A decade after their break-up in 2002, Tumwater, Wa. shoegaze-trio Unwound has made a welcome comeback … sort of. Late last year, they recently released Live Leaves, a double-LP sprawl featuring performances from its last tour.
The bulk of Live Leaves are live-in-concert scorchers taken from Unwound’s final record, the shoe-gazing noise-pop landmark, 2001’s Leaves Turn Inside You. With that massive LP, guitarist/singer Justin Trosper, bassist Vern Rumsey and drummer Sara Lund (who now plays in the Corin Tucker Band) perfectly intersected My Bloody Valentine-styled dissonance with their trademark buzz-sawed, bass-booming melodies that filled their stellar Kill Rock Stars-hosted output throughout the 1990′s.
In light of Unwound’s return, Hive asked Trosper to share his own list of culinary survival essentials from those fruitful days on the road.
“For me coffee is food. The first tour we went on in the fall of 1991 there was one Starbucks east of Seattle in Chicago. Later, probably in 1998 or so, I remember seeing two Starbucks’ kitty-corner to each other at an intersection in Houston. Some people may hate me for this, but I was really glad that Starbucks expanded. After this, there were tons of good coffee shops (non-Starbucks as well) throughout the U.S. When we were in Japan in 1998, drinking coffee out of cans was still de riguer. I’m sure it is different now.”
2. Jamba Juice
“Yippy, look, there is a Jamba Juice! Part of the Californification of the world included the ubiquity of smoothies. By the time of this 2001 tour, one could find the obnoxious grody green pastel of a Jamba Juice even in the south. Fine with me. Before that, I had to hunt for the one health food store in the 100-mile radius of the college town we were in and hope for at least an Odwalla for my fruit and vegetable intake.”
3. Mexican Food
“Ok, this probably mostly happened since 2000, but you can get decent Mexican food outside of California (I know, there was some other good places, but just go with it) because of these things called taco trucks. I remember in the early 90’s having long discussions regarding the virtues of 7-layer burritos from Taco Bell. Once even there was a near collapse of a friendship over whether Del Taco or Taco Bell hot sauce was better. The Mission District in SF was like a sacred hunting ground for burrito loving folks like myself.”
4. Vegetarian Food
“I’m not a vegetarian now but back when we were touring in the early ’90s, trying to be a vegetarian and eat something other than a form of potatoes (except for that 7 Layer Burrito) was next to impossible unless you were in the “college town.” which would have the typical co-op deli or one cafe with the sprouts and cream cheese bagel (oh, lucky you!). Way different now! I remember a billboard sign in Nebraska that said: ‘Vegetarians go home, you are not welcome here!’ Might still be there …”
5. All Kinds of Fucking Water
We used to think it was so weird to buy water. There didn’t use to be more than just pop, beer, Slurpees, and juice in a 7-11. Then there was all these iced tea things, weird canned coffee drinks, ‘healthy’ juice, energy drinks with multiple forms of “energy” in the ingredients, and all kinds of fucking water. Not that I didn’t try these things, but you know. So I guess it all sort of adds up to more choices. More crap and more good stuff. More crap disguised as good stuff … more things you don’t need to buy!”
Live Leaves is out now and available here. Watch their last complete show on April 1, 2002, below: