Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Pizza Pie Do or Die with Steven Gilles of Atlas Empire

Atlas Empire
The Pizza Pie Do or Die Column interview is destined to be long running. That's pretty cool if you ask me, and if you dig reading about bands and pizza.

The answers that have been coming in have really changed my personal perception on the concept of pizza. Though, factually it's birthplace is Italy, pizza has always seemed like a very American kind of thing to me.

In the case that we took something someone else in the world did and got behind it and took the concept to a whole new level of decadence. 

(We did the same thing with IPAs.)

So getting back answers from bands in Europe, Canada, and other countries is pretty cool to me. Today, we have Steven Gilles of the Glaswegian Progressive Alt-Rock band Atlas Empire has weighed in on pizza, from presumably a distinctly Scottish point of view.

While you're checking into his delicious choices, spin their latest record via BANDCAMP.

1. Pizza is the world's most perfect food. This is not up for debate. Please define pizza as based on your geographical location.

Pizza is a glorious creation, no argument from me! Glasgow has a few awesome spots - Paesano Pizza does authentic Italian style excellently and Bloc has some really great thin crust offerings. 

And then there's "Pizza Crunch" - in the stereotypical Scottish style, a cheap margarita pizza, deep fried in batter. Heart attack in a box!

2. It's going to get controversial now. Pineapple on Pizza. Why or why not?

I'm pro-pineapple in most applications, including on pizza. The citrusy zest compliments ham really well, I don't get what's not to like about a Hawaiian? 

I'm going to raise the controversy bar even further here - I add Sriracha.

3. For literally years, my family didn't order pizza from the take out places. We made Chef Boyardee boxed pizzas. After that, we only ordered St. Louis Style from Imo's. But finally, in the LATE EIGHTIES, I had Domino's Pizza. 

Tell me your tale.

Aside from going to Pizza Hut buffet as kid...the sacred pie wasn't a big part of my diet until my late teens. Dominos was a wonderful discovery, Papa John's came later - it only came to Glasgow around 5 years ago. 

I tried true Chicago style for the first time at Dimo's in Chi-town itself, May 2016. That was a career highlight!

4. St. Louis Style Pizza is the perfect pizza, especially if you enjoy bragging about how much pizza you can eat, but when I'm out in other parts of the country, I seek out Chicago Style Pizza. What do you look for?

I prefer thin crust to a deep pan, mostly. But if I had to pick a number 1 pizza style, it'd be a calzone. 

There's an amazing Turkish takeaway restaurant in the East End of Glasgow that does curry calzones - I almost met my match against an inordinately hot chicken madras, I think the secret ingredient was plutonium!

5. Pepperoni started giving me heartburn. So I switched to green peppers or onions. What's your go-to topping? 

I'd always been into spicy & super meaty - but recently my girlfriend and I have been eating predominantly veggie, so my current toppings of choice include peppers, red onion, mushroom, jalapenos, and chili flakes.

6. What do you look for in pairing beer with your pie?

Ready for my most outrageous answer? 

I don't drink alcohol, so mine would be an ice cold diet Coke, cos I'm punk as fuck.

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