Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Exclusive Interview with Brooke Gallupe of Immaculate Machine

Close on the heels of our interview with The Organ's Jenny Smyth, Brooke Gallupe of Immaculate Machine took time to talk to MeatFilter about the life of a vegan musician.

MeatFilter: How long have you been a vegetarian and a vegan?

Brooke Gallupe: I've been vegetarian my whole life. I've eaten meat twice: once as a child I was forced by a neighbor who thought my parents were being negligent, and once by accident recently. The former I don't remember, but the latter was traumatizing. On the birthday before last (Aug.2004), I resolved that I could be doing more, challenging myself more, and became vegan. Politically and ethically, I think being vegan is good, so while I don't expect everyone to become one right away, I felt it was important for me to make a good example of myself. Especially since it was so easy for me; it's a small step from being vegetarian, and I am surrounded by pretty vegan-sympathetic people.

MF: What are your musical influences?

BG: My musical influences are varied, but mainly in the rock/indie/punk/pop kind of scene... older bands like The Clash, The Smiths, The Velvet Underground as well as a lot of Canadian contemporary music - The Constantines, The Arcade Fire, The Hidden Cameras. I like bands that have a subversive political attitude, regardless of whether they sing overtly about politics.

MF: When you're on the road with the band has it been hard to find good vegan food?

BG: Not at all. It's all about knowing what you can eat. Being vegetarian and eating well all my life, I was always baffled by people who asked what I could possibly eat. If you really can't think of any vegetarian dishes, you must have pretty boring eating habits. There are tons of things, and being vegan is the same. I'll eat burritos without sour cream or cheese, or falafel, or veggie burgers. We often shop at grocery stores, which is cheaper and easy to make vegan.

MF: What city have you been to that had the best eating options?

BG: In Toronto, I ate a lot of Indian food, which is very often vegetarian or vegan. In Montreal it's middle eastern (ie falafel). In Vancouver there's quite a few great vegetarian retaurants, including a 24 hour one called The Naam. In Victoria I get Phad Thai and ask for no egg or fish sauce. Every cosmopolitan city has options, but obviously the smaller the town, the harder it is to eat well. I'm looking forward to touring through California for the food.

I think it seems harder to become vegan than it actually is. Soy substitutes for dairy are omnipresent, because so many people are lactose intolerant these days. Unless you live in the smallest redneck town in a meat-guzzling family, you have very little excuse -and even then, my vegan girlfriend is the daughter of a butcher from Sudbury, ON. I'm very excited to be seeing so many new places on our upcoming tour with The New Pornogaphers. Maybe I'll meet some friendly vegans too.

Big thanks to Brooke for his time and to Yvette Ray at Mint Records for setting up the interview. Be sure to check out the new Immaculate Machine CD, Ones and Zeroes

No comments: