Brant Bjork

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Brant Bjork
Brant Bjork-Kyuss-IMG 5771.jpg
Brant Bjork at the Eurockéennes de Belfort, 2011
Background information
Born (1973-03-19) March 19, 1973 (age 41)
Origin Palm Springs, CA, U.S.
Genres Stoner rock, desert rock, heavy metal, hardcore punk
Occupations Musician, record producer
Instruments drums, guitar, bass, vocals
Years active 1987–present
Labels El Camino Records, Duna Records, Man's Ruin Records, Low Desert Punk Recordings
Associated acts Kyuss, De-Con, LAB, Fatso Jetson, Fu Manchu, The Desert Sessions, Ché, Mondo Generator, Brant Bjork and the Bros, Yellow #5, Ten East, Kyuss Lives!, Vista Chino
Website www.lowdesertpunk.com

Brant Bjork (born March 19, 1973) is an American musician from Palm Desert, California. A drummer, guitarist, vocalist, and producer, he is perhaps best known as the drummer of the influential Californian stoner rock band Kyuss. Bjork currently performs in Vista Chino, formerly Kyuss Lives!, along with former members of Kyuss. He is one of the more notable figures in the stoner rock and Palm Desert scenes.

Musical career[edit]

Kyuss[edit]

While still in high school in the late 1980s, Bjork got together with friends Josh Homme and John Garcia to form a band called Katzenjammer. At Bjork's prompting, the band would soon be renamed Sons of Kyuss for a single EP, named after "the sons of Kyuss" monsters in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game,[1] and then later shortened to Kyuss. The band relocated to Los Angeles in 1990 and signed to Chameleon Records, releasing their debut album, Wretch in September 1991. They were then picked up by the major label Elektra Records, becoming the first desert rock band to achieve international success. Bjork was a major creative force in Kyuss, contributing a substantial portion of the band's songwriting. In 1994, Bjork left the band following the release of Welcome to Sky Valley, frustrated at guitarist Homme's growing reluctance to play the songs he was contributing to the band. Bjork: "Josh and I were the creative force of Kyuss. We had a very deep understanding of the need for each other in getting the band to exist musically. At the time of Sky Valley, I was young, probably about 19 or 20, and I certainly had a lot of artistic vision for Kyuss. I exercised that with Blues for the Red Sun, but when it came time for Sky Valley, there was a conflict in direction between Josh and I. That never really happened before, and I didn't know how to handle it".[1][2]

Post-Kyuss[edit]

Bjork playing live in Exeter, June 19, 2006

After leaving Kyuss, Bjork played with several bands including playing drums for hardcore punk band De-Con on their 1995 album Balls for Days,[3] released on Bjork's newly founded independent label El Camino Records, which would later become Duna Records. Around this time Bjork also produced stoner rock band Solarfeast's debut and sole album, 1995's Gossamer. Bjork would later go on to join former Kyuss bandmate, Josh Homme, in his Palm Desert musical collective series, The Desert Sessions, playing a mixture of guitar, bass, drums, and percussion, on the 1997 releases Volume 1: Instrumental Driving Music For Felons and Volume 2: Status: Ships Commander Butchered, as well as the 1999 releases Volume 5: Poetry for the Masses (SeaShedShitheadByTheSheSore) and Volume 6: Black Anvil Ego.

Bjork briefly moved to Santa Cruz to play guitar for hardcore punk band LAB in 1997 - made up of the remaining members of 80's punk band BL'AST! - playing on their 1997 release, the 7" EP "Burning Leaf/Chihuahua". He also played guitar for Fatso Jetson during 1997-1998, including on their 1998 "Jailbreak" 7" split EP with stoner rock band Fu Manchu. Bjork played drums for Fu Manchu on their critically acclaimed 1997 album The Action Is Go, having previously produced their 1994 debut album No One Rides for Free. Bjork would continue to play on every Fu Manchu release, including the 1999 LPs Eatin' Dust and King of the Road, until his departure following the release of 2001's California Crossing.[1]

At the same time Bjork was playing for former Kyuss bandmate Nick Oliveri's metal band Mondo Generator. Joining in 1997, Bjork would play on the 2000 LP Cocaine Rodeo, the 2003 LP A Drug Problem That Never Existed, and would tour with the band until leaving in 2004. Bjork was also featured on the live DVD, 2004's Use Once and Destroy Me, as well as later releases featuring the Bjork-era line-up, the 2006 7" single, "I Never Sleep", and the 2008 Australian Tour EP.

Solo career[edit]

Bjork began recording his first solo album, 1999's Jalamanta in February 1999. Bjork performed all instruments, including guitar and vocals. He would also perform guitar and vocals in the short-lived stoner rock band Ché - a side-project collaboration with former Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age drummer Alfredo Hernández. Ché released their only album, Sounds of Liberation in October 2000. Bjork's next album, 2002's Brant Bjork & the Operators, named for Bjork's fictional backing band, 'the Operators', was recorded in November 2000 with Bjork again performing vocals and most instruments. He would continue to be the sole performer, except for a few guest spots, on 2003's Keep Your Cool and 2004's Local Angel.

Bjork would form the band Brant Bjork and the Bros in 2003, featuring guitarist Mike Pygmie, bassist Dylan Roche, and drummer Michael Peffer, with Bjork performing vocals and additional guitar. They toured Europe in October 2003, performing a mixture of Bjork's solo material and Ché's Sounds of Liberation. Pygmie was replaced by Scott Cortez for further touring in Europe and North America in 2004.[4] This line-up went on to record the 2005 double album Saved by Magic. The album featured a return to the sound of Bjork's earlier sound from his Jalamanta/Sounds of Liberation era.[1]

2006 saw the release of Sabbia, a feature film "visual soundtrack" by filmmaker Kate McCabe, featuring Bjork's music.[5] Brant Bjork and the Bros would go on to record another album, 2007's Somera Sól, with Alfredo Hernández replacing Michael Peffer on drums. In the same year, Bjork released his fifth solo album, Tres Dias, an acoustic album featuring reinterpretations of older songs, as well as some new material. The title of the album (Three Days) comes from the purported amount of time that Bjork claimed it took to record it at producer Tony Mason's house in Joshua Tree, California.

Bjork also reported in 2007 that he had ended his label, Duna Records, citing that it took too much time and energy to run.[6] Bjork soon created a new label, Low Desert Punk Recordings, and the Duna Records website now functions as a Brant Bjork community fansite and forum.[7] The first release on the new label was Bjork's 2008 album, Punk Rock Guilt, made up of recordings from December 2005 referred to as the "New Jersey Sessions". This release was followed up with the 2010 album Gods & Goddesses. Recorded in LA in 2009, Gods & Goddesses was the first Brant Bjork solo album not to be primarily recorded by Bjork himself. Instead, Bjork recorded with a new line-up of musicians including guitarist Brandon Henderson, former Yawning Man bassist Billy Cordell, and former Mondo Generator drummer Giampaolo Farnedi.

A new solo record entitled Jacuzzi is mixed and planned for release in late 2013. The album will be all instrumental featuring jazz and funk influences with break beats.[8]

Vista Chino[edit]

In November 2010, it was announced that Bjork was forming Kyuss Lives! with Bruno Fevery on guitar, Nick Oliveri on bass and John Garcia on vocals. The band undertook a European, Australian and New Zealand tour from March to May 2011.[9] On November 2012, Kyuss Lives! announced that they had changed their name to Vista Chino.[10]

Vista Chino released their debut album Peace on September 3, 2013 through Napalm Records.[11]

Gear[edit]

Drums: Ludwig Drums 24x16 Bass Drum, 14x13 Tom Tom, 16x16 Floor Tom, 18x16 Floor Tom, 14x6.5 Snare

Cymbals: Paiste 15" sound edge hi-hats', 22" Signature Reflector Heavy Full Crash', 22" 2002 Heavy Ride', 22" 2002 Crash

Pro-mark: 2b Drumsticks

Guitars: Fender Stratocaster, Gibson SG, Gibson Firebird

Amps: Marshall Heads and Cabs

Effects: fuzz tone, Dunlop Cry Baby Wah, Phase shifter,

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]