Hometown: Denver, Colorado.
Current Residence: I usually go wherever the flow takes me, but when I’m not on the road with friends, I’m usually in Augusta, Georgia.
Favorite band: My current favorite would be String Cheese Incident or Papadosio. Incubus is another favorite. That band is what got me into music in the first place a long time ago.
Favorite venue: Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. It’s a magical, magical place. The park is always full of friends, too. I will say, I had a very negative experience where my crystals were improperly taken from me by Suwannee’s security staff but I am still working with the park to get those back. I have hopes that problem will be reconciled soon and I will have nothing but kind words to say about Spirit of the Suwanee.
Favorite Festival: Rootwire 2013 was without a doubt the best festival I have been to. Now that Papadosio isn’t playing this year, I’m not sure…probably Hulaween.
Favorite festival food: Generally anything organic and delicious… Also I love Free Lovin’ Foodery. The staff is wonderful and the food is amazing.
Favorite place to visit in Appalachia: Asheville or Hot Springs North Carolina. I love it anywhere in the mountains!
What was the first show that you ever attended?
First show ever was when my brother Robby Phillips (aka Dr. Bread) was in a local rock band called Estrela.
What show was it that really opened your eyes to the jam music community?
The first really eye opening show was the first time I saw Dave Matthews Band. I wasn’t particularly a huge fan of them at the time… The ticket was free and once I saw nine world-class musicians on stage blowing minds together, there was no denying how magical that experience was. Been an avid DMB fan ever since.
What is your career?
Right now I’ve been trading gems and crystals for most of my personal income. I’m also one of the founding members of Karma King Mafia and the creator of an conscious art/music/fashion collective called the Multidimensional Fractal Family. Both groups are dedicated to the spreading of joy and positive energy everywhere we go, and particularly around the festival community.
What is your passion?
Aside from music festivals, I really love Orgonite. I’m currently working on getting some Orgonite of my own created to help facilitate good vibes everywhere. I’d also say my involvement with Multidimensional Fractal Family and Karma King Mafia is also my passion. I just love spreading smiles! ☺
How did you become interested in crystals?
I first got truly interested in crystals at the music festival Gnarnia in 2012. I was introduced to Orgonite created by my friends at Orgonizm. Orgonite is a fusion of organic and inorganic materials fused together to facilitate an accumulation of Positive Orgone Energy (Chi, Life-Force, etc) and transmute negative orgone to positive orgone. There were many experiments with such technology that you can easily find information about it on the internet. But basically once I was introduced to the Orgonizm my friends created, I was suddenly able to perceive energies in a way I hadn’t really noticed before. I could literally feel the energy of the orgonite, and then I quickly realized that held true for everything, but particularly for different gemstones. Within months of getting an orgonite I had accumulated a pretty decent collection of gems and minerals. My whole perception of reality shifted.
What role in your life do they play now?
I find myself using crystals for all kinds of energetic healing purposes. Certain crystals give off specific vibrations and can be used for holistic healing purposes for a wide range of ailments and chakra alignment. One of my main uses of crystals involves creating Crystal Grids. A crystal grid is an energetic network of crystals shaped in a geometric pattern to facilitate a specific type of energy depending on which stones are used. It can be any size from a few inches in diameter to spanning the entire planet. I also find crystals helpful in generating inner peace and assist greatly in meditation. I also source nice quality crystals for artists who use them to create jewelry and orgonite as well as wands and other art.
Tell me about Karma King Mafia.
Karma King Mafia was created as a platform to recognize outstanding members of the music festival community. We reward music fans, vendors, artists, and all kinds of generous souls we find to be supporting the community with gifts and praise. When you see any sign of Karma King Mafia in a shop, from stickers to pins, you can be sure the people who run that shop genuinely care about the wellbeing of everyone who passes through. Things are just getting started with the Karma King Mafia. Keep an eye out for us at festivals and events throughout 2014 and beyond. If you like what we’re about, please consider donating to the cause. We accept all kinds of artistic donations to gift out to the community or use to raise funds for more Karma King Mafia creations. Visit www.karmakingmafia.com & https://www.facebook.com/KarmaKingMafia for more information.
How many shows and festivals do you attend a year?
It started out as one or two a year. Last year was my first year where I wasn’t tied down by work and I made it out to twelve festivals and dozens of shows. It’s definitely a nice change of pace to have the free time to actually go to these gatherings.
Do you prefer big crowds or small ones and why?
I prefer the small crowds I find at big festivals, because they’re always full of familiar faces.
How far do you usually travel?
I usually don’t go more than a few hundred miles to a show, but it varies. Some events just can’t be missed.
What is the farthest that you have traveled to see music?
The farthest I have traveled to see a show was from Augusta, Georgia to Rothbury, Michigan for Electric Forest. We drove almost 900 miles in about 12 to 13 hours. It was cool but one thing that kind of disappointed me was seeing how the state police in neighboring states took it as an opportunity to profile and pull people over that were traveling to the festival. It was sad seeing so many kids having their rights violated on the side of the road on the way up there, particularly in Indiana.
What keeps you coming back to the jam scene in particular?
Hands down, it’s the community of the folks who often make it out to these events. The line ups used to bring me out, now I don’t even care whose on the bill…I’m in it to see my Family!
What is your personal outlook on life?
I see one consciousness that chose to experience itself from countless perspectives. Perhaps I can expand on this more when I see you out and about.
What do you do for fun besides go to shows?
The usual. Spread smiles. Give hugs & High Fives. Set up crystal grids with my friends. Also manage KKM/MFF. Play bass guitar. I also enjoy watching cartoons.
What is your best festival memory?
There are so many, but one of the more recent ones was at Suwannee Hulaween. I was walking around the campgrounds after getting ready for the night and I remember I was feeling a little lonely. Not that it was necessarily bad or anything–I just kind of wished I’d see a friend I knew. I heard STS9’s set begin so I headed up to the music, only to find one of my best friends Jono Chaverez (a ridiculous poi master) right there. I looked around for a minute and realized immediately that I was surrounded by 60-70 people I knew. All of my different groups of friend had seemingly merged for that one set, and it was pure bliss! I hope all the homies reading this that were there know how special that moment was for me!
What is a funny story that happened recently?
Something I found rather hilarious was at Aura, Olivia & Mallory Curry decided to give all of the female visual artists fake mustaches.
If we were to run into you at a show, what would you most likely be doing?
Giving someone a present or dancing. Or maybe just picking up trash. Cause that’s all of our responsibilities and I hate a dirty venue.
What challenges do you face or do you see others face in the jam music scene?
I think one struggle I see in the community is the attraction of people to take drugs at these events. People are getting random research chemicals being labeled as something they’re not. I also see a lot of people drinking alcohol with little to no water. In a situation where you’re going to be dancing and moving, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially if you choose to use these substances. I think it’s very important we see more organizations like Jamcare that specialize in helping people in tough situations who would otherwise end up harming themselves or others.
How do you think you’ve changed since you started seeing music more regularly?
In general I’m more happy, and I live the life I personally enjoy, before I was caught up in what I thought other people thought I should do. I’ve definitely gained more lifelong friends from events than anywhere else.
Why do you think music is necessary to society?
It’s important as humans to get together and celebrate life, because it is a miracle we get to experience any of this. We are blessed with every breath.
What is your advice for other people just now discovering this music scene?
Keep your mind open and stay aware of your surroundings. Always fill your actions with unconditional love. See yourself in everyone you meet. And look for people like Neon Jesus, FutureMan, Dr. J (The Rabbi of the Temple of Leisurism and holy discord), Leo Kulishevskiy, Olivia Curry, or many other magical beings who have helped me along this path.
Tell me about Karma King Mafia?
Karma King Mafia was created as a platform to recognize outstanding members of the music festival community.. We reward music fans, vendors, artists, and all kinds of generous souls we find to be supporting the community with gifts and praise. When you see any sign of Karma King Mafia in a shop, from stickers to pins… you can be sure the people who run that shop genuinely care about the wellbeing of everyone who passes through. Things are just getting started with the Karma King Mafia. Keep an eye out for us at festivals and events through-out 2014 and beyond. If you like what we’re about, please consider donating to the cause. We accept all kinds of artistic donations to gift out to the community or use to raise funds for more Karma King Mafia creations. Visit www.karmakingmafia.com & https://www.facebook.com/KarmaKingMafia for more information
Thank you so much to you, Elise, and to everyone at The Jamwich for everything you do! It really is an honor to be included as a part of such a wonderful magazine. I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to share a bit of my message.