"I suspect… the scent of barbecue 360 [degrees] is going to send me into a daze and I'll be in a constant zombie-like state of food coma."
Meatstock is bringing in the big, the bearded and the beefy to Sydney Showgrounds on 13 and 14 Feb, and among the hearty line up of rock, folk and comedy is Henry Wagons — the steak-munching, BBQ-manning singer and TV meat enthusiast.
When Henry answers the phone he sounds like he's come in from a jog - that's how much he's rushing around between video clip dramas and the release of his new album - "it's more like what's not happening at the moment". But he's making time in his busy schedule to head to Meatstock and (hopefully) remember to play his set between stuffing his face with meaty goodness.
He recently appeared on Channel 10's latest foodie instalment Keepers Of The Flame as the BBQ adventurer, but he is a self-professed meat lover rather than expert. "[On the show] I was basically the enthusiastic eater," said Wagons.
"I'm happy to consume any flesh offcuts that are thrown my way as I wander through the grounds."
But the Australian singer boasts a broad spectrum of knowledge about barbecue culture after his recent tour to the US, and he's eager to elaborate on his knowledge. "American barbeque culture has really had a massive invasion here, which I don't think is a bad thing. In the States you actually have barbeque, it's like, 'I'm going out for barbeque.'
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"[Here] It was more about getting together with your friends and family, maybe putting up a totem tennis pole… and everyone gets shitfaced and hopes for the best. Maybe throw a coupla chops on the BBQ for too long, some $2 indiscriminate meat sausages. I think, as time has gone on, it's all becoming quite an extravaganza. There's often smokers shaped like locomotives and a whole lot of people eagerly huddled around a temperature gauge," he jokes.
"The amalgamations of the two — the passion Australia has for having a blast combined with the nerdy meat passion of the states — is making Australia one of the best places to have a barbeque, I think." We think so too.
After speaking for another few minutes about his experiences with some of the best sounding meaty delights I've ever heard of (and attempting not to dribble into the phone at the thought of Salt Lake City's secret barbecue mecca) we get back onto his plans for the Meatstock food area. By the sound of it, Wagons is going seem to onlookers like an enthusiastic five-year-old running amok in foodie heaven.
"I'm happy to consume any flesh offcuts that are thrown my way as I wander through the grounds. If I'm seeing a rotating pig on a spit, it doesn't matter how hot it is, I'm going to be going around and warming my hands by the coals. I suspect… the scent of barbecue 360 [degrees] is going to send me into a daze and I'll be in a constant zombie-like state of food coma."
He sounds pretty darn excited about everything at the festival, from the music to the location, surprising me with his own take on Homebush as the festival site. "It's the home of the Olympics, and I think it's very appropriate for this gargantuan, colosseum-like competition between these carnivores. It's going to be a great site for the Olympic competition of meat."