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Love Song Dedications with John

We talk emo mixtapes and teenage crushes with this native New Yorker

Baby, it’s cold outside, but don’t worry, here at Sweet Chick in Brooklyn, the waffles are hot hot hot… and so is the owner, John Seymour. Charged with supplying the restaurant’s soundtrack, John suggested we go record shopping for his Male Monday feature. Armed with a couple of coffees, we hit the newly opened Rough Trade and Fool’s Gold around the ‘Burg.

Hometown: Manhattan

Currently living: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Weirdest childhood memory of New York:
We grew up going to John Jay Public Pool in the summer. It was pretty rough there in the 80s. One day a guy I knew got stabbed in the locker room, I was like 12-years-old… s*** was scary!

Whoa! So you’re a legit New Yorker, where’s your secret food spot?
These days, I’m craving the carnitas tacos from the taqueria on Orchard Street off Houston. And a square slice from Di Fara on Avenue J in Brooklyn is a ritual.

Favorite item on the menu at Sweet Chick?
Right now I love our Mike’s Hot Honey Fried Chicken and Apple-Cinnamon Waffle. But our chef is always coming up with amazing new specials so I’ll probably have a new favorite next week.

As a teenager, who did you worship?
Alabama Worley, Patricia Arquette’s character in True Romance

And what album was on repeat in your bedroom?
Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill and any album by The Pogues.

So, you’ve got one or two tattoos. Tell us the story behind your first tattoo:
I actually got it in Ireland when I was 15. My parents are both Irish, and when I was a kid we used to go to Ireland every summer to work on my uncle’s farm. One day my older cousin took me to a tattoo shop and I got some squiggly lines that supposedly meant “strength”… LOL

Daily uniform: White T-shirt, Levis, and boots

What’s your dream car?
I have it now. I always used to say that one day I wanted to look down at a steering wheel and see the Land Rover logo, and now I do! I’m selling my current bike and might get a Harley Bobber one day.

OK, so we’re checking out Rough Trade and Fools Gold today ’cause you love collecting records to play at your restaurant, Sweet Chick. Let’s talk music. Did you ever make a mixtape for a girl?
Ha ha ha… yes! I know for sure that The Pharcyde’s “Passin’ Me By” was on it. And, you know, some other emo stuff like The Smiths and R&B too, like Shai.

What’s your favorite music-themed movie?
Sid and Nancy. Gary Oldman is one of my favorite actors. I liked The Runaways, and one of my daughters, Jette, is named after Joan Jett.

If you could attend any concert, at any point in history, which one would it be?
It’s hard not to say Woodstock, but maybe the Nirvana Unplugged show

So what did we end up grabbing today?
Digable Planets Blowout Comb: This album is so dope. I haven’t really heard it since I was 18, but I used to listen to it all day.

Danny Brown XXX: We will probably play this at Sweet Chick late one night after we close and get turnt up with the staff.

The Smiths Hatful of Hollow: When my twins were babies, I used to sing “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” to them all the time.

Photography by Meghan McNeer

Best Christmas gift received as a kid?
One year my brother and I woke up and realized there was only one present under the tree. It was a giant box full of shorts and T-shirts. We were really disappointed but Then my mom pulled out tickets to Florida and said, “We’re going to DisneyWorld!” We left that day—I think I was around 10 years-old.

Coolest mom ever! Name three things on your Christmas wish list?
This year I am not asking for much. We are in the middle of construction for our second Sweet Chick location on Ludlow Street and I am about to start renovation on my new house. So if Santa can make sure all of these projects run smoothly, that would be dope.

Last question, does your family have any weird holiday traditions?
My in-laws have a few weird things: I have been spending Christmas with them in Trinidad for the past 6 years. Every year my father-in-law makes his “famous” garlic pork. He marinates it in jars for over a month with vinegar and fries it up on Christmas morning. The tradition is that you have to take a shot of gin with it. Also every year on Christmas Day we have a huge water balloon fight with the whole neighborhood.

Ever had a mixtape made just for you? Who made it and what was on it? Comment below or e-mail us, pippa@sousstyle.com and gillian@sousstyle.com