This week’s Friday Mixtape is by Portland-based experimental rock band, Wooden Shjips! With an avid following across the world of drone heads nodding along to their records over the past decade, fans will already be well aware that the band released their fifth record, and first in five years, V. earlier this month.
To celebrate Ripley Johnson, a recognisable figure in Wooden Shjips and his side project with Sanae Yamada, Moon Duo, has made us this week’s mixtape of his favourite summer jams.
It’s Nice That: Why have you picked these songs?
Ripley Johnson: I picked some favourite summer jams. It’s just starting to feel like summer here in Portland, so I’ve been jamming the appropriate music.
INT: When or where should this mixtape be listened to?
RJ: Driving down a country road with the windows rolled down, in a hack circle, sitting on the porch smoking a doobie, on the beach.
INT: What song or album did you listen to as teenagers and why?
RJ: We use to take psychedelics and roam the woods with a boom box. We primarily listened to the original psychedelic classics: Jimi, the Dead, Pink Floyd, Allman Bros, Jefferson Airplane, Dylan, Neil, etc… I had a poster of Keith Richards and some funky velvet black light posters.
INT: Can you tell us a little about your new record and the artwork too?
RJ: We conceived the album last summer, knowing it would come out this summer, hence that running theme. The other general theme is optimism in the face of existential doom, since doom has been in the air lately.
For the artwork we wanted the V symbol to be central, to represent peace and resistance, in the spirit of the original hippies and Aleister Crowley. And we wanted the nature elements because I believe nature holds all of the keys. We asked Jaime Zuverza to do the artwork because he’s just clearly in the zone right now and we knew he would get it. It seems like every piece he does is better than the last.
INT: If a feature film about Wooden Shjips was to be made, what song would be on the trailer and why?
RJ: Probably Shrinking Moon for You, because that’s the song that started it all for us.
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.