This is a big one for me — when I was in my last year high school I discovered the debut album from a band called The Muffs and I immediately fell in love. They were fronted by a super cool looking woman named Kim Shattuck, who wore the kind of baby doll dresses I thought I could rock at the time and had a growling voice that was really tough, but not terrifying. As a girl who favoured Redd Kross and Teenage Fanclub over Pearl Jam and Nirvana, The Muffs became a fast favourite for me. And now, they’re back.
Tomorrow (July 28), The Muffs release Whoop Dee Doo, their first album in a decade, and they sound just as great as they did in 1993. I talked to Kim Shattuck about what she likes to eat and how she keeps that voice sounding so great after all these years.
Rolling Spoon: Are you much of a cook? What are some of your specialties?
Kim Shattuck: I used to cook more. Lately my husband and I have been eating dinners out. Actually when I was younger I used to experiment a lot with spices and throwing ingredients together. I would make everyone try it as finally someone said “Maybe you should try following a recipe.” I’m not the best at strictly following directions.
I’m super into making gluten free sandwich combos. I just ate a havarti, bacon and Udis bread with yellow mustard and it was phenomenal. I get on cooking kicks too. I was really into making cheesecakes a while back, before that it was quiches, ribs, chicken, soup.
After almost 25 years as a band you guys sound as energetic as ever and all three of you look pretty good too. Do you have any healthy eating secrets that have kept you all in relatively good form even after so many years in rock ‘n’ roll?
I’ve been gluten-free since 1997. Seriously way before the cool kids figured it out. Not for losing weight but to stop all my intestinal craziness. It’s so easy to eat gluten free snacks nowadays. For a while last year my husband and I were the Sid and Nancy of this amazing gluten-free donut place called Babycakes. But I gained a ton of weight so now I try to eat lots of salad and grilled meat. No sugar anymore. No sloppy goo on food unless I know it’s gluten free. Stuff like that. Because I enjoy food so much and have a difficult time moderating I have to eat healthy most of the time.
What kind of food fueled this record while you were recording it in the studio? Are there any official studio snack of The Muffs?
Definitely strong Peets Coffee with heavy cream. I’m not sure there’s an official food.
I’ve always really loved your voice, you have so much character as a singer. When you’re on the road do you have to pay attention to what you eat so that your singing sounds the way you want it to?
I probably do the opposite of what I was taught. I eat tons of cheese and meat. Drink heavy cream in my coffee. My cholesterol at my last blood test was super low and my good cholesterol was high. Against all current advice.
What are some of your favourite places to eat in L.A.?
Do you have any good stories about breaking bread with other musicians over the years?
One time way back in 1986, I was eating there with a group of people in bands. Melanie from the Pandoras, Steve McDonald from Redd Kross and others. We were at a diner on Sunset Blvd called Ben Franks sitting in a booth. All of the sudden Steve picks up a dirty ashtray and puts his tongue on the dirty ashy middle part. From the other side of the glass ashtray I see his tongue just picking up all the nasty crap on it. We all screamed.
What is your favourite kind of pie?
I am a huge fan of cheesecake. I know what it’s name is but I still think it’s a pie.
Do you have any recipes you’d like to share with us?
I’ll do my healthier cinnamon toast because it’s amazing, easy and a little healthier.
Kim Shattuck’s Cinnamon Toast
2 pieces of whole grain Udi’s gluten free bread
Toast it crispy
Add way too much real butter
Sprinkle coconut sugar on the buttered bread
Sprinkle cinnamon on bread
Like I said, Whoop Dee Doo will be out tomorrow, and The Muffs will be playing several shows over the next few months, including the Burger A Go Go festival in Santa Ana California on August 2. If you can’t make that, listen to the new song “Up and Down Around” or if you want a visual, here’s an oldie but a goodie: