It's only right we wrap our Desert Daze coverage, a day before the big desert freakout, with Moon Block Party founder and JJUUJJUU member, Phil Pirrone. He's been integral in orchestrating the festival since it was an 11 day vacation in 2012. As a member of JJUUJJUU, Pirrone is one with the psychedelics, putting out an EP on Beyond Beyond is Beyond last April.
JJUUJJUU is currently at work on its follow-up to the EP, which as Pirrone describes is an extended process, in which he and drummer Andrew Clinco meet when the winds and tides will it to explore the expansive tapestries of the band's psychedelic language. With no rush on completing the next record, there's a good chance the JJUUJJUU set is treated like a revolving door, as past sets have been highly open to added players and collaboration. And when Pirrone is not on stage, he'll be keeping the operation running smooth and encouraging attendees, above all, to hydrate, hydrate hydrate.
JJUUJJUU went into the studio in the fall to work on a follow-up to the Frst EP that came out just beyond a year ago? In your estimation how has the band grown or changed?
JJUUJJUU gets picked up and put down a lot. So it's very different than the other bands I've been in. We don't really have a chance to develop one “sound”. And I kind of love that. We go long periods of time without seeing each other. So it's always different every time we get together.
I found an interview in which you described the newer material as more “song-y”. How did that play into recording this new record? Does the description hold up?
We're not done recording. I don't think that description will be representative of the entire record now that I've written most of it. There are a few on there with a little more vocals and more than one section, so there's that.
The EP is currently sold out in the vinyl pressing. Are there any plans to repress it?
Not at the moment. Beyond Beyond is Beyond pressed CDs and Lolipop pressed cassettes.
Phil, you are the founder of Moon Block Party. Originally the festival was 11 days long. This year it's one day. What did you learn in that first year that resulted in scaling it back?
We just really wanted to do camping and couldn't do it at the original venue. We found Sunset Ranch and it was perfect. We decided on doing one day one night out of necessity, due to the scale of the project. But after doing it, we're hooked on that format. We love the concept of one day and one night.
Phil, would you ever start a band with your wife Julie Edwards of Deap Vally? Do you guys ever jam together or are you superstitious about the unwritten rule of being in a band and a relationship?
I would definitely start a band with Julie. We have jammed together. She's even filled in for JJUUJJUU shows and she totally did an amazing job and it was so much fun. We actually did it on her birthday in Denver, opening for Deap Vally and the crowd was so awesome. It was the perfect storm of good vibes – LOVE + JAMS + BIRTHDAY
What's the one thing attendees who are coming to Desert Daze should not forget to bring?
Any other insider tips to best enjoy the festival and keep one's health in high spirits?
Sunblock, bug spray, light (but warm) jacket (just in case), (again) water, fully charged cell phone (pretty good reception), comfortable shoes, stay hydrated, take breaks from the sun (we have domes and shade tents), and eat something, for goodness sake.