The Brian Jonestown Massacre

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The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Brian Jonestown Massacre.jpg
Background information
Also known as BJM
Origin San Francisco, California, United States
Genres Psychedelic rock, folk rock, neo-psychedelia, Shoegazing (early)
Years active 1988–present
Labels Bomp! Records
TVT Records
Tee Pee Records
Associated acts Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
The Out Crowd
The Dilettantes
The Dandy Warhols
Darker My Love
Members Anton Newcombe
Matt Hollywood
Frankie "Teardrop" Emerson
Collin Hegna
Ricky Maymi
Daniel Allaire
Joel Gion
Rob Campanella
Past members see below

The Brian Jonestown Massacre is an American psychedelic rock band formed in San Francisco in 1988. The band output spans folk rock, blues rock, acid rock, shoegazing, electronica, and experimental rock.


The Brian Jonestown Massacre began as a shoegazing group in San Francisco in 1988. After their debut and sophomore albums, the group quickly turned to a broader style of psychedelic rock incorporating folk, blues, raga, and later, electronica influences. The name "Brian Jonestown Massacre" is a portmanteau of The Rolling Stones' founder and guitarist Brian Jones and the infamous mass cult suicide in Jonestown, Guyana.[1][2] They have gained media notoriety for their tumultuous working relationships and the drug addiction of their leader, Anton Newcombe.[3]


1995 & 1996[edit]

The 1995 album, Methodrone, approximates the United Kingdom "shoegazing" sound that had gained prominence several years prior to its release. Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request, one of three new albums released by the group in 1996, reflects a pastiche of 1960s psychedelia that continues to characterize the BJM sound to the present day. Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request is a pastiche of the Rolling Stones' 1967 album, Their Satanic Majesties Request.[4] The second album they released in 1996, Take It from the Man!, was recorded in the Rolling Stones' mid-1960s style of rock rooted in rhythm and blues.[5]

Thank God for Mental Illness, BJM's third record, released in 1996, represents a country and rhythm and blues aspect to the band's oeuvre, with vocals and acoustic guitar dominating the overall sound. A further example of this country/folk influence was applied to the Bringing It All Back Home - Again album; the title is a pastiche of Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home.[citation needed]

And This Is Our Music (2003)[edit]

The band in 2004

Electronic music appears in 2003's And This Is Our Music, evidencing more contemporary influences. The album's title is an obvious reference to the identically-titled, but distinct, albums, This Is Our Music, by the artists, Galaxie 500 and Ornette Coleman. In 2005, the band released the EP, We Are the Radio, on Newcombe's own label, The Committee to Keep Music Evil, which featured a close collaboration with indie singer-songwriter, Sara Beth Tuceck.

My Bloody Underground (2008)[edit]

My Bloody Underground was released on Cargo Records in 2008.

2009 releases[edit]

The Brian Jonestown Massacre recorded both One EP and Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?, in Iceland and Berlin, in 2009. The One EP was released in November 2009 and features the songs, "One", "This Is the First of Your Last Warning" (which would also appear on Who Killed Sgt. Pepper), an English version of "This Is The First Of Your Last Warning", and an exclusive track, "Bruttermania". Who Killed Sgt. Pepper? was released in February 2010 and features musicians such as Unnur Andrea Einarsdottir (who recorded vocals on the previous BJM album) and Felix Bondareff, from the Russian band, Amazing Electronic Talking Cave; Will Carruthers. Soon after the album's release, it was confirmed that Hollywood had returned to the band after an eleven-year absence. According to Anton Newcombe, he would feature on the band's next album and toured with the band.

Aufheben (2012)[edit]

The most recent Brian Jonestown Massacre album release is titled Aufheben and was released on May 1, 2012. Newcombe stated that the album title relates to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's use of the term, whereby something is destroyed in order to preserve it.


Along with The Dandy Warhols, BJM were the subjects of the 2004 documentary film Dig!.[6] The film captured a love-hate relationship between both bands, highlighting the interaction of BJM frontman Anton Newcombe with his counterpart in the Warhols, Courtney Taylor-Taylor. The film was recorded over the course of seven years by Ondi Timoner and won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival for its unflinching portrait of a narcissist rock star and his subsequent descent into drug abuse and fallout with band members.[7]




  1. ^ Hopper, Kevin (January 2, 2004). "A timeless sound keeps psych-rockers BJM relevant". Albuquerque Journal. p. 15. 
  2. ^ Krause, Charles A (November 19, 2008). "Town Without Pity; 30 Years Later, Memories of Jonestown Evoke Guilt, Anger and Mistrust". The Washington Post. p. C.1. 
  3. ^ Neo-Psych Out, Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly, May 23, 2005
  4. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Take It from the Man!". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Dig!". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "DIG!". Sundance Channel. 2004. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Gig Announcements: Brian Jonestown Massacre, Eels, Real Estate and more". Retrieved 4 March 2014. 

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