In a recent interview, A Music Blog, Yea? spoke with Dine Alone Foods‘ co-founder and Say Yes‘ drummer Jordan Hastings. With Say Yes’ debut EP out today, we gave Jordan a call to discuss the origins of Dine Alone Foods, their new EP, the inspirations of Austin, and touring with Alexisonfire — enjoy!
AMBY: Thanks for speaking with me today, Jordan. I look forward to chatting about Say Yes and Dine Alone Foods with you.
Jordan Hastings: Me too.
AMBY: Before the questions, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve tried the Dine Alone sauces before and love them. They’re sooo good.
Jordan Hastings: That’s awesome [laughs]. Thanks so much.
AMBY: My pleasure, we’ll learn more about those later [laughs]. To kick things off, your debut self-titled EP is coming out on August 19th. Tell me a bit about the EP; what was the experience like recording it?
Jordan Hastings: It was great. We recorded it with an old friend of ours who we recorded with in the nineties, Justin Koop, here in Burlington. He’s a super old friend and the recording was great. We did everything in our hometown which was nice because we didn’t have to go across the country or have to be away from our families. It was a pretty quick run-through; once we started getting into the studio we were only in there for about a week or two weeks. Then it was pretty much done.
AMBY: Your Facebook biography begins with, “Warhol was right – the idea of waiting for something does indeed make it more exciting.” I think that’s the perfect teaser for fans who want to get your hands on your EP. What does the band have planned to celebrate or launch the debut?
Jordan Hastings: What we’re basically doing is getting back on the road and picking up momentum with touring. Hopefully we’ll get Canada under our belts and maybe head overseas. We’ll see how it goes.
AMBY: You’ll be playing the Niagara Craft Beer Festival and Riot Fest this summer.
Jordan Hastings: Yes!
AMBY: If you could curate your own festival, who would you want in the line-up and where would you want it to take place?
Jordan Hastings: That’s a tough call. Canada would be cool, maybe Toronto? I really like shows at the Ampitheatre in the summertime; I like playing there and I like going to shows there. Who would be on it? I don’t know. We’re all avid music fans of all genres and playing periods. It would have to be a mix of some classic rock and then some newer stuff.
AMBY: Aside from the excitement happening with Say Yes, you are also the co-founder of Dine Alone Foods. Take me back to the company’s origins; how did this idea to create a Dine Alone food brand with Joel (interview) come to be?
Jordan Hastings: That came about while Joel and I were travelling a lot with Alexisonfire. Joel used to come out on the road with us sometimes. We were going down south to the southern states a lot and we were trying a ton of these flavours you couldn’t get up here. This is probably going back to 2005. There were all of these crazy hot sauces that you couldn’t get – the only thing you could get in Canada was your typical Frank’s – so being down south we were constantly trying all of these different things and bringing them back to Canada and sharing them with our friends and family. It became an obsession; we both have these huge collections of hot sauces and barbeque sauces. We started toying with the idea of making our own from Canadian ingredients and then sharing what we’ve experienced while abroad. That was kind of where it all stemmed from. I started developing some recipes in my home kitchen using home-grown ingredients from my garden and then we fine-tuned everything to where we liked it and scaled it up from there. Now we’ve got a big plant making our sauces for us and it’s still all natural ingredients which we’re really proud of. There’s no frankenfoods.
AMBY and Jordan: [laughs]
Jordan Hastings: There are no preservatives. It’s all natural. We’re really stoked about coming up with new products hopefully in the near future as well.
AMBY: Congrats on everything.
Jordan Hastings: Thank you!
AMBY: Did you immediately know that you wanted to go into barbeque sauces or did you think about creating other condiments?
Jordan Hastings: It was definitely an immediate thing. It initially started with us just wanted to do a hot sauce and as we dove into it we thought, “why don’t we dive into doing barbeque sauces?” It was definitely right off the bat; we knew it was going to be hot sauce and barbeque sauce. We also have some ideas for some new products so hopefully we can start working on those shortly too.
AMBY: That’s great. As far as using the sauces or recipes go, what’s your favourite sauce pairing? I tried the sweet and smoky Northern Soul Chipotle BBQ one and can’t wait to use those on some ribs.
Jordan Hastings: Nice [laughs]. I’ve been using that one a lot on ribs. I’ve also been mixing half of the Northern Soul with half mayonnaise to create an aioli and putting it on some French fries, it’s really good. The hot sauce I’ve been putting in caesars all summer and it’s fucking awesome.
AMBY: Being on tour, you mentioned how you experienced different food scenes. Which cities did you pass through where their food inspired you the most?
Jordan Hastings: I’d say Austin, Texas. Everything there is amazing; the food is good, the entertainment is good, and the people are amazing. It’s such a rad city. Where else was good? Pretty much anywhere in Texas you’re not going to find shitty food… unless you look really hard [laughs]. They know how to do good barbeque in the southern states, that’s for damn sure.
AMBY: Did you have any favourite spots you came across where you want to go back?
Jordan Hastings: There’s this one right in Austin called Casino El Camino. After I went, I actually found out that it was featured on that show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
AMBY: Mr. Guy Fieri.
Jordan Hastings: [laughs] It was this crazy burger joint where they had all of these awesome burgers. The one I got was stuffed with blue cheese and it was an incredible burger. The guys from Alexis and I were on Warped Tour and I had a little dirt bike, so we hopped on it and we eventually found our way from the Warped site to this crazy restaurant. It probably looked pretty silly to have two grown men on this tiny motorcycle but it was worth the drive, that’s for sure.
Thank you Jordan Hastings, for giving us your answers!
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/154800122″ params=”color=00aabb&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout