THE MAN BEHIND CALIFORNIA'S MOST EXCITING MUSIC FESTIVAL: PHIL PIRRONE

Phil Pirrone of JJUUJJUU

 

INTRODUCTION Julian de la Celle
INTERVIEW Brent L. Smith


     Here we are again, in the month of October, about a week away from one the most exciting festivals in California: Desert Daze. The festival is in its sixth year and this will be the second year that it takes place at The Institute of Mentalphysics, which was built by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son Lloyd Wright in 1946 and sits in the high desert of Joshua Tree, California. It's a way to get out of the bustling city of Los Angeles and enjoy music, friends and the calm of the desert. Last year we saw headline acts Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Angels, Television, and Temples, but this year they've stepped it up even further and pinned down the god of punk rock, Iggy Pop, along with John Cale, Ty Segall, Thurston Moore Group and Spiritualized. It's guaranteed to blow away any expectations you may have already, and if it's anything like last year, you'll be talking about it for months afterwards. We caught up with founder of Desert Daze and frontman of JJUUJJUU, Phil Pirrone, to talk about how far the festival has come, the commissioning of a new visual artist each year and where he envisions the festival going in the future.

 

BRENT L. SMITH: I'm not sure many people know the roots of Desert Daze. What was the impetus? How far has it come?
PHIL PIRRONE: Well, to go way back, I've been touring since 2001. After a good chunk of life on the road, in 2011, we put on the first Moon Block Party out of pure love for rock n roll and an over abundance of friends in bands who were down to make something happen. That went really well - a lot better than we ever expected. So we did it again. We proceeded to teach ourselves how to throw outdoor events, through making many, many mistakes. But even with those mistakes, the events had a great spirit, and seemed to be a magnet for awesome people. So we kept doing it. And now, we're in our 6th year of Desert Daze, which takes place at a beautiful and sacred site in Joshua Tree, one of the most unique places on the planet. There's 170+ people on the crew, (the core crew from day one are still with us). Iggy Pop is headlining this year. For starting from a place of pure fun and love with no expectations, to be here now, it feels like we've come a long way, but I still feel like I'm at home because I have my best friends and family around me. 


BRENT: Desert Daze's mission statement, what is it?
PHIL:
 To facilitate the ever expanding growth of the human spirit. 


BRENT: Do you feel you've created something that's self-sustaining? Or do you sympathize with Dr. Frankenstein?
PHIL:
 It feels like it's getting there. 


BRENT: What aesthetic are you trying to cultivate? Is it a 60's revival, or is it something new?
PHIL:
 Caveman to Spaceman (trademark Mason). 


BRENT: The Institute of Mentalphysics doesn't seem like your average campgrounds. It's more like a breeding ground for cults. How did the site influence your vision, and that of your art director, Mason Rothschild?
PHIL:
 When we moved to this venue everything just clicked. There's so much history and energy there, you don't want to mess with that too much, and just work with what's already there. 


BRENT: Art is obviously as intrinsic to Desert Daze as the bands. Is there a theme behind the art separate than that of the music? 
PHIL:
 The singularity. 


BRENT: You've commissioned a visual artist every year. In the past it's been those like Steven Fische and Oliver Hibert. This year you went with Andrew McGranahan. What about his work spoke to you, and did you give him a vision to interpret, or was he left to own devices?
PHIL:
 I love Andrew's work. His collage stuff is pretty great. For most of the DD content there's a pretty specific theme and color palette and we work together on the layout and concepts. Being content manager for a festival is a little different than being commissioned to do a poster. You're creating a lot of promo material so there's a lot less artistic freedom, which isn't totally awesome, but totally necessary for the job at hand. Andrew totally gets that, is super fast and efficient. He has a good sense of humor while reading our endless notes. He gets the process. Steven and Oliver also get that process and are amazing artists (of course) that we still work with today. We also work with Jamie Zu, Caitlin Mattisson, Alan Forbes, Mollie Tuggle, Weird Beard, Kii Arens, Branca Studios, Pogo, and many other amazing graphic designers. 


BRENT: Are there subliminal messages hidden in the art and music? What are they?
PHIL:
 Well, yeah, but I should let them stay subliminal... probably. 


BRENT: What other festivals or tastemakers are you influenced by? 
PHIL:
 I like Levitation. I get what they are doing. 


BRENT: If Desert Daze was a church, and the performers were messiahs, what religion would they be preaching?
PHIL:
 Live music. 

 

Follow daily updates on the Desert Daze Facebook page, HERE.
Follow them on Instagram, HERE.
There are also still a few tickets available to the festival, HERE.

 

Shot by Angela Holtzen

Shot by Angela Holtzen

Temples shot by Lindsey Price

FOXES MAGAZINE ISSUE NO. 4 LAUNCH PARTY

Nosejob and guests by Anya Sidorova.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY Anya Sidorova & Natasha Rukavishnikova


     Last Wednesday night marked the release of our fourth print issue entitled "Power To The People" at The Scotch of St James in Mayfair, sponsored by Maltsmiths Brewing and 8O8 Whisky. Acting also as a fashion week closing party, attendees dressed in their best outfits to come down and celebrate the release of the new issue with performances by Martin Tomlinson (Selfish Cunt), Strange Cages and SAP as well as DJ sets by Josh Quinton and Andy Fraser. This season's cover stars include Sean Ono Lennon, Tommy Dorfman, Dilara Findikoglu, Uni and our fashion cover "Power To The People". 

Purchase a physical copy here: www.foxesmagazine.com/buy

 

Josh.

Angus (SAP).

Emma.

Andy.

Strange Cages.

Shane (SAP).

Tim and Mia.

Will (SAP).

Dancing guests.

Vé.

All above images by Anya Sidorova.

 

     A big thank you to one of the latest beers on the scene Maltsmiths Brewing for being our sole beer sponsor for the night - its IPA and Pilsner have been brewed from scratch and straight from the creative minds of Sarah and Bruce, the two Maltsmiths. The IPA is full of flavour – its complex, but light, with aromas of lavender and dried orange peel. Its subtle toffee, malty notes come from the Pacific North West hops, and give rise to a citrus and tropical notes with clean bitterness. The Pilsner has aromas of dried thyme and biscuit, and the Bavarian-style yeast alongside European and American hops offer a delicate citrus, herbal and peppery spiciness. Sarah and Bruce have been working hard to make sure every pint or bottle of the IPA and Pilsner is just perfect.

 

All below images by Natasha Rukavishnikova.

A guest.

Olivia.

A guest.

Victoria and Francesca.

Shane (SAP).

Bradley.

Bradley.

A guest.

Mekel.

Guests.

Angus (SAP).

Guests.

Harris.

Julian and Natasha.

Julien and Sam.

Tommy and a guest.

Anya.

A guest.

     Another big thank you to our whisky sponsor 8O8 Whisky for providing guests with drinks through the night! Named after the Roland TR-808 Drum Machine – one of the first affordable and widely available drum machines launched in the early 1980s – 8O8 is aimed at an entirely non-traditional market sector: the young, club and cocktail set. See you at the next one!

8O8 Whisky.

 

DILARA FINDIKOGLU SS18

 

PHOTOGRAPHY Wanda Martin


Monday afternoon saw the return of yet another artistically dark collection by Turkish designer and current FOXES cover star Dilara Findikoglu entitled "Seven Sisters of Inherited Sun". The show took place in St Andrew Holborn, an old church with black and white tiled flooring and high ceilings as the audience sat on church pews in a salon style showcase. This was Dilara's first runway show (the others have all been presentations) and after this, it's clear she's ready to take her collections even further in the coming seasons. With dark reds, blacks and her signature typography, the pieces could never be compared to anyone else but Dilara Findikoglu. Purchase her cover of our AW17 issue to see more from our editorial with her, HERE

ONE'S TO WATCH: THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE

 

PHOTOGRAPHY Jenna Putnam
WORDS Julian de la Celle


The Entire Universe. Yes, that is the band name. A supergroup of sorts consisting of Jeffertitti Moon (Jeffertitti's Nile, Corners), Evan Snyder (Night Beats, Turquoise Noise) and Eric Lodwick (Shining Mirrors, BRAHMS), they've kept themselves as mostly a mystery, until now. They played their first gig LA at Echo Park Rising (after a 4 night residency in NYC) and are currently in the middle of a month-long residency at Los Angeles' Zebulon every Monday, with the last two dates being tonight, September 18th, and next Monday, September 25th. It's hard to describe them as sounding like one particular act, but the three that come to mind are Fleetwood Mac, Oasis and The Beatles. You'll have to see them live to get the full package... 

 

JOSHUA KANE SS18

 

PHOTOGRAPHY Wanda Martin


Joshua Kane's SS18 collection at The Palladium in Central London was slated to be a big event, and as expected he went above and beyond to create a plethora of beautiful pieces in an equally beautiful setting. A short film staring actor Asa Butterfield was shown that brought us into a world of fantasy, setting us up for the fittingly titled "Fantasy" catwalk show to follow. With a mix of men and woman, the show was more than just an average fashion show, it was a carefully crafted story. Tailored suits, long coats, leather jackets and overcoats filled the runways, with reds, silvers and blacks dominating the color palate and brilliant patchwork highlighted Kane's work beautifully. This has to be our favorite show from Kane so far, and we expect to be seeing great things from him and his team for future shows.