When I was just a snot-nosed little punk, my Aunt La La turned me on to AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” at my grandparents’ house. I was completely blown away by their music, the album cover, and the brilliant lyrics. How could you not be? Angus Young and Bon Scott are true rockers! When I grow up I want to be just like them.
During my teenage years in high school I started to play the bass guitar in my first band, Torment, and worked at various restaurants slinging pizzas, cooking up pasta, flipping burgers, and washing dishes. Playing metal with the band or cranking metal in the kitchen was a good day to me. Heavy metal music and food … what could be better?
Once I went to college, I realized campus food didn’t taste anything like my parents’ cooking. Actually it was some of the worst food I’d ever eaten. Just nasty! I quickly turned my dorm room into a prison kitchen. With the help of a coffeemaker, an electric skillet, a mini fridge, and a toaster oven, I could turn frozen pizza into something you might find in the West Village. My friends and I would buy cheap food, steal items from the mess hall on campus, and eat like kings in my dorm room. Mix some spices with a little Mad Dog 20/20, Headbangers Ball on MTV, and a 12-pack of cheap beer gave us a great meal.
In 1996, I packed up my one suitcase and moved to New York City. I got hired as an intern for a record company. I couldn’t believe it. I’d actually found my dream job. Life was good. I told myself if you can’t get signed by a record company you might as well intern for one. Most of my friends and family thought I was crazy, and maybe I was, but I ran with the opportunity and never looked back. I moved into a studio apartment in Queens with my only possessions: a TV, a stereo, a sleeping bag, my guitar, and a chair. That’s it. For six months I slept on the floor like a dog and showed up to work with a smile.
I would take the subway from Penn Station to Canal Street five days a week to my office. For five bucks a day I would eat like a king. In that area I would find the most amazing Chinese food, Mexican food, and Italian food. My taste buds jumped into overdrive. Every night I would crank out to my favorite bands on tour and experience all kinds of food from every culture in the world. I love great music and I love better food!!! You can only do this in New York Rock City!
A foodie friend of mine named Rev. Ciancio writes a blog called Burger Conquest and his Glorious Pursuit of Delicious Burgers. If you are a sucker for a good burger, then this is the only site you need in your life. One night over a couple of beers, he turned me on to this gem in Chicago called Kuma’s Corner. This restaurant is not only the best place to get your grub on, but it also cranks out the most awesome tunes. Chef Luke is such a badass; he names his burger recipes after some of his favorite metal bands. There is nothing better than Chef Luke’s Neurosis Burger with an ice-cold beer. I knew when I was putting together this book I had to get him to write the intro. I am so glad he did.
During my time spent in Queens I got to become friends with this guitar slinger named Chris Caffery. I knew this guy could play guitar like nobody’s business, but I never knew he was a chili-head. One day while we were enjoying a tasty beverage and chowing down on some bar food, he takes out of his duffle bag a spaghetti sauce jar filled with hot sauce. He cracks it open, and the smell was so heavenly. I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a good hot sauce. A great hot sauce can make a rubber tire taste good. Chris tells me this story about how he had been working on his sauce for some time and had just now perfected it. I had to agree with him 100 percent. It was the best hot sauce I have ever had. After washing down my meal, I had to ask him if he would like to submit a recipe for this book and to write the foreword.
Throughout the years working in the music industry I have traveled throughout the United States and Europe. I have experienced many different cultures and foods that are truly out of this world. I have been extremely lucky to work with some of the greatest bands in rock ’n’ roll. I have developed amazing friendships with these artists and have learned that I’m not the only one who loves cranking out the tunes, cooking crazy meals, and eating great food.
Mosh Potatoes is a backstage pass into the kitchens of some of the best musicians in heavy metal music. Some of these rockers could outcook any old Top Chef.
I’ve personally prepared all the recipes you see here in my home. I hope you as a fellow foodie and a fan of rock ’n’ roll will enjoy these as much as my wife and I do.
Steve “Buckshot” Seabury
I was really stoked when I heard that Steve was putting this book together. I was excited that he asked me to submit a recipe. I was ecstatic and flattered when he asked me to write this foreword.
It’s Thanksgiving night 2009, and I am currently traveling with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Even on a tour with amazing catering, I still find the urge to cook for myself. Sometimes I even make some of my classic ramen noodle recipes before I headline an arena show in front of 15,000 people. I find it both relaxing and a way for me to always remember where it was that I came from and to never take things for granted. It also stirs up some incredible memories of the last twenty-five years on the road and beyond. As a kid I was volunteered to be the family chef at a young age. My mother and father worked full-time so I was handed food and basically taught myself. It wasn’t perfect every time, but that is what cooking is about. Trial and error. I learned to cook almost anything. Whether it was lasagna or stuffed shells, baked chicken or ham, soups or sauces … I could cook just about anything by the time I was eighteen.
As time went on and I began to travel, I would pick up recipes on the road. If I ate something I liked, I would try to find out what was in it, how it was done. During tough times I became the master of low-budget cooking for many people. Ten-dollar meals that would feed an entire band. These would be huge pots of soup, pasta meals, shepherd’s pie, and many more. Sure, we had more than ten dollars, but we had to have something left over for the vodka!!! I also had the misfortune of finding out that there would be times when food was not as much fun going out as it was going in. After many bouts with food poisoning and other stomach illnesses I always seem to revert back to cooking for myself! We had a running joke on tour about a bus that one of our catering companies bought. We would say, “Poison bought them that bus … food poison!”
Inside this book you will find that many of us musicians are just as creative in the kitchen as we are in the studio. That cooking is an art. Whether it is an extravagant meal like steak and lobster or a simple appetizer like squeeze cheese and Bugles (a late-night favorite amongst myself and half-baked partners in crime), I have found that many of my friends on the road have different specialties and meals they like to share. Steve has managed to assemble many of them here in this book. I have cooked up several Thanksgiving dinners from scratch at home. Not this year, since tomorrow I have two shows, and I am excited to perform. Afterwards, I’ll head back to my tour bus and make some day-after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches. Grab some leftover turkey and gravy, cook the Stove Top stuffing, add cole slaw, cranberry sauce, and oh yes: the instant Mosh Potatoes … enjoy!!!
Chris Caffery, lead guitarist of Trans-Siberian Orchestra
© 2010 Steve Seabury