For any musician without crazy insane personal catering, finding the right food to fuel cross-country tours and late-night shows can be a big challenge. On the road all day, bang out a show, and do the same thing for practically a year...I'd assume this is difficult. And I would probably resort to saltines and hummus 90% of the time. For the women of LA-based punk band Bleached, the word challenge is an understatement. Bassist Micayla Grace is vegetarian, guitarist Jessie Clavin avoids gluten, and lead singer Jennifer Clavin (she and Jessie are sisters) has Type 1 diabetes. Yeesh. If you’re having trouble thinking of a single meal they could all share, imagine having to dream up three meals a day, plus snacks, while touring in support of their newest EP, “Can You Deal?”
Chloe Finch of Bon Apetit got the insider scoop about what it's like to have these dietary restrictions while also being a kick ass indie rock band...
What’s the last thing you ate today?
Jessie: We haven’t even eaten yet this morning. Last night we got Jack in the Box, which we never do. I didn’t eat it, because it’s worse than an alcohol hangover, eating Jack In The Box late at night.
When you’re on the road, what are your strategies for finding foods that fit your dietary restrictions?
Jennifer: I actually woke up this morning thinking—because we have a ten-hour drive to Portland—‘We need to go to Trader Joe’s today.’ It is such a great place to go for tour food. They have prepackaged salads and healthy options.
Micayla: One of my tricks is to get Whole Foods instant oatmeal cups that have added flax seeds, omegas, and goji berries. And then when you’re at a gas station they always have hot water. But when you’re on the road and hitting gas stations, you’re limited to string cheese and apple slices. I’ve been really into ginger lately, because that helps with inflammation.
Jessie: We have ginger on our rider.
Do you guys have signature smoothie recipes?
Jennifer: We actually brought our Vitamix on tour.
Micayla: Chia seeds, plain yogurt, a handful of kale, banana, strawberries, and any kind of other berry. And if I have maca powder, I add that too.
Jennifer: Mine would be plain yogurt, ice, frozen banana, peanut butter, cacao powder, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and soy milk or water or almond milk.
Jessie: I like going for the straight shot of wheatgrass, ginger, or turmeric. I love that burn.
What L.A. foods do you miss the most when you’re on tour?
Jennifer: Avocados. And Mexican food, for sure. By the time we get home, we’re like, we need to get Mexican food right now.
Are there any snacks you enjoy that people might not expect to hear?
Jessie: I like the seaweed sheets with no salt. I try to stay away from salt. I get the giant packets and just eat them all. Micayla introduced me to Gardetto garlic rye chips. Those are available in all gas stations, so I’ll get that and string cheese.
Jennifer: One food item that’s been killed by us being a touring band is hummus. I remember the first time I ate hummus I was like, “Oh my God, this is amazing. I can’t believe I discovered hummus. I could eat this all day.” And now, it’s like, “No. Put that hummus away.” Those veggie plates get old--
Micayla: [Laughs] Those slimy carrots.
Jennifer: I can do celery sticks with peanut butter. I feel like peanut butter is a lifesaver on tour, actually. It makes everything a little bit better.
Jen, I saw recently that you had to cancel a show because you had vocal nodes. What do you eat or drink to help repair your vocal cords?
Jennifer: I drank a lot of Throat Coat tea with honey and just tried to eat things that weren’t super harsh. One thing I really like is applesauce, so that was a good option. And baby food; oh my God, I secretly love baby food. Banana baby food is amazing. And sometimes the yams, the yams are so good. They don’t have to be refrigerated.
Micayla: And since you want to eat light before a show, baby food is the perfect meal. I like prunes, that’s a good one. I feel like baby food is the thing everyone secretly loves, but no one ever talks about it.
Jen: Maybe we should put baby food on our rider.
So there you have it, trying to eat on a restricted diet while pouring out your lyrics night in and night out can be a little bit of an atrocity. This group of girls can handle it though, they're punk enough. Be sure to check out Bleached Website and see all their brand new music.