California's Young the Giant is an international band with members whose backgrounds reach from England to Iran. As a result they bring diversity not only to their music, but also to what they want in their greenroom. I caught up with YTG's Indian lead singer Sameer Gadhia and French-Canadian drummer François Comtois to get their dream rider requests. And not surprisingly, they leaned heavily on their cultural cuisine.
1. A bottle of Cristal. Sameer: "With Jay Z and Kanye's phone numbers Scotch-taped to the bottles so I could call them and we can pop it together. We actually met them at the [MTV] VMAs in a very stereotypical way. We were walking down the hallway and turned the corner, and Jay Z and Kanye were clinking glasses of Cristal. It's just the archetypal celebratory Champagne. I'm not a big Champagne buff, and I'm sure there are better-tasting Champagnes, but for me it's just the thing."
2. Dal. Sameer: "Specifically, my mom's dal. The thing about commercial Indian food is that it's very, very rich, and a lot of people think of it as being bold in flavor and very buttery, which isn't necessarily always how it is. The best home-cooked food is really simple and clean. I like lentil soup, like a dal or something like that. It reminds me of home. It's comfort food for when I don't feel like eating a ridiculous meal."
3. A good bottle of Oban. "We're Scotch drinkers, and the 14-year is my favorite. Or maybe whatever is the oldest bottle Oban makes! Twenty-two, 25, or something like that."
4. Poutine from La Belle Province in Quebec. François: "I'm from Montreal, so truckloads of poutine. As much as humanly possible. There are all these fancy places, like La Banquise, that make these crazy fusion ones. I like a place called La Belle Province in Quebec (The Beautiful Provence) and it's straight up fast food and amazing.
5. Duck confit. François: "We lived in France for a while and my parents would make duck confit and then fry the potatoes in the duck fat. Nice and crispy skin, some roast asparagus on the side, with a nice Beaujolais. It's my favorite meal."