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My brave photographer and I meet Small Black’s lead singer Josh Kolenik and bassist Juan Pieczanski at a Park Slope C-Town on an afternoon with a rumbling and dark gray sky. Josh told me earlier that the band wanted to grill their meal. No sissy storm threats were gonna stop our backyard cookout—some local UFO sightings, but not a little water.
“We’ll try to grill,” Juan reassured us. “If the grilling doesn’t work then…” he threw his hands up. “But the theme is, this is how we cook on tour—we’re trying to keep the tour alive.”
The dinner game plan for the night includes grilled chicken thighs and various veggies along with a nice, summertime cuke salad.
Juan details the grocery list—counting on fingers, he predicts, “We might go a few bucks over budge.” I remind him how Ava Luna's total bill also went two and a half bones over.
"I know, I saw that," he said with a nod, almost binding the challenge.
"Yeah, we’ve been having a real deep grillwave this summer," Josh said.
While on their U.S. tour promoting Limits of Desire, Small Black carried a modest grill top in the van, plunking it down over makeshift campfires. A welcome break from the typical road dinner involving prepackaged sauces and plasticware, I'm told.
"The steaks we made on a beach—they were the best steaks I ever had," Josh said, almost visibly drooling over the recollection. "We cooked them over driftwood that we pulled from the beach and mesquite coals. We bought this rub from a nice rest stop in Montana. …It was a spot I found out there on a road trip before. …I had just hiked there [before] and it seemed pretty idyllic to cook up some food there."