Singer Brittany Howard is about to take the stage in front of a packed New York crowd, but she just wants to talk about her newfound affection: fishing. Earnestly, the frontwoman and guitarist for indie-pop hotshot the Alabama Shakes, who is famous for her gut-wrenching acts that move seamlessly from howling to persuasion, has gone so immersed in the boast that she even jam-pack her Sage-green 7-weight pole when the band tours.” We don’t even booze no more ,” she tells me.” I go fishing. That’s what I do. I go to a town, find a piece of liquid and I go fishing .”
It seems only right that we should be discussing tying runs, given that we’re swimming in New York’s Hudson River. We’re inside the World War II-era aircraft carrier, the Intrepid, which has been docked along Manhattan’s west line-up for the last 35 years and has become an air and room museum. As we chat about the merits of the communication of catching and liberating, hundreds of sailors are moving aboard for the launching of Fleet Week and the annual Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum concert that the band is headlining.
While the crowd is tightening up with an motley of rum-and-ginger beer concoctions, the band is taking it a little bit slower. The four principals aren’t big-hearted drinkers but Howard and the group’s other vocalists warm up their vocal cords with a concoction of hot water, lemon juice, honey and some whiskey. In happening, she sips from a cup of it on stage, more. What kind of whiskey does she like to use?” Whatever don’t ignite too bad ,” she articulates.” I don’t want to get heartburn before I go up there .”
In fact, most of her bandmates actually skip eating heavy bowls, like pasta, before they play. The exception is bassist Zac Cockrell.” I’ll feed a whole banquet and go on theatre ,” he brags.
After the show is a completely different floor. Most of the time the band will find a local restaurant and found a family meal on the bus as they leader to the next town. Rarely, they’ll go to a eatery if there’s both epoch and enough concern.” Usually, I go to bed ,” Howard declares.” That’s what I’m looking forward to. But if I have the intensity, yeah, I’m going to go out .”
Tonight, they’re praying meat from New York’s trendy Chinese restaurant Red Farm. In particular, the establishment’s delectable duck and unique take on the traditional eggroll, which it fills with pastrami from famous Katz’s Delicatessen.” Two orders please ,” Howard jokes.
In between stops, the band acknowledges to stocking its tour bus with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Lunchables and LaCroix sparkling water. Although, Howard admits to still missing the steak-and-cheese torta from her beloved Sabor Latino Taqueria in their hometown of Athens, Alabama. The secret to its deliciousness:” They have their own bread recipe ,” she discloses.” It’s the food that forms it .”
But Howard is already looking forward to the excursion to their next concert venue.” I’m evoked to go to Connecticut ,” she reads.” I affection Connecticut because there’s good fishing. We drove through it[ before] and stopped at a Dairy Cream and I was like this is my homeland .”