Nicole Munoz, Christine Tupou, Mander Farrell, and Rich Gutierrez of San Jose’s Sourpatch sat down and talked with me about food, eating, life on the road, a bit of music, and how somethings affect their stomachs. Discussions ranged from their enthusiastic support of Ted Leo and his venture into candy sponsorship (Rich’s love for Citizen’s Arrest), our bonding of the amazing music of Julie Doiron, in depth discussions on ice cream and non-dairy alternatives all the way to thoughts on coffee in San Francisco and potato chips on I-95.
Sourpatch just released their second LP, Stagger and Fade, on the wonderful Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records (the home of 90s influenced indie darlings, and Great Pumpkin favorite, Tunabunny), and are gearing up to not only tour tour but also to food tour throughout May and June.
More about their album after our chat!
Sourpatch is based in San Jose. Are ya’ll born and raised there?
Nicole: Go sharks!
Nicole: I’ve never been to a sharks game in my life.
Rich told me that he is vegan, one of you is a vegetarian, and two are omnivores…how long have the vegetarians and vegans been not eating meat, and the omnivores, were you ever vegetarian?
Mander: 6 years vaginitarian
Rich: Woah! I have been vegan for almost 11 years. I eat fairly healthy as well, except on tour, I have a steady diet of vegan cake and coffee.
Mander: No that’s a lie.
Nicole: I’m the omnivore and I’ve never been vegetarian.
Christine: I eat what I like. I love seafood, but I’ve become accustomed to cooking vegan because Rich and I live together.
Being from San Jose I hear there is a regional delicacy the olallieberry pie, and and are you familiar with the pie?
Christine: I ‘ve never had that! Who told you that? Is that on wiki?
Rich: olala what?
I guess it’s more a Pacific North West thing, but they still grow near San Jose. (for more details check out this link: Olallieberry )
Christine: Thanks! Have you had it?
Rich: Oh! I’ve seen it but never tasted it.
I’ve never had it. I am very curious being that I am a fan of most pies.
Christine: Oooh! My aunt used to have these in her back yard, but they never made it to a pie. My brother and I would eat them all before she could do anything with them.
They still sound delicious.
Have you been to the Gilroy Garlic Festival?
Mander: I have, when I was a kid…they have garlic ice cream! I think I licked the garlic ice cream, and was like what the fuck. I don’t like ice cream
Christine: I haven’t.
Nicole: I have. I LOVE marinated garlic and pickled garlic.
Rich: I drank garlic tea.
Is garlic ice cream the craziest flavor of ice cream you have tried?
Rich: There is an ice cream shop in L.A that does different flavors everyday next to where Mander’s partners use to live.
Rich: Yea, Scoops! I had vanilla sea salt.
Rich, have you tried this Raw Ice Cream Company? I’m curious about the prospects of making ice cream alternatives at home.
Rich: I have never tasted that brand, where’s it from? My favorite is Coconut Bliss
Christine: Frozen bananas work well as a base. Rich made a pecan one last week.
It’s from Long Beach, NY I just saw it for the first time the other week.
Rich: I know a guy who makes cashew ice cream for every band that records in his studio.
Christine: This place too! Scream Sorbet in Oakland. All ingredients are locally acquired
It sounds like I need to make an ice cream journey to the west coast.
Christine: You should! Ice Cream tour! We like to food tour when we tour tour.
I’ve asked about the berry and the Garlic Festival. Does San Jose have any other region specialties?
Rich: The bay area in general has good coffee.
Christine: Mexican food is like none other in the bay. I work at a 3rd wave coffee shop called Barefoot. It’s direct trade and roasted here.
Do ya’ll have a favorite coffee shop that you are loyal?
Christine: I like Sight Glass in San Francisco, and Bellano. It’s close and along the same lines as Barefoot.
Rich: Barefoot coffee, because it’s the closest to us and all my roommates work there.
Nicole: I like going to this place called Mission city in Santa Clara.
Mander: I like Philz, but I’m loyal to nothing.
You said that you like to food tour when you tour tour. Is it hard to find places to accommodate all of you? What is your default stop that makes everyone happy?
Rich: We usually all eat at the vegan spot, because they are all nice to me! I swear by the HAPPY COW APP! It’s a website that has listings of vegan/vegetarian restaurants and health food stores. I just do a search when we roll into a town, but we’ve toured so much that we already have our favorites.
Christine: I like trying at least one recommended or regional specialty while in a city. Usually you can just do that by asking around or asking friends.
What are some of your favorite places? You know the places you go back to when you roll through a town for the third or fourth time?
Christine: The Dutch Taco Truck and Hungry Tiger in Portland.
Rich: I only eat Taco Bell. I love Hungry Tiger too, and sticky fingers in Washington DC. We ate this place in Liverpool,UK that had the best soup I’ve ever tasted.
Mander: I love Sweet Pea in Portland (vegan bakery), Soul Veg in Atlanta, and Watercourse in Denver.
Christine: Mr. Natural in Austin! Oh my gosh, so good and we are burrito snobs! Lucky’s in Philly, cheap delicious vegan Chinese food.
The band’s name is Sourpatch. Is that after the candy?
Rich: Not after the candy. Sourpatch means: to do something horrible to a person and then give them a hug and smile. Punch someone in the kidney and give them a hug.
If each of you were a candy which type would you be?
Rich: Dark chocolate.
Mander: Dark Milky Way.
Nicole: Big Hunk.
Christine: A Ring Pop, or an Almond Joy… Can’t decide so I’ll be both
Any thoughts on Ted Leo being very friendly with vegan candy Peanut Chews? Peanut Chews sponsored the most recent How Was Your Week live that he was involved in.
Christine: Good for him! They’re delicious. He’s a lucky man.
Rich: That’s awesome.
Do you find it hard to find places to eat for everyone when in places like the American South? I’m from South Carolina, and that drive up I- 95 can be brutal…and difficult to find anything health.healthy.
Christine: We tend to stock up at grocery stores.
Rich: Sometimes you gotta eat a bag of chips once or twice or 5 times on a drive.
Do all of you drive on tour? is coffee the drink of choice? do you ever resort to soda or energy drinks?
Christine: We all drive, yes. I’m a coffee kind of guy myself.
Mander: I like tea, and coconut water gets me through life. On tour especially! I NEED MY COCONUT WATER. I have the shits bad enough already and anxiety I can have as much coffee as I used too.
Christine: Oh my gosh one time our friend Gabe drank this crazy energy drink while on tour with us and talked none stop, through the night for six hours.
Rich: Coffee is for sure my drink of choice and water of course. no soda or energy drinks.
Nicole: yeah coffee is usually the main thing
I love ya’lls honesty! Is there a tour coming up? Any new cities//food adventures to look forward to?
Mander: Jambalaya in the south.
Christine: Show us good coffee.
Rich: We go on tour in May all the way through June 28th. I just like being on the East Coast in general. I am looking forward all the food over there. Come see us on tour! And bring us your favorite vegan dessert!
Sourpatch are exactly that… a kiss and a punch at the same time. Sugary, sweet twee then the traack changes and you find yourself in the midst of a pop punk show. It’s a fine line between those two genres and Sourpatch are able to play both sides. Whether you are craving a bit of Go Sailor or some Black Tambourine you are going to feel just as at home with Stagger and Fade. The first three singles from Stagger and Fade are available to stream right here:
and their lovely video for “Cynthia Ann” (download it!):
as well as the brand new video for “Things You Say:”
Pick up the new album (and other releases) directly from Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records!
Sourpatch will be touring across America in May and June. Those tour dates are developing and can be found here. Get out there and find these nice people while they are on the road, and if you can bring them a nice vegan treat. It will be much appreciated, and you might just get a hug in return.