What’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6-cubic-foot refrigerators.
On the grill
Who are you
I’m Alex Little, lead singer and rhythm guitar player in Alex Little and the Suspicious Minds. I’ve been playing music for a long time, but started by playing the drums. I just recently got into full-time guitar and vocals. I feel lucky to have found some really talented musicians to express some feelings with—I really feel as if our band is special and we all bring something very unique to the table.
When I was about 9 or 10 I attended my first concert—it was Tom Jones. It was very exciting for me, as one of my favourite songs at the time was “What’s New Pussycat?” as I used to be obsessed with cats as a kid, and still am, to be honest. It was at the Orpheum—this would have been late '90s or early 2000s. I remember not knowing or caring about any of his other songs except for that one, and being really confused by all the women throwing panties all over the stage. We were in the second row or something, though, so it was a pretty cool experience as a little kid. As my dad says, “We were so close we could count the beads of sweat on his forehead.”
This is tough because I feel like often, in other generations, this moment is a band that the person still loves passionately today. I look back and think it's funny that I have to say Sum 41 and Billy Talent. It really was the first time I went to a high-energy punk show—I was completely sober and even crowd-surfed. I think I was 13 or something—I remember going for Sum 41 and loving Billy Talent even more. I guess it’s the first time I ever heard something heavy and wasn’t totally freaked out by it. It was at the Croation Cultural Centre—a spot where a lot of teens in Vancouver went to shows when I was growing up. I actually still remember it vividly and it really made me want to start a heavy band and got me into punk. My first band was in a competition to open for Lynyrd Skynyrd. (We were called "Up Arsenal". We lost.)
Top three records
Buzzcocks Singles Going Steady The first time I heard the Buzzcocks, I was deep into a strange early 2000s blend of (as mentioned above) Billy Talent, Sum 41, and Gob et cetera. I didn’t really get into earlier punk until I had already been into what was current pop-punk at the time, and I think it’s so funny I initially because I said “The guitars in this are too quiet.” I was just used to overproduced guitars and vocals. So at first I didn’t quite get it, and the song “Orgasm Addict” really made me feel uncomfortable because I was, like, 15 or something. I found myself going back to it though, again and again, and eventually realized it was way better than anything I had ever heard. The songwriting and the melodies really grew on me, and they’re still one of my favourite bands today.
T. REX The Slider I remember hearing this album a lot as a kid, as it was one of my mom’s favourites, but not really getting it until my mid teens. It’s one of those ones that, once you get it, you don’t un-get it, however. It’s kind of like the sexiest music ever made? Not to mention melodically beautiful. I guess I didn’t get the appeal of this weird little guy with this wild hair and a top hat early on, but got it way too much once I did.
David Bowie Hunky Dory I honestly just think this is a perfect album—every song is exactly how it should be. I envy Bowie’s writing talent and wish I could do something as magical as him. I think the obsession with him started with “Oh! You Pretty Things” and it never stopped after that.
All-time favourite video
The Ramones "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" Definitely the Ramones' "I Don't Wanna Grow Up." The Ramones have always been one of my all-time favourite bands, and they did a video that just happened to be illustrated by my all-time favourite artist, Daniel Clowes. I remember reading Ghost World when I was, like, 14 or something, and how the story and drawings really resonated with me. The aesthetic of the Ramones' music and his illustrations kind of go together perfectly. I also connect with the sentiment of the song on a very deep level. It's kind of like the perfect combo of your two favourite worlds colliding. Flintstones meet the Jetsons kind of vibe. But way better.
What’s in your fridge
Five Tupperware containers filled with mashed potatoes. About two weeks ago my boyfriend and I had my family over for meatloaf, a classic dish in my family, and we weren’t sure how many mashed potatoes we should make and in turn made way too many. For some reason I can’t bring myself to get rid of them and they just hang out, taking up precious fridge space. I look at them and think about them every time I open the fridge—one of those “Oh yah, I should probably deal with that.” One day, one day.
Mango nectar. You know what sounds good? Mango Nectar. You know what’s not good? Mango Nectar.
Condiments galore. In all my years I tend to have more condiments than actual food items. Ranch, hot sauce, HP sauce, balsamic glaze, mayo, wasabi-mayo… and many more. I guess sauces have always been an important part of my food regime—if something is not great, it can be as long as there’s sauce.
Listen to the Alex Little and the Suspicious Minds EP No Control here.