Seattle’s Orca Team have a quite a summer lined up for themselves, and their journey begins right here in NYC for Pop Fest this coming weekend. They will be touring from the great state of Washington, making a stop off in the UK and Ireland for a little tour and the Indie Tracks festival, and then back across the states! Orca Team create blissfully bizarre beachy pop music. Maybe if you put David Lynch in a bathing suit, big sunglasses, and placed him in the middle of a tropical beach party that would sum up the vibe…truly dream worthy, and a soundtrack to your summer.
While all of Orca Team are food lovers the band directed me to Dwayne Cullen, their drummer, to chat about all things that are delicious. Dwayne took the time to talk to us before he had to pack his bags for their three month tour de force. He knows his coffee, loves beer, and will eat just about anything. He gives us his little guide to breweries and coffee shops around Seattle, some insight into the Seattle hot dog, thai food, donuts, ice cream, and more.
Orca Team tour dates, album stream, music videos and more can be found after the interview!
Where did you grow up, and what type of eater were you?
I grew up in Lynnwood. A suburb 15 miles north. We used to hear coyotes howl in our backyard, but now its an apartment complex. I was a picky eater for 18 years, Now I eat everything. And will try anything.
What would you say Seattle’s regional delicacy is? Where would you go to get it?
The Seafood here is probably our main delicacy. Lots of Oyster happy hours around town. Sometimes I go out to the peninsula to a friends cabin and go crabbing or grab some oysters off the shore, so I’m not huge on paying for it. However, The Walrus and the Carpenter is the absolute best! I love their smoked trout and they have regular half off oyster happy hours. It’s in Ballard (a neighborhood of Seattle) so I like to hang out by the water there, either head out to the locks, or walk along the canal.
Is the Seattle variety of hot dog a thing?
In Seattle, hot dogs are served with cream cheese and grilled onions on a toasted bun. The sausages are split in half and grilled before being put in the bun. Stands offer a variety of condiments, such as Sriracha sauce and jalapeños (via wiki)
Yes it is a thing! When I discovered it I was very apprehensive, but now I never want a hot dog with ketchup and mustard. The cream cheese mellowing out the spice of sriracha and jalapeños is perfect. I don’t know what about it is “Seattle” but its god damned tasty.
Washington state in general is a big beer state. Do you have a favorite Brewery? Favorite Beer? And, even if it isn’t your favorite brewery, what is the best brewery to visit?
The beer I always find myself drinking here is Manny’s. In the course of an evening I may try several different beers, but there is always at least one Manny’s in there. It’s the most perfectly balanced Ale I have found. Bitter enough. Not too sweet. It is brewed by Georgetown Brewing Co. Located in an industrial part of Seattle south of downtown called Georgetown. Great Beer, Have not been to the Brewery.
Between the Fremont and Ballard neighborhood, Hales Ales has been a favorite brewery to visit. I think it’s because it was down the street from where I lived when I first moved out on my own. Going there brings back thoughts of freedom and independence. And not worrying or giving a shit. They produce a variety show every year called the Moister Festival. Its awesome. It may not be my favorite catalogue of beer, but they do have some pretty nice cream ales and my favorite is their Mongoose IPA. Killer.
Outside of Seattle there are so many. If anyone was looking for a little excursion into dark dreary parts of the Northwest I’d recommend Diamond Knot in Mukilteo, or Port Townsend Brewing CO …in Port Townsend, and Scuttlebutt in Everett.
Your band mates say that you are coffee snob: when you go out for coffee what is your local shop? What do you order? What type of beans to you use at home, and what is your brewing method?
I would decline to say that I am a coffee snob, after working as a barista at so many cafes, I got very tired of being told the “right” way to make a god damned cup of coffee. That being said, I do like a fresh roast and cup of coffee made with some effort.
I drink coffee three ways: Black cup of coffee. Black Americano with just two ounces of water. And Mochas. At home I am all about the French Press. I’ll use a caffettiera to look classy sometimes…
Caffe Vita, is my favorite place to go for black coffee. My roommate works at Fuel, which sells Cafe Vita, so there is always plenty in the house. For espresso, I really love (and I know its really more local to Portland, but it’s such high quality) Stumptown. I’ve never had a bad cup there. And you can show up any day (i think) at 3pm for a coffee tasting downstairs. Its a lot of fun and they’re all very knowledgeable.
Ok, so maybe I took some liberties with how they said you were passionate about beer and coffee…they really only said you “were the extreme one these days.”
Ya’ll are pretty close to the Canada boarder…do you have thoughts on donuts? Dunkin Donuts vs Tim Horton? Now that we have gotten the chains out of the way what would you say Seattle’s local donut jam is?
Funny, I feel like there were more Dunkin Donuts around here when I was a kid. I just google mapped it and there is one in seattle and like two in Washington. I have never heard of Tim Hortons. Apparently they own cold stone creamery? We have those… But there are so many better little shops in Seattle to satisfy your sweet tooth.
First of all there is Mighty O Donuts; which is a major destination because they make vegan donuts that taste amazing. I used to work there; they’re top notch. (I got fired for being late too many times. What can I say I have a lot of shit to do at night.) Try the Chocolate Raspberry. Top Pot is also a big name in Seattle donuts. Go there if you want a classical beefy “hand forged donut”. Their fritters are great.
I keep forgetting that Dunkin Donuts is an East Coast thing. There have to be a hundred in New York. When I went to Vancouver the guy driving the shuttle explained that Tim Horton’s was basically Canada’s Dunkin Donuts, and if I wanted to sound Canadian I should order a “double double”: a coffee with two creams & two sugars. Any other exciting sweets coming to mind when you think about Seattle?
For anything beyond a donut. Molly Moons is the great for ice cream. And Seattle has more than a million cupcake shops (in fact I rarely see anyone with a donut – cupcakes only). but top tier in my opinion is Yellow Leaf – their frosting is Italian Butter cream “sweet without being sugary”. Seriously check them out. Its divine. http://www.theyellowleafcupcake.com/
My girlfriend recently flipped through the new Molly Moon cookbook…we saw a couple interesting ideas in there for our own ice cream making. We have tried out some different things recipe wise…savory ice creams and moving to egg custard bases.
Brown buttered Ice cream, sounds tasty! I’m usually a little boring when it comes to Ice Cream though. At Molly Moon’s I get two scoops of my favorite things in life. Coffee and Chocolate. The Chocolate is Theo Chocolate which is a fair trade chocolate factory in the Fremont Neighborhood and the Coffee is made with Stumptown.
I’ll be honest, I have no idea where to begin. Last time I was there I had a friend guide me to a great chinese place in Brooklyn, and an Oyster/PBR happy hour. That’s about it. What should I look for?
There are a handful of $1 oyster happy hours going on right now: Maison Premier and Lobster Joint are two that I hear are great. If you want Chinese I would point you toward dim sum in Chinatown at Nom Wah Tea Parlor or Xia Famous Foods in the East Village. Donut wise Peter Pan Donuts in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is super old school, and makes amazing donuts. There are endless amazing sandwiches and pizza (Best Pizza in Williamsburg has both amazing pizza and sandwiches).
I will be checking out the dim sum for sure. Its a combination of another two favorites: brunch and chinese.
Are there any cities you like to tour through just to eat and drink there? What are they and what are you eating and drinking while you are there?
Portland. I think the northwest is pretty spoiled when it comes to food and drinks. So many restaurants with different styles of high quality cuisine. Portland is very vegan friendly, which doesn’t matter to me, but when I go out to eat with Leif I can find great, tasty options. The Sweet Hereafter for example has a killer (vegan) Buffalo sub. Great atmosphere and great drinks too! Portland has so many great breweries as well. I loved Amnesia Brewing, had so many beer that day I can’t recall why except that it was a really sunny day and they have outdoor seating.
To stretch out a bit: I do love going anywhere in the south that serves Jerk chicken. I’d never heard of it till I went down to florida. Can’t get enough. Jerk sauce blew my mind.
We just got two Pok Pok Wings, a Portland institution, here in NYC? have you been?
I have not been, but I just checked the menu. I’m gonna try to go there next time we do a show in Portland.
I think you said you live in the university district…I have fond memories of Thai Tom’s (although I didn’t know much about thai food when I ate there). What is the locals’ opinion?
I haven’t met a single person who has been there that didn’t rave about it. The vegetables have always been perfectly cooked, you know where they’re still crispy? Seeing the way the cooks bustle and serve you quickly is an added pleasure. Be ready to wait outside during prime dinner time.
Twin Peaks was said to take place in Washington state. Are you a fan? How are the pies around there?
I love Twin Peaks so far, I only started watching last week. Its funny seeing Snoqualmie Falls as the intro to the series – I went there all the time as a kid. Oddly enough, we’ve had people tell us our music sounds like it belongs on a David Lynch sound track, and we just made a music video in North Bend. I went to the twin peaks cafe, but did not have any pie. Their mexican omelette was great though.
When Orca Team tours how do you decide where to eat? Do any band members opinions have more weight? What do you do if you can’t decided?
Well, last tour Leif and Jessica were Vegans, so I ate with them mostly at Co-op’s and natural food stores. Now Jessica isn’t vegan and It’ll be interesting to see if that changes the ‘where to stop for dinner’ dynamic. No one has more say really, but Leif absolutely will not let me go to McDonalds. Which is great, because I don’t want to, but when I’m really hungry its like a sirens call and Leif ties me to the mast. If we can’t decide, or if we are in a hurry then its Chex Mix dinner and Peace tea at a gas station.
Orca Team begin their long journey right here in Brooklyn, and will be playing with the Catnaps, Cola Jet Set, Wild Moccasins, and Saturday Looks Good to Me for the second night of Pop Fest! If you run into them give them tips on good eats in your town, watch them play, and maybe grab a tape or record (they release on High Fives and Hand Shakes AND Happy Happy Birthday To Me! what a resume!). Check out their most recent EP here:
- NYC Pop Fest!
- 5/18: NYC Pop Fest in Brooklyn, NY – The Knitting Factory (8:45pm SHARP!) with Catnaps (PA), Cola Jet Set (SPAIN), Wild Moccasins (TX) and Saturday Looks Good To Me (MI)
- 5/21: Brooklyn, NY – The Rock Club with Outerhope (Philippines), Sleuth (Canada) and Burning Hearts (Finland)
- 5/25: Seattle, WA – The Skylark with Pony Time and NightTrain
- US Summer RESTRAINT Tour! (West To East)
- 6/14: Seattle, WA – SPACE Gallery
- 6/15: Spokane, WA – Baby Bar
- 6/16: Missoula, MO – Zoo City Apparel
- 6/17: Rapid Falls, SD – Berry Prairie Winery
- 6/18: Spearfish, SD – Nameless Cave
- 6/19: Fargo, ND – The New Direction
- 6/20: St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
- 6/21: Milwaukee, WI – Quarters Rock N Roll Palace
- 6/22: Chicago, IL – Saki Records
- 6/22: Chicago, IL – The Burlington
- 6/23: Detroit, MI – Recycling Center Summer Stage
- 6/24: Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class
- 6/25: Jamestown, NY – Labyrinth Press
- 6/26: Buffalo, NY – Filigrees Gallery and Boutique
- 6/27: Easthampton, MA – Flywheel Arts
- 6/28: Portland, ME – Portland Bowl
- 6/29: Worcester, MA- Distant Castle
- 6/30: Boston, MA – Lorem Ip Sum Books
- UK Summer of RESTRAINT Tour -
- 7/03: Brighton, UK – The Green Door Store
- 7/04: London, UK – The Brixton Windmill
- 7/05: Nottingham, UK – The Chameleon
- 7/06: Glasgow, UK – TBA
- 7/07: Leeds, UK – Baby Jupiter
- Indietracks Festival!
- 7/08: Derbyshire, UK – Indietracks Festival
- with White Town, Veronica Falls, Allo Darlin’, Girls Names, Standard Fare, Tender Trap, Liechtenstein, Sea Lions, Go Sailor, Rose Melberg, The June Brides, Gold-bears, The Proper Ornaments, The Rosie Taylor Project, Language of Flowers, Tigercats, Mikrofisch, Evans the Death, The Hobbes Fanclub, Gordon Mcintyre, The 10p Mixes, Joanna Gruesome, September Girls, Silver Factory, Colour Me Wednesday, The Birthday Kiss, Velodrome 2000, Doggy, The Sunbathers, Themakingof and Bart Cummings
- 7/11: Liverpool, UK – TBA
- 7/12: Sheffield, UK – TBA
- 7/13: Cardiff, UK – TBA
- 7/14: London – TBA
- 7/15: Dublin – TBA
- US Summer of RESTRAINT Tour! (East to West)
- 7/18: New York City, NY – The Cake Shop
- 7/20: Philadelphia, PA – PhilaMOCA
- 7/21: Pittsburgh, PA – Assemble Space
- 7/22: Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub
- 7/23: Bloomington, IN – Rachel’s Cafe
- 7/25: Topeka, KS – The Boobie Trap
- 7/26: Omaha, NE – Farnam House
- 7/27: Denver, CO – Shakey Molars House
- 7/28: Grand Junction, CO – Tenacious Brothers Pub with Dreamboat
- 7/30: Boise, ID – The Manor
- 7/31: Portland, OR – Valentine’s
- 8/01: Olympia, WA – The Northern