Technology with attitude

The Really Cooks Make Music That's Good Enough to Eat

L-R: Alon Hafri, Josh Neubauer, Pete DiLorenzo, and Lem Pidlaoan; Image from

Newly-formed ‘60s-inspired rock band The Really Cooks are introducing a new concept to the Philadelphia music and food scene, with skillets and spatulas in hand, ready to make the term “food rock” a household genre.

Composed of Josh Neubauer, Pete DiLorenzo, Alon Hafri and Lem Pidlaoan, the group’s backgrounds are diverse-Neubauer and DiLorenzo, the founding members, both went to film school- Neubauer for audio engineering and DiLorenzo for film.  Hafri also has a musical background and Pidlaoan is a practicing dentist.  Mix these scopes of knowledge together and you’re bound to have a recipe for some wacky yet versatile music, in this case influenced by rock kings like The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Queen.

The food aspect of The Really Cooks’ music manifests in various forms, including a food blog and recipes to be found on the band’s website.  But the culinary buck doesn’t stop there- the guys created a food-themed comic book story when they initially changed their name and subsequently their whole persona.  Neubauer explains:

“When we decided to change our name to The Really Cooks, we wanted to change our image in the eyes of our existing fans, so we drew this 25-page comic book and released one page a day on our website.  There’s a character called ‘Mr. Badman’, who wanted to come into King Alon’s castle and rid the world of food.  So Josh and Pete Band, who love to eat, and Lem, who is a food character himself, teamed up to keep [food in the world].”

Not only does the band keep tabs on good recipes and local restaurants, but they actually incorporate food into their concerts.  If you come out to see them perform, you just might get some dinner in addition to a show.

“When people started labeling us as a food rock and roll band, that’s when we started giving them more of what they wanted.  The last time we had a show, we made a three-course meal that consisted of bread and olive oil, salad, and cookies.  For the salad portion, we had people come up and toss the salad.  I think what makes us different is that we create a whole world, so when people come to see us, they’re not just going to see a show, they’re part of this silly, crazy musical time”, says Neubauer.

The band is without a doubt bridging some genres by incorporating characters and cuisine into their performances.  Never has there been a band so thoroughly ingrained in the characters they create, but Neubauer and DiLorenzo’s film backgrounds seem to justify the very story-driven element that pervades their music.  The cartoon character steeze originally came into play when the two friends were taking an economics course together in 11th grade.  To save themselves from epic boredom, they started to draw cartoons of themselves and named them Josh Band and Pete Band.  This artistic endeavor turned into a 15-page Josh and Pete Band comic.

When Hafri joined the band in 2009, Neubauer saw him as a king, and dubbed him king of the band.  Then when Pidlaoan came, the guys thought he should take on the guise of a lemon simply because his name is Lem.  “We had Josh Band and Pete Band, and a king and a lemon.  When we changed the name to The Really Cooks, we decided to change Josh and Pete Band from peasants to chefs.”, adds Neubauer.

Alon Hafri

As far as the songs themselves, they’re not really hinged on food-inspired hooks, “…except for maybe the song “Porter”, which has a butcher character in it, and was also inspired by a bottle of porter.  This song has the most nonsensical lyrics that we’ve ever written.  In the song the butcher steels the porter’s money, the porter gets mad, so she decides to take him on vacation and kill him.  But they’re also dating, and at the end it’s revealed that the butcher is a transvestite”, Neubauer explains.  And that’s just one zany story at the core of The Really Cooks’ repertoire.

Philadelphia has yet to see such a unique “food rock” band, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not ready to let ourselves get lost in the band’s wacky, magical world that can please the palate just as much as the ears.  According to Neubauer,

“As an artist or a musician, you see something, you feel it’s right, and you do it.  You can’t write with your brain or your heart, because those are convoluted.  As far as the Philly chapter of The Really Cooks, we’re just going to keep being silly and having a good time, keep going to restaurants and spreading cheer by being ridiculous people.  We’ve stumbled upon an interesting world of food and music, and there are exciting times ahead.”

The band will hit World Cafe Live on Wednesday February 15, but you can also catch them on Y-Not Radio this Wednesday February 8th at 11am and 10pm, and Saturday the 11th at 8pm.