Chinese Food live during NXNE 2008

Chinese Food a Safe Bet at The Horseshoe

Chinese Food is a safe bet tomorrow night.

The band, not the rat-infested restaurants is set to perform at their album release party at The Horseshoe Tavern, just around the corner from Chinatown.

I first caught these guys during a NXNE performance last summer and was pretty impressed by their tuneful songs and positive energy. Their debut full-length album, When the Future Caught on Fire, will be available on vinyl and digital download card.

I caught up with Chinese Food singer Tim Beresford for a little Q&A about his band, his love of vinyl and the nature of rats....

BlogTO: You've decided to release this new album on vinyl and digital download cards only. Why no CDs?

Beresford: "Really, we just like records. I treat my records with 100 times more respect than any CD I've owned. Our friend Graham Roumieu gave us some amazing artwork for the LP and we want to share that with people in a large format. Vinyl is the genuine article. Stick a free download card inside the sleeve and there is no need for a CD."

Is the vinyl a limited run? What led to this decision?

"We started off with a small run. If we need more we can drive to Nashville and sneak them back across the border. Each run can have a name. Like 'the almost didn't arrive on time' batch or 'the smuggled in the back of a '95 Ford Windstar' edition. It means more to everyone that way."

Do you own much of a vinyl record collection yourself? Got any old faves?

"Yes. I love The Kinks' Misfits album. The new Chad Van Gaalen. Songs of the Humpback Whale, which my brother found in the garbage, is insane. And that's something else about vinyl: Even when people throw it out, they gently set it on the curb because they respect it's value, however obscure, and they know someone else will likely find a use for it."

What was the inspiration behind the title of the new album, When The Future Caught Fire?

"I've spent a lot of time thinking about the past lately. Specifically what the past is. In a way it's kind of a useless thing to think about but you find yourself enjoying or reviling it so often sometimes. Why?

"And then, as sort of an antidote to that you push forward, planning what you want, how to do this or that. Sometimes you get overwhelmed with being in the middle of that. There are so many facets of each tense that were begging to be described. An impossible task really, but this is our attempt."

What's your favourite Chinese Food restaurant in Toronto?

"I always loved the Chung King above Daniels Art Supplies but it closed down. We've been going through more of a Vietnamese phase lately."

What do you think about the recent rats in Chinatown public health scare?

"They did a test once: two rats, one box of Corn Flakes. One rat got to eat the Corn Flakes and the other rat got the box. One month later they were both in perfect health. It scares me how adaptable they are. So I'd like to say that it's disgusting that there was a rat in the window. But frankly, I'm afraid to speak out. One day we'll be forced to worship them."

What kind of a show can we expect Saturday night?

"You can expect to leave feeling that you did the right thing. We are playing with some great bands, Ketch Harbour Wolves and Key Witness.

I feel confident in saying that we'll have a few of Toronto's most creative acts on stage. If I were someone else but I knew what I know, I wouldn't miss it."

Photo by Roger Cullman.

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