Welcome to the new subsection of Decent Panini, SPEAKINAWICH, in which we sit down with some of our favorite bands and talk all things sandwiches. This week we popped a squat with our good friend Bill Covert from Chicago’s premiere math rock/avant guard punk/malort enthusiast band, Space Blood!
Location: Vidalia Sandwich Counter (inside Crown Liquors)
Sandwiches: French Ham (Bill) and Italian Sub (Kyle)
Kyle: So, whatdya get?
Bill: I got the French Ham! It’s ham with a gruyere cheese, pickles, and a Dijon mustard on a baguette. Pretty fucking awesome.
K: What is your all-time favorite sandwich?
B: Wow, that’s tough. Of any place, anywhere? I’m a little biased right now. I was recently just down in Louisville and had easily the best fried chicken sandwich of my life at a place called The Eagle. It was absolutely amazing; I’ve never had a fried chicken sandwich like that. The Eagle. It’s ingrained in my brain. But, there’s so many great sandwiches everywhere. One that comes to mind is a breakfast sandwich they have at Twisted Spoke (West Loop, Chicago) that was a staple of mine for a few years straight.
One of my all-time favorite sandwiches, and this is kind of hometown bias, is in New Buffalo, Michigan and our hometown deli is Dave’s Delicatessen. Their Reuben is probably my all-time favorite Reuben. They just use Boars Head meat, but they make their own sauerkraut and it knocks it out of the park. I would also say in the city, and while I’m not a vegetarian, I will honestly say that one of my favorite sandwiches is the cheesy Italian at Ground Control. It’s a vegetarian place and I lived by there for a year, it kind of changed my life on how I view vegetarian food.
K: Between the Chicago Big 3 (pizza, hot dogs, Italian beef) what do you gravitate towards?
B: Man, that’s tough. That’s really tough. Some very hard hitting questions. A Portillo’s Italian beef sandwich, I would pick that over a Chicago dog or Chicago pizza. Except maybe Lou Malnati’s! On a normal day I would say an Italian beef, unless Lou’s is an option… I think they’re my favorite Chicago pizza place. But the Portillo’s beef is a game changer. For me as a non-Chicagoan, when I first moved here and had a Portillo’s beef I thought “why would you go to anywhere else out here?”
K: Space Blood just put out Tactical Chunder, an amazing album. The release show was a blast. I was real drunk, in fact everyone there was real drunk. If a deli was to put a Tactical Chunder Space Blood sandwich on the menu, what would be on it?
B: I gotta think about this. Obviously taste is something you want, but being Space Blood I have to think about the textural aesthetic and the visual aesthetic. Regardless of whatever of meat is going to be on it, there has to a relish. Maybe a jalapeno relish? Neon. Almost like the Vienna Beef relish, the “why is this neon green for no reason?”. That’s an automatic. So Sam in Space Blood is vegetarian, borderline vegan, so the only way to do it justice would be to do some weird half and half sandwich. I feel like texturally that would fit Space Blood. If you had seitan mixed with like a roast beef combo, so you eat the first part of the sandwich and you think you know what you’ve got, then you get to the other half and say “what the fuck is this?” It just completely changes. We’re both not really skinny guys, so let’s put that on something weird, let’s put that on a cinnamon roll. Top it with relish. Obviously the ‘Malort Face’ Soothsayer hot sauce, that’s a given. What else can we put on it? Some sport peppers, that’s very Chicago-y. Spicy and salty is a good way for Space Blood. Let’s add some bread and butter pickles. In my mind, I think that might taste okay. I would eat that.
K: Until you get to the cinnamon roll bun…
B: Maybe a pretzel bun would be better.
K: If someone were to actually recreate it, I would say pretzel bun. But to represent Space Blood, I feel like it needs to be the cinnamon roll.
B: Yeah, I do to. Let’s stick to the cinnamon roll. People will like it.
K: Anything lined up for the summer?
B: July 16th we’re playing at show at Emporium in Wicker Park with Snooze; they have a math rocky/emo vibe. They’re new to the scene, but really good. Musically they really fit with us. We’re playing that show with two touring bands we’re friends with, Stage Kids out of LA and Via Luna from Kansas City. That’s our big middle of the summer show. We’ll be going on tour in August with some friends of ours in a New York band, Marateck. We’re just gonna fart around the Midwest – Madison, Minneapolis, Kansas City, St. Louis. Get out of town for a little while.
And try out some new sandwiches!
Some sandwiches are bad. Some paninis are decent. Kyle reviews them all!