It is the Monday after the weekend haze of Desert Daze and we are all, justifiably, in slow motion. Jonathan Hischke, our landlord and tour guide for the weekend, makes us coffee and we lounge on his porch watching him toss bird seed out into the desert that surrounds his secluded oasis.
Such a grand variety appears for the feast - orioles, thrashers, shrikes, quail and the occasional roadrunner, along with the unconcerned hawks, ravens and hummingbirds that are around as usual. All these birds flock together momentarily, like the same grand variety of festival goers that weekend, in such a beautifully temporary chaos, then they’re gone.
We get our brains collected and van loaded, and after running into John Dwyer from Thee Oh Sees when we stopped to grip more coffee, meet up with Dave Catching at Rancho De La Luna. Dave Catching, god damn. He’s been involved in so much good stuff over the years, even if you just stick to Queens of the Stone Age, Earthlings? and Kyuss - that’s already quite a list. One would expect his shimmer to fade as experiences and accolades accumulate, creating that same deepening context that keeps astronauts unimpressed by earthly experience, but not with Dave - he seems just as excited and entertained by everything as he’s always been.
We first met after last year’s Desert Daze festival, when Jonathan brought me by Rancho while Thelma and the Sleaze were recording. It was a hectic atmosphere, with the studio in full swing. Dave was pulling double duty in the kitchen making everyone sandwiches while a take was being reviewed, but still made it a point to warmly welcome the new guests. He gave that same welcome to us even though this trip was a very long year later and the studio sat calmly waiting to be called upon, just like all the bb guns, firepits, and tequila bottles.
Just make sure you’re invited or Dave might have the hawk aim for you.
Brad Thorla is EarthQuaker’s fourth longest tenured employee, currently handling Inventory Systems Management, Artist Relations, 2nd/3rd camera, and you’ll usually see him at trade shows. He plays drums in the EQD house band, Relaxer, and his photography can be found on Instagram via @bradleythorla.