Death By Carrot list their favourite comfort stops for road dogs in Australia.
With a sound the band says 'descends from the Black Sabbath meets Pink Floyd side of the rock & roll tree', Brisbane psych-rock stoners Death By Carrot are ready to take you on psychedelic journey down the rabbit hole as part of the second instalment of Triffid Psych Night.
An evening (8 May at The Triffid) to lose yourself in the transcendence of the tunes, Triffid Psych Night will be headlined by the psych-blues frontal assault that is The Royal Artillery dropping a mix of '60s and '70s guitar-fuzz bombs.
Other bands appointed to the psych-out are the sonic storm that is Stoker, and the fuzz tones, didgeridoo, Spanish guitar, alien synthesisers and melodic melodies of Belligerent Goat, with the fuzz-laced, heavy-psych groovers Zooid to open the night.
But circling back to the 'deep, psychonautic, earthborn grooves' of Death By Carrot, who are gearing up for another 40-plus run of national dates they've labelled the Infinity Loop Vol II.
It's a journey that'll take the band from early June right through to early September, visiting all the mainland capital cities and regional centres plus some out of the way stops like Coober Pedy, Tennant Creek, Margaret River, Mildura, Dubbo and Mount Isa.
Given the long road ahead as well as their previous experiences as tour warriors, Death By Carrot share seven of their favourite road dog comfort stops you can find in our big, burnt piece of toast we call Australia.
"The Infinity Loop offers a lot of dopeness; comfort not included," the bands says. "Having spent many kilometres on the road, simple pleasures stand out. One learns to cherish every kernel of warmth and sustenance with earnestness."
1: Hearthfire Bakery - Bellingen, NSW
We begin from Brisbane, our home town, and typically roll south. The first couple days you might think are no big deal, but within 72 hours transitional shock from home-cooking to cans and satchels sets in.
Morning after a Bellingen performance, Hearthfire Bakery is a relished stop. We are talking about a diverse range of artisan pies. Since we moonlight as vegans, Hearthfire serves a welcomed dose of civility as we get to choose the particulars of our consumption ethos, morality and all.
As far as bakeries and road doggin' are concerned, pies are a dietary fixture. We are blessed in Australia to have so many excellent pie stops: Tennant Creek BP (NT), Gin Gin Traveller's Rest (QLD), Babinda Bakery, Denmark Bakery (Denmark, WA); just to name a few.
2: Smith's Alternative - Canberra, ACT
By the second week of rolling in Gina our backs are sore, throats are worn. . . muscles are tenderised from load in after load out. . . nothing beats a comfortable sit as we pull into Smith's Alternative where all walks of life are welcome.
Ok, so this one is also a venue we perform at, and we tried to avoid putting any collaborators on this list. . . BUT. . . Smith's Alternative, much like Frankie's Pizza in Sydney, require special mentions because they are worlds of soothing unto themselves.
Rest, play, eat, drink, vibe with the locals. . . even if we aren't performing, these are destinations we like to hang out in because of the chill vibes and community that nurtures our spirits while we restore and recuperate.
3: Lentil As Anything - Abbotsford, VIC
On the road for three-plus months in Australia means our finances are tied up until well past the halfway point. By the time we hit Melbourne, our most expensive early stop, we are flat broke.
Lentil As Anything is a godsend. Literally, as it is located in the beautiful grounds of the Abbotsford convent. Delicious soul food is always on the menu and guess what!?
It's a pay what you can afford style affair; that's right folks, when we have a couple gold coins left to our names, we can still get a full, proper feed, walk the grounds, chill in the gardens and feel the holy riff surge in anticipation of Stoner Liberation. After merch sales are tallied, we go back, tantalise our taste buds and pay it forward with a heavier tap of the ol' card.
Green Refectory in Brunswick is also a local vegan/ vegetarian establishment worth mentioning with great prices and space to laptop – between these two eateries you can't go wrong.
4: Wingfield Truckstop BP - Adelaide, SA
Twenty-plus days into the run, 5,000kms on the clock and it's not just the Carrot Patch that needs lovin'. . . Gina requires a proper bumper to bumper and she loves feeling tucked away amongst the big rigs.
Wingfield BP is a home away from home of sorts. A full service restaurant open 24/7, showers, laundry, a large dining area we can comfortably admin all day in, close proximity to services for Gina; we hardly need to go anywhere else.
Well. . . we do love the BEST cheap Banh Mi in the country at Miss Mai in Rundle Mall, and can't forget the post Gaslight Tavern/ Mixed Spice Creative Flow 2am hangs at Cafe De Vili's.
5: Page 27 Cafe - Alice Springs, NT
Navigating the NT is spectacular from any direction, particularly for its vast landscapes. The horizon becomes the big screen in this thriller where eagles soar, fellow road warriors in BIG rigs cannon past and roos keep your line to the afterlife on standby.
All the while, the cinematic production value of mother nature fills our cup to the brim with supernatural sunsets and sunrises. Days pass, eyes peeled, the Carrot Patch on high alert for nature launching whatever at Gina amongst swaths of land with population densities in double digits.
By the time we roll into the magical enclave of Alice Springs, a warm soup and fresh salad, surrounded by alternative humans from all corners of Australia is totally necessary. Page 27 Cafe is our go-to for hangs, eats and admin.
6: Pier Hotel - Esperance, WA
After we cross the Nullarbor from the east battling the westerly winds, Esperance is our first 'major' run in with conveniences and services.
After a gruelling, and at times psychedelic, three-day slog, The Pier Hotel boasts excellent all you can eat veggies, salads, pasta buffet and much more for only $20, placing the Pier Hotel on the list.
However, travelling west to east, or just any direction really, Denmark is pure bliss. Home to the Denmark Bakery as mentioned, a must stop and eat for any road warrior. If you want to comfort your mind, take an afternoon to sit at Greens Pool and you'll never want to leave.
7: North Gregory Hotel - Winton, QLD
This stop is a classic – literally. The North Gregory is where Banjo Patterson premiered 'Waltzing Matilda'. Winton is a major influencer to the birth of the Labor Party, QANTAS, an important part of the evolution of Australian industry, sheep shearers, home to opal miners, dinosaur graveyards and much more.
But for the DBC Road Dog Division, North Gregory Hotel is the only calendered stop on the loop that we deliberately don't schedule performances and just chill out.
That's right, we do a bit of light administrative work due to the impossible cell reception, then eat, drink, be merry, play in the wilderness, watch some dope country music; a proper outback adventure.
Our favourite pastime is meeting fresh faces in the hotel lobby, like the inventor of the didjeribone, jamming on acoustics for passersbys, strolling around town, retail therapy in the tchotchke stores.