilge Pump and many more, Gringo Records have always been one of those truly exciting labels. Grab a pizza, grab a beer and go see Hookworms some time, you’ll return a different being!

Belly Kids’ Mike Coley caught up with MB and JW from the band about, amongst other things, pizza, ales, bento and cooking in the kitchen.

What’s the dream meal? Do you eat out much?

MB: Nut/Cheese combos are amazing, pine nuts and mozzarella, walnuts and gorgonzola. What cheese goes well with cashew nuts? That’d be my dream meal. As long as it was covered in black pepper. I cover nearly everything I eat in black pepper. If scientists came out tomorrow in the news to announce black pepper is really bad for you, I’d be utterly fucked. I eat out when I can afford (rarely), usually Mexican or East Asian.

JW: I’m a terrible cook, pretty much everything I make is straight from the freezer or from a packet. My girlfriend and I eat out quite often, our favourite place, because of the price to quality ratio, is Nation of Shopkeepers. Their burgers are next level, they do a triple cheese burger: brie, cheddar and emmental. Little Tokyo is a favourite if it’s recently been pay day but the dream meal is always going to be something greasy and smothered in cheese and between bread.

Are you guys any good in the kitchen? What does your diet rely on?

MB: I’d like to think I’m good, but I’m probably shit. I watch way too many cooking shows, and convince myself that I can replicate everything I see on TV. I’m vegetarian, so I fall back heavily on cheese, but I reckon my specialty is this awesome mushroom pilau I got from an old Indian cook book at my parents house.

JW: Absolutely hopeless in the kitchen, or maybe I’m just lazy. A lot of Linda McCartney lasagne gets eaten and Morrisons ‘Nacho Bean Burgers’. Recently I’ve been enjoying tofu marinated in teriyaki sauce with noodles and green peppers, it’s really easy to make. I can start marinating the tofu before I go to college and it’s ready for cooking when I get back 8 or so hours later.

I’m baking you a pizza, right now, I’m going about it at such a furious pace. WHAT 4 TOPPINGS DO YOU WANT ON THIS GUY?

MB: So much mozzarella. Sweetcorn, black olives and onion too. Cover that baby in black pepper and oregano.

JW: 4 toppings? That’s excessive. Can I just have 2 lots of mozzarella and 2 lots of jalepenos?

Is Leeds good for food and drink? Plenty of nice pubs?

MB: Brudenell is the place. Loads of imported stuff for cheap as chips. I almost drink non-alcoholic stuff more than alcoholic in Brudenell, because Nath gets in these great American root beers, ginger beers and grape sodas, for like £1.40 a pop. Mr Foley’s down in town is awesome for real ale and local breweries too. As for food, takeout is all about El Faro or Grove Cafe. Going out is all about the tofu bento box at Little Tokyo.

JW: The only pub I frequently visit in Leeds is Brudenell. They’ve recently started getting cask ales in and I can’t get enough of it. They always have at least one ruby/dark ale on which I’m all about, can’t stand it when pubs only have light ales on. Me and MB are from Halifax and that’s where all my favourite pubs are. The Big Six is my favourite, it’s just 2 terraced houses knocked together and they always have 4 or 5 guest ales and it has an amazing atmosphere. The Puzzle Hall in Sowerby Bridge is cool for similar reasons. Cock of The North really deserves a shout out, it’s essentially a port-a-cabin with its own microbrewery. It only sells ale that it brews itself and there’s always at least 6 different ales on at a time.

You’re new record is sounding amazing (Gringo is one of the best UK labels) but what would you recommend we eat alongside listening to it at home?

MB: All our records are made eating copious amounts of takeaway pizza, so it should probably be listened to eating copious amounts of takeaway pizza. That’s why our songs are so long. It’s our challenge to finish an entire 12″ before the song ends.

JW: Matt Gringo has cooked us this incredible aubergine bake whenever we’ve been in Nottingham so I’m voting for that.

Any food hates? Something you plain refuse to eat?

MB: Goat’s cheese. The one thing that sucks about being vegetarian is that every shitty pub or restaurant you go to for a family meal, the only veggie dish on the menu is based around a lump of stinky goat’s cheese. I hate that shit, it tastes like a farm smells. My girlfriend has a goat called Brian living in the field next to her house too, so seeing him rolling around in mud and shit every day probably doesn’t make it any more appetising.

JW: I don’t really eat food that has come from the sea, I just haven’t eaten any and enjoyed it. I really dislike tomato ketchup, it’s so sweet, I don’t want it anywhere near my food, makes me cringe.

I know you’re into your ales, describe your top 3 favourites. Kinda like a more drunken desert island discs.

MB: I’m a blonde/pale ale kind of guy. I’m not gonna fuck around and name 3. My favourite by far is Moorhouse’s Blonde Witch. I could drink that stuff for the rest of my life. No other pale ale has come close yet. Special mention to Sam Smith’s though, for the delicious taste/dirt cheap price combo. Old Brewery is the greatest session bitter. Easy on the taste buds, even easier on the wallet.

JW: Woah, this is a toughie. Erm… I like ‘em dark, the darker the better, so I’m gonna go for ‘Kraftwerk’ by this amazing new Leeds microbrewery Revolutions, all their beer is amazing but this really stood out for me, the Cock of the North porter, ‘Uncle Jon’ and probably Young’s Chocolate Stout because I keep coming back to it.

Illustration: Emma Fisher

More Belly Kids here.

Mike Coley, Belly Kids.

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