Back in the ’90s, if you were to have guessed what the kid from Home Alone would be doing in a couple decades, playing the kazoo in a pizza-themed Velvet Underground tribute band probably wouldn’t have topped the list. Life’s funny life that. We checked in with Macaulay Culkin’s bandmate, vocalist/tambourinist Austin Kilham of the Pizza Underground, in preview of what’s sure to be a strange show at Church on April 19.
The obvious question: why a pizza-themed Velvet Underground tribute band?
I think with pizza and the Velvet Underground, you really get a New York twofer. Pizza is a New York icon, as is the Velvet Underground. I don’t really see why someone else didn’t get to it first.
Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” is supposed to mimic the feeling of being on heroin. Is it possible to musically mimic the feeling of being on… pizza?
We certainly don’t like to say anything is impossible. Like “Heroin,” it would have to have a slow build as you waited for the slice to come out of the oven. Then maybe some percussion, a shaker perhaps, to mimic shaking the red pepper flakes and Parmesan over the slice. The song would build to its climax as you eat the slice and then, depending on your personal preferences, may stop short at the crust.
If that was someone’s goal back in the annals of pizza history, it seems like they missed their mark. That said, we would never knock a calzone!
We were actually told recently, by a friend of Lou Reed’s—and we have no reason to doubt this—that he was, in fact, a pizza fan and that his favorite pizza place was Joe’s on Carmine in the West Village. We were psyched about that because that’s our Manhattan spot too.
Whenever I think of pizza I think of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—they loved pizza. Who was your favorite Turtle?
I was torn as a kid. My brothers were clearly Raphael and Michelangelo. That left me with Leonardo, who had too much responsibility, and Donatello, whose staffs just aren’t as cool as swords.
“…Actually it’s delivery. My bad!”
Debates about deep dish have made it to the Supreme Court, or so I hear, but thin crust all the way.