Christopher Chaisson is singer/guitarist of The Young Leaves
What was the food highlight of your year?
This year was a big food year for me! Although it’s kind of funny, I’ve been struggling with food phobias since I was a kid, which has limited me significantly in terms of my diet and what I can/will eat. This year I decided that I was going to tackle some of my phobias head-on by trying different foods, in hopes of branching out and expanding my palate.
Particularly, I made the brave leap into burritos, which contain a ton of ingredients that have freaked me out for years. Turns out, after a few bad experiences, I absolutely LOVE burritos! This self-discovery has been relatively huge for me because through conquering the burrito, I’ve been able to add several core foods to my diet like beans, rice, and lettuce. It may seem ridiculous and unimpressive to some, but it was a personal milestone which I’m super happy about.
What was the music highlight of your year?
My musical highlight of the year was easily the release of my band’s new full-length, Alive and Well. As with any release, I was extremely excited to get the record out, but this one was such an incredible process and ultimately felt more rewarding than anything that I’d done in the past. It was the first record that I did with my new drummer (and one of my best friends), Rico Delgado, and the chemistry and enjoyment we had while writing and recording these songs was truly awesome. I think we both feel like we accomplished something, and there’s not a greater feeling in the world. My runner-up musical highlight was playing Fest 12 and getting to see several of my favorite bands. It was an amazing experience and I’d like to thank Tony and everyone else who helped make it happen. I’m already stupidly excited for the next one!
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
Yes! Earlier in the year, I had a moment in which I considered quitting The Young Leaves and giving up on playing music in general. Our bassist had left us (on amicable terms) and I was undergoing some rough personal stuff, so I called up Rico and asked him to hang out, preparing to give him the whole “this band is over” speech. We met up at this place in my hometown called Outpost Farm, which neither of us had ever been to. I remember we both ordered these $4 Thanksgiving-style turkey sandwiches and they were quite possibly the greatest sandwiches that we’d ever had. While we were eating, I started to drop the bomb on Rico and, almost immediately, he told me to shut up and stop being irrational. I don’t know what it was about the combination of tough love and a delicious turkey/cranberry sandwich, but it ultimately saved the band. I’ll always remember that day.