If you’re familiar with Brooklyn’s Pimps of Joytime the first thing that most likely comes to mind is their live shows, which are bubbling with funky energy to say the least. The group’s third studio album, Jukestone Paradise, sees them harnessing their explosive live power within the confines of a studio into something that grooves from one musical style to another in an effortless, smooth fashion. Paradise emphasizes the band’s ability to fuse so many different genres together while never being pinned down to one thing and always making you want to dance. The mastermind behind it all is guitarist and vocalist Brian J, who recently took a few minutes to give us some insight on making one of the year’s funkiest party records.
You collaborated with Rubblebucket on one of the new songs called “Dance Cardia”. How did you connect with them and decide to do a song together?
We had done a few shows with them and hung a little randomly in Brooklyn. We were both performing the same day at All Good Festival in 2012. I was kicking it with Alex [Toth] backstage and the idea was hatched to collaborate.
You also worked with Ivan Neville. Had you played together before?
I first met Ivan when I was producing an album for his uncle Cyril Neville (Brand New Blues). Our paths crossed over the next few years and when I needed something special for “Sky” I thought of Ivan.
Can you elaborate on this idea of a “futurist juke joint”?
It’s more of an abstraction or something I visualize when I hear some of the tracks from the record. I don’t know, maybe it’s where the Jetsons get their groove on.
How much of the material did you have fleshed out before you entered the studio?
We had an album worth of material flushed out beforehand, but between basic tracks and completion a lot of new stuff happened, almost half of the record.
If this album showcases the band’s evolution, can you shed light on how the band has evolved musically and performance-wise to this point?
Well, the personnel that makes up the group has evolved. This is the first time in the history of the band that I have had the same lineup for over 2 years. The album features performances from all of the touring band, which differs from previous records.
The band is known for energetic, spontaneous live performances. Is there a goal to recreate that feeling in the studio, and if so, are there challenges to it?
In the studio we just try to make good music. In some ways what comes out of the lab tends to be the blueprint for the live versions. They are jumping off points and in time they develop into their own beast.
Were there any specifics acts or styles of music that inspired the sounds on the album?
I love the tones of the 50’s and 60’s. The sound of a Slim Harpo record or Meters. I also like what people such as Jack White and Dan Auerbach are doing sonically.
You touch on so many different styles of music on the album. Is there a central feeling or theme that you think links all the songs together and makes it work as a whole piece?
I would hope that the filter of my taste and musical decisions create a thread throughout. I guess that’s for others to decide.