The Pimps of Joytime: The Music’s In the Soul [Interview & Tour Dates]
Brooklyn-based Pimps of Joytime combine classic funk, soul, disco, and blues with reggae, modern hip-hop, Latin, R&B, and afrobeat, yielding a bold, undeniably infectious sound and highly engaging performances complete with swagger and attitude. This soulful outfit is a high energy, funky party that you’d happily expect to stumble upon in New Orleans and never want to leave.
Band founder and soul visionary, Brian J, started the band in 2007 with vocalists Chauncey Yearwood and Mayteana Morales. Morales remains a staple vocalist, but like the styles the band draws from, the drummers and bassists have rotated and changed over the years, and while no genre appears to be off limits, some pieces of PJT’s sound do remain more constant. Brian J explained to Sensible Reason, “Some fundamentals stay the same because I am the center of these creations and my soul does not change.” Brian J lives and breathes the irresistibly groovy music he and PJT have created over the past few years, and this feeling and dedication resounds in each track PJT releases. Only a multi-dimensional group of musicians like PJT could build such a compelling and interesting repertoire of music. With “Bonita” and “Blues Wit You,” you can hear the heavy Latin/mambo influence, while in “Janxta Funk,” hip-hop and funk dominate the track and “Booty Text” strays to pop/soul territory. No matter the song, their sound will fill you all the way up and keep you dancing.
PJT toured non-stop in 2012, playing over 100 shows and have brought their janxta funk to festivals like Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, All Good, Outside Lands, Summer Camp, and many more. Their Spring/Summer tour kicks off April 3rd in Baltimore in anticipation of their forthcoming album, Jukestone Paradise, and will make its way around the eastern US. I personally cannot wait for their stop at the Bowery Ballroom April 12th in NYC! This band brings the party wherever they go. See if they’re hitting your city (full list at the end of this article!) Buckle up for a funky journey; you don’t be disappointed.
Before kicking off their tour in a few days, Sensible Reason had the chance to ask the insightful and inventive Brian J some questions about PJT’s influences, touring, and their new album.
Brian J: This is a tricky question because I have so many deep influences, but when it comes to actually creating, I don’t consciously draw from anyone. That said, I’ll throw a few names out there: Curtis Mayfield, Quantic, Sly Stone, MIA, Bob Marley, Opiuo, Hound Dog Taylor, Led Zeppelin, Gorillaz… this could go on forever so I’ll stop there.
Brian J: I can ride my bike to the gig.
Brian J: I’ve gotten to work with some amazing musicians in the last few years – Ivan Neville, Roy Ayers, The Meters, and also some of our homies’ bands like Soul Rebels, Myron and E, and Sister Sparrow. There are many people I would like to work with in the future. Let’s see… Rick Rubin, Santigold, Jack White, Quantic, Ticklah.
Brian J: Thank you for that. I always knew I’d be doing what I’m doing. I know now that the timing and trajectory is perfect for the lessons I need to learn. The biggest struggle has been getting the right personnel in place. I am happy to say that this is happening. I have an amazing collection of musicians and business folks around me now.
Brian J: I feel like I am constantly reaching for a sound and energy that is always just out of reach. I guess that’s a good thing. Keeps ya motivated. So yes, it does seem to keep on morphing and evolving. Some fundamentals stay the same because I am the center of these creations and my soul does not change.
Brian J: That was something that seemed to capture my life and the state of the band at the time. Everything was low or no budget. Let’s just say we couldn’t have made it through those times without a good supply of duct tape.
Brian J: It has its challenges for sure. Most of us in the band eat really healthy. David Bailis, the bass player, is a serious fitness dude. He has a positive influence on everybody. I’ve been trying to get my workout thing together. I’m at about 3 times a week now.
Brian J: Well they are drunker. There is so much soul and musical spirit and history in that city, it’s humbling yet it inspires you to dig deep to bring things out of yourself.
Brian J: “Booty Text” is a bit of an oddball, so that’s why we released it separately. The blues is such a big part of my musicality and feeling as a musician and that comes through on this one. There’s some heavy grooves, songs, harmonies… I worked on this bad boy for over 2 years so my perspective is bit skewed. The few people that have heard it seem to like it.
Grab tickets to the party here!
Pimps of Joytime April 2014 Tour Dates:
Thu 4/3: Baltimore, MD – 8×10
Fri, 4/4: Washington, DC – Gypsy Sally’s
Sat, 4/5: Philadelphia, PA – North Star Bar
Tue, 4/8: Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
Wed, 4/9: Syracuse, NY – Lost Horizon
Thu 4/10: Fairfield, CT – StageOne
Fri 4/11: Boston, MA – The Church
Sat 4/12: New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
Wed 4/16: Columbus, OH – Woodlands Tavern
Thu 4/17: Chicago, IL – Cubby Bear
Fri 4/18: Omaha, NE – The Hive
Tue 4/22: St. Louis, MO – Gramophone
Wed 4/23: Nashville, TN – 12th & Porter
Sat 4/19: Minneapolis, MN – The Cabooze
Thu 4/24: Chattanooga, TN – Rhythm & Brews
Fri 4/25: Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
Sat 4/26: Pisgah Brewing Company – Asheville, NC
For more tour dates, click here.