The Hold Steady Wants a Hibachi Chef in the Dressing Room

By Zach Brooks |

We hope the hibachi chef is named Charlemagne Danny Clinch

Brooklyn’s the Hold Steady celebrated its 10th anniversary at the beginning of this year, and on March 25 will release Teeth Dreams, its first album of new music since 2010. Last week, we caught up with the band at South by Southwest, just before a raucous show at Cedar Street Courtyard in downtown Austin. We asked singer Craig Finn and guitarist Tad Kubler for five things they’d love to find in their dressing rooms each night—irrespective of price or feasibility.

1. A hibachi chef. Craig: “A hibachi on the rider would be good, but it would be even better with the chef. Shrimp, chicken, steak, the onion, the sauces, the whole thing.” 

2. Really expensive, nice mustards and horseradish. Craig: “I’d want the real grainy kind, the least-liquid mustard… but absolutely no mayo. It’s almost a reverse guest list where I would prefer it not to be on anything, near anything or even on the premises. I don’t even like when other people at the table order mayo. I feel like it’s lubricant for food, rather than actual food.”

3. A nice Cabernet Franc. Tad: “Having some decent-to-good wines might be a nice change of pace, because we’d enjoy it but it’d also slow down the consumption.”

Craig: “Probably not. But if we’re going to go for a decent bottle of wine, I’d go for a Cab Franc. Recently I had one at Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn that was really great.”

4. The kale salad from Five Leaves, in Brooklyn. Craig: “Maybe if this rider stays our rider for 10 years I’ll regret this, but one of my favorite things in the world to eat, which I think would be great backstage, is the Five Leaves kale salad. I’ve seen a lot of restaurants attempt to replicate it. There’s hazelnuts, Gouda cheese, Sriracha. It’s spicy, but it’s still kale.”

5. A tray of fancy desserts. Tad: “From éclairs to tiramisu to crème brûlée. And small so you could kind of eat a bunch of them. Chocolate-covered fruit, a chocolate fondue tray with a chocolate fountain—like Golden Corral. Actually, I’m not so into the chocolate fountain. I’m thinking we’d need another tech for that, another body, to set it up and tear it down.”


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