SOUND OF LIBERATION & METAL HAMMER proudly present: Brant Bjork has spent over a quarter-century at the epicenter of Californian desert rock. From cutting his teeth alongside Fatso
SOUND OF LIBERATION & METAL HAMMER proudly present:
Brant Bjork has spent over a quarter-century at the epicenter of Californian desert rock. From cutting his teeth alongside Fatso Jetson’s Mario Lalli in hardcore punkers De-Con to drumming and composing on Kyuss’ landmark early albums, to propelling the seminal fuzz of Fu Manchu from 1994-2001 while producing other bands, putting together offshoot projects like Ché, embarking on his solo career as a singer, guitarist and bandleader, founding his own record label and more, his history is a winding narrative of relentless, unflinching creativity.
For someone so outwardly laid back, he’s never really taken a break. And while Bjork has shown different sides of himself on albums like his funk-laden 1999 solo debut, Jalamanta, the mellow Local Angel (2004), 2007’s mostly-acoustic Tres Dias, and heavier rockers Somera Sól (2007), Gods & Goddesses (2010) and the two most recent outings with The Low Desert Punk Band, he’s maintained a natural representation of himself in his material, whether that’s coming across in the Thin Lizzy-isms of the faux-full-band 2002 release Brant Bjork and the Operators (actually just Bjork playing mostly by himself) or the weedy, in-the-jam-room spirit of “Dave’s War” from Tao of the Devil. When you’re listening to Brant Bjork, you know it, because there’s no one else who sounds quite like him.
That fact and years of hard touring have positioned Brant Bjork as an ambassador for the Southern California desert and the musical movement birthed there in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. As underground interest has surged in recent years, Bjork has been a pivotal figurehead, realigning with his former Kyuss bandmate John Garcia to drum and write in Kyuss Lives!/Vista Chino, celebrating and building on that legacy while giving a new generation of fans the chance to see it happen in real-time.
Having told his story in films like Kate McCabe’s Sabbia (2006) and the documentaries Such Hawks Such Hounds (2008) and Lo Sound Desert (2015), he’s represented desert rock at home and abroad with no less honesty than that which he poured into the music helping to create it. The same impulse led to the founding of his Desert Generator festival which transformed into Stoned and Dusted, an annual festival held in Pioneertown, CA, with an international reach capturing the intimacy and timeless aura of the desert culture in a secret desert location, and an evolution that looks to continue into the foreseeable future.
Bjork’s work, with any project, has always had a rebellious sensibility. He’s always walked his own path. But more, his career through Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Ché, Vista Chino, and his crucial solo work has been about freedom through rock and roll, attained by the truest representation of the person and the place as art. This, along with a whole lot of groove, is what has helped Brant Bjork define desert rock as a worldwide phenomenon, and whatever comes next, it is what will continue to make him its most indispensable practitioner.
Brant Bjork Partial Discography:
With Kyuss as drummer, songwriter:
1990 Sons of Kyuss
1992 Blues for the Red Sun
1994 Kyuss, aka Welcome to Sky Valley
2000 Muchas Gracias: The Best of Kyuss
With De-Con as drummer:
1995 Balls for Days
With Fu Manchu as drummer:
1994 No One Rides for Free (Producer only)
1997 The Action is Go
1999 Eatin‘ Dust
1999 King of the Road
2001 California Crossing
With Ché as guitarist/vocalist/composer:
2000 Sounds of Liberation
With Mondo Generator as drummer:
2000 Cocaine Rodeo
2003 A Drug Problem That Never Existed
With Vista Chino as drummer/composer:
Solo and solo bands:
2002 Brant Bjork and the Operators
2003 Keep Your Cool
2004 Local Angel
2005 Saved by Magic (Brant Bjork & the Bros.)
2007 Tres Dias
2007 Somera Sól (Brant Bjork & the Bros.)
2008 Punk Rock Guilt
2010 Gods and Goddesses
2014 Black Power Flower (Brant Bjork & the Low Desert Punk Band)
2016 Tao of the Devil
2017 Europe ‘16
2018 Mankind Woman
1995 Solarfeast, Gossamer (Producer)
1998 Desert Sessions Vol. 1 & 2 (Drums, Bass)
1999 Desert Sessions Vol. 5 & 6 (Drums, Guitar)
2004 Auf Der Maur, Auf Der Maur (Drums)
2005 Yellow #5, Demon Crossing (Drums)
2006 Ten East, Extraterrestrial Highway (Bass)
”As one of the most prominent acts in the new generation of psych music, Swedish four piece MaidaVale create a reckless and experimental rock that keeps diverging from what’s expected.
After first emerging on the live rock scene in 2014, MaidaVale’s 2016 debut album ’Tales of the Wicked West’ was received with open arms and launched them as one of the most promising new bands. The band have had a busy schedule touring Europe exstensively since. Known for their musicality and the electric connection between both musicians and audience, the band’s reputation has grown with each show.
On their second album ’Madness Is Too Pure’, released in early 2018, MaidaVale followed up with an even more experimental and dynamic sound that confirmed their place in the psych rock scene. The album, produced by Jari Haapalainen, was praised amongst both critics and fans for its bold and innovative take on the genre. It also got the band nominated for the Swedish music prize P3 Guld in the rock/metal category, alongside acts like Graveyard and Lucifer.
Up until this point MaidaVale have played renowned festivals like Freak Valley, Desertfest Berlin and Duna Jam.”
Said about Madness Is Too Pure (The Sign Records, 2018)
”— but rather just to say that with Madness is too Pure, the band have exceeded even the hints they gave the first time around of who they were as a group, and perhaps in showcasing their willingness to get weird.”
– The Obelisk
“Now the band is back with the terrific follow-up album “Madness Is Too Pure”.
This album has some funky and groovy psych rock at the centre of a band whose sound shoots off in all sorts of directions. It sounds a bit like if Ace Frehley and Siouxsie Sioux jammed with The Doors at a late- night after party in a small and damp bedsit in London, if you know what I mean.
– Roppongi Rocks
VVK 20,- € / AK 25,- €