Mojave Lords: The Desert Sessions

Sometime Queens Of The Stone Age collaborator David Catching’s latest band, Mojave Lords, was formed with his neighbour, Kevin ‘Bingo’ Richey. Their debut album, ‘Unfuckwithable’ – recorded at the legendary Rancho de la Luna studios – will be released next month. Here, Catching reveals how he roped in members of Eagles of Death Metal (Brian ‘Big Hands’ O’ Connor pictured on the right), Screaming Trees and Masters Of Reality to make his ideas a reality and explains what sort of mindset you need to live in the Mojave Desert…

**WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO FORM MOJAVE LORDS? **“Bingo [Kevin Richey] and I have been friends for a really long time. He’s engineered and played with me a lot at the Rancho [de la Luna] over the years. One day we were sitting around and we thought that nobody’s made a really great, dumb rock album lately. We decided we were just gonna sit down and start writing one. And so we did…”

**THE PROJECT IS OBVIOUSLY A CELEBRATION OF THE DESERT ROCK COMMUNITY BASED AROUND THE RANCHO DE LA LUNA TOO… **“The name is a straight up tribute to the desert and our little gang, yeah. We’re all very proud to be living out there. It’s such a beautiful, special place. Everyone that comes out there feels that too. It’s not just us. I’ve never had anyone come out there that didn’t get it.”

**DO YOU FEEL LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO LIVE, WORK AND PLAY IN A PLACE LIKE YOUR STUDIO? **“Yeah, I’m lucky that I live in such a beautiful place where people love to come and make awesome music. A lot of studios just make music for the money. I have to pay rent for the Rancho whether anyone comes in or not. And that’s what that place is about. It’s about providing a great place for people to create. And so far I’ve been very lucky in that most of the ones that’ve been through have created really cool things. Basically, you’re either in it for the long haul, or you’re just doing it for a minute for fun. And obviously I’m in it for the long haul. I’ve been doing it forever now. I’m a lifer…”

**LOTS OF LOCAL MUSICIANS FEATURE ON THE MOJAVE LORDS ALBUM. HOW DID YOU PIECE IT ALL TOGETHER? **“We got the skeletons for all the songs down really fast. And one day our friend Barrett Martin [Screaming Trees] came out to visit, and he basically nailed almost every song in one day. Then our friend Danny Frankel stopped by another day and played on a track. And Brian O’Connor [Eagles of Death Metal] lives next door to me out in the desert, so he came by one day and played drums and bass on a couple of songs, and he wrote a couple of songs with us too. [Masters Of Reality frontman] Chris Goss decided to come by one day and do a little singing for us. So, one-by-one, more friends started stopping by to help flesh out the record.”

HOW LONG HAD THESE IDEAS BEEN IN GESTATION? “It’d been coming for a while. Bingo and I had been wanting to do a project together for a long time. And when the time eventually came, we pretty much wrote, recorded and finished the whole album within two weeks. And that was the birth of Unfuckwithable…”

WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THE ALBUM’S NAME, THEN? “This is the mantra for everything that not just this project, but everything that we do out here in the desert is based. You watch TV and there’s so much bad shit they’re trying to scare you with. But you can counteract all the weirdness by surrounding yourself with all the coolness that you can, and then you become Unfuckwithable. In the desert we’re surrounded by all of our awesome friends that we love to hang out with. And we respect what they do. We’re trying to bring that vibe to everyone else and let them know that, even though there’s bad stuff going on, there is good in the world, and you can make it happen yourself.”

Mojave Lords’ debut album Unfuckwithable will be released on March 9 through Mojave Lords Records. You can stream the album here and read a track-by-track guide with Catching.

Matt Stocks

DJ, presenter, writer, photographer and podcaster Matt Stocks was a presenter on Kerrang! Radio before a year’s stint on the breakfast show at Team Rock Radio, where he also hosted a punk show and a talk show called Soundtrack Apocalypse. He then moved over to television, presenting on the Sony-owned UK channel Scuzz TV for three years, whilst writing regular features and reviews for Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine. He also wrote, produced and directed a feature-length documentary on Australian hard rock band Airbourne called It’s All For Rock ‘N’ Roll, and in 2017 launched his own podcast: Life in the Stocks. His first book, also called Life In The Stocks, was published in 2020. A second volume was published in April 2022.