Vista Chino

After years of quiet (and some would argue disquiet,) from the collected musicians that made up KYUSS, there’s been a huge burst of productivity in the last eighteen months.  First, Vista Chino, which is essentially the pioneers of desert rock under another name released their ‘debut’ album “Peace,” to rave reviews.  Earlier this year, vocalist John Garcia released his self-titled record and now Brant Bjork returns with another band and has released a record under the banner of “Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band.”

 

At the risk of sounding like a press release, John Garcia has managed to carve himself out a unique niche in the music world solely by being among the progenitors of his chosen style. Beginning with Kyuss and continuing through Slo Burn and then with Vista Chino, Garcia is a prominent face on the Mount Rushmore of desert music, whether it be called desert rock or desert metal.

By now, you all know the rules, but here’s a one phrase recap: New studio records only. Also, like a classic Spinal Tap joke, I went to eleven this year. What can I say, I couldn’t narrow it down farther from that. It happens. Let’s get started.

First off, I really don’t have a ‘Little Band That Could’ award to give out this year, though I am coming around on Bronze Honey. I just haven’t had a chance to really dig into it and see what I think. So hold that thought, you may see something more in January.

It’s been a long, convoluted and indirect career path for Vista Chino co-founder Brant Bjork. Most readers probably associate Bjork’s name with the seminal band Kyuss, but after a long series of bitter fights and court battles, Bjork has started Vista Chino with fellow veteran John Garcia and is on the forward path again. Hoping to ignite a new chapter of his career with his new brand and familiar faces, Bjork sat down for a few minutes to talk about this chapter of his musical life, the past litigation and what desert rock means to him. Read on!

By this point, the saga of Kyuss has been fairly well reported. To tell the story fully would require a documentary film of appreciable length, a flowchart with Cliffs Notes and a very long afternoon. What began simply as the band that invented and molded desert metal became a long and drama-ragged tale of music and litigation.

The upshot is this: out of the ashes of short-lived revival Kyuss Lives! comes Vista Chino, spiritual successor to the original Kyuss and composed of that band’s co-founding members Brant Bjork, John Garcia and occasionally the enigmatic Nick Oliveri.