Sister Band Joseph On Portland, Chicken Pot Pie, And Call Me By Your Name

In honor of their newest album Good Luck, Kid, we chatted with the very cool and down-to-earth sister band Joseph on their ideal food days, favorite films, and how they start their day as sisters in business together…

From start to finish what would be your ideal food day?

Allison Closner: I love a good salty breakfast. Something simple like GF toast with avo, veggies, and an over easy egg…hell yeah. For lunch I’m always down for Pho. Woo! Take me there. For dinner my ideal would be to make something at home. I’ve been trying to get better at cooking and I always love winding down at home in the evenings.

Natalie Schepman:

Breakfast: The Chicken Congee from Botanica in Silver Lake

Lunch: The Southwest Cobb Salad from 12 South Taproom in Nashville

Dinner: The Mezze Platter from Tusk in Portland

(Iced coffee in the morning, Extra Dirty Vodka Martini at night. Now I am craving all of this!)

Meagan Closner: I love a good Huevos Rancheros to start or breakfast tacos from the spot down the street from my house. I’d follow that up by either a smattering of pickles, meat, cheese, and cracker situation for lunch or run down to the local spot and get Fajitas. I’m a sucker for Mexican food. Ideally for dinner I’d eat a home cooked meal at my parents house on their front porch. Our parents have become masters at the front porch summer dinner feast. Meat cooked by our Dad on the Traeger, some veggie mix from our Mom’s garden, a bowl of watermelon, and a glass of Cabernet.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

A: Woo. This is a constant work for me. I have a few autoimmune diseases so I feel like I’m constantly working to nourish my insides well because I find that when I eat foods that make my body feel happy then my mind feels better, my skin feels better, and I’m an all around healthier better version of myself.

N: Self talk! Noticing when a foreign negativity enters my mind and protecting my brain space by combatting that negativity with affirmations: I am alive, my body is doing its job! Going on long walks and moving it around.

M: Being twins, I’m the same as Allie. It all starts by eating the right foods. I work hard to keep my mental game positive as well as that’s the playground for negative thoughts about my body. People like Lizzo and Jonathan Van Ness have been massively inspiring in learning to love my body no matter what size or shape it is and to break down the social standards I have cemented into my brain from what culture tells us beautiful is.

How do you always start your work day together? 

A: When we’re not on tour we try to hop on a FaceTime call with all three of us to touch base and make sure we all know whats going on that day and delegate who will be doing each task that day. Most of the time it ends up being a catch up hang for half of the call, but productivity comes from our connectedness.

What is your favorite childhood meal?

A: Oh wow. Our mom would make two dishes that I loved. One that we will all probably agree on is her chicken pot pie. The second for me was this chicken and potato dish with kalamata olives and rosemary.

N: Yep, chicken pot pie! The definition of comfort.

M: The first two meals that came to my mind were the same as Allie’s. Classic.

How would you spend a day together in Portland? Where would you go? 

A: We’d start the day urgently with coffee and food! The first thing on Natalie’s mind when she wakes up is coffee. Meegan and I are always immediately thinking of breakfast. Our go-to breakfast spots are Tasty & Alder, Proud Mary’s, and Sweedeedee. We’d follow that up by doing work in Nat’s living room then maybe a walk to Alberta ending with a dinner on our parents’ porch!

What song would be the soundtrack to your life as sisters? 

A: The Greatest Medley Ever Told from Sister Act 2.

N: Haha, YES Allie that is it. And I’d add lately it’s been Number One Fan by Muna

What movie had the biggest effect on you and why?

A: Call Me By Your Name. To be honest I’m still unraveling my feelings with this movie but there’s a line at the end the dad says that had me weeping uncontrollably in the theater. (I kept apologizing to my boyfriend at the time for not being able to pull it together. I guess I needed to hear this.) The quote is:

“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste!”

N: So many over the course of my lifetime but I’d say the biggest impact lately was Won’t You Be My Neighbor – the documentary about Fred Rogers. I was extremely moved to see, as an adult, the care that went into the messages I heard from him as a child – love of self and others, welcoming stillness and calm, dignity for children and their ability to understand hard subjects. “It’s you I like / It’s not the things you wear … The way you are right now / The way down deep inside you / Not the things that hide you…” He was a remarkable person who so obviously made a huge impact but still questioned himself. And that was comforting to know that if someone like that  questions his work, then it’s ok for someone like me to have moments of uncertainty but to keep at it.

What album has had the biggest effect on you and why?

A: Copeland’s album called You Are My Sunshine. Man this album has facilitated much needed tears many times while looking out rainy windows. I love music that walks you to the depths of yourself without you having to do anything at all. Fully feeling every emotion. Even if it’s just for a moment. This album does that for me every single time.

N: Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie because it was the first time I realized lyrics could be tactile and close and poetic.

If you could put a quote on a tee shirt to sum up your current mood and mode, what would it be?

A: Ha! Hmmm…it would probably be something like “To face something and stare it straight in the eyes rather than avoid it puts the power back into your hands.” – Myself

N: “Stop trying to make everyone happy. You are not tequila.” – Unknown.

M: One of my favorite quotes right now is by Aldous Huxley that goes, “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly…Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them…throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you…trying to suck you down into self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly…on tiptoes and no luggage…completely unencumbered.” I’d either put that whole quote or just print on it, “Light child, lightly…”

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