Need To Know: Pimps of Joytime
By Max Berlinger
Were you raised on soul and funk?
I wasn’t raised on funk. I was raised more on blues and soul and early rock n’ roll. The funk thing came later.
Did you have a favorite artist when you were younger?
Well, Chuck Berry because we have the same birthday. As a kid, the first person I ever conceived of as a guitar player was Chuck Berry. He was big in my house, so was Ray Charles and Bo Diddley and The Rolling Stones and Muddy Waters and the jazz of New Orleans. All of that was big in my household.
Do you write all your music or do you collaborate with your bandmates?
There's some collaborating but I write most of it. We’re doing more collaboration.
What kind of audience do you want to attract?
I love a dynamic crowd that's all different ages. We play festivals so we have the old school cats loving it and the nine-year-old kids loving it. We do something that resonates. My hope is that we keep taking it bigger. It’s not easy. It’s really hard work, especially at the level that we are at because we are still making our way through the ranks. It takes time and you've just got to be there. Showing up is the hard part. We want to get to a point that we are touring internationally and we can make our living with an increased quality of life on the road.
Do you have a favorite concert you've played or an act that you've opened for?
Well, Rebirth brass Band is about to play. We opened for Michael Franti last night, which was cool. This year we played High Sierra Music Festival and Sandpoint Festival in Idaho, which was fun. We played Floydfest and they told us we were the last band so we could play all night long. We played a three-hour set. That’s what I love: when there are no time constraints and the people are with us. This set at Outside Lands is only 45-minutes, which is hard. We just do it and fit it all in.
You make people dance during the daylight shows, which not many other bands can claim.
It’s a rare occurrence that we do any show where people aren't dancing.
Where did you find Mayteana Morales, the female percussion and vocals in Pimps of Joytime?
Just through mutual friends you know? Little jam sessions and whatnot.
What do you hope for the next album you release? Do you want it to be soul or funk or jam?
Our next album, which is just about done, has good songs and vocals. It’s not jammy. We jam live but in the studio it's more focused.
You must have a lot of fun together.
We don’t always get along. We spend a lot of time together and it’s not always luxurious. Things occur that are natural when you're on tour.
Do you tour on mostly on the East Coast?
We tour all over the place.
Do you have a favorite venue?
I love The Independent and The Boom Boom Room in San Francisco.
What about dream collaborations?
I want to open for a big act where we are playing for ten to thirty-thousand people a night. Whoever, I don’t even care. I just want to be playing for that many people a night so our lives will be that much easier. All we do right now is try and show people what we got and what the next sound is. Sometimes we play for 50 people, sometimes a couple thousand. But the more people the better.
Anyone you would want to write music with?
Write music? I produced an album for Cyril Neville called Brand New Blues. I would want to write music with someone who notices what I do, like Sting. I would want to do something crazy and work with someone in another genre.
I like your necklace. Any story behind it?
It’s from Mardi Gras. To be a lady to get one of these you got to be fine, you got to be charming. To be a man and get one, you just got to be lucky.
For Pimps of Joytime’s upcoming tour dates visit: thepimpsofjoytime.com
-- COURTNEY NICHOLS
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