Kyuss, the Palm Desert foursome credited as pioneers of the desert/stoner rock genre, has experienced a steady growth in popularity and recognition since the band broke up over 15 years ago. After a chance reunion abroad, 3 of the 4 original members have reunited to form Kyuss Lives! Bassist Nick Oliveri, drummer Brant Bjork, and singer John Garcia are taking the new Kyuss project on the road, playing a collection of old Kyuss material. The band is looking to follow up a sold out European tour with similar success in North America. Guitarist Bruno Fevery will be taking the place of founding member Josh Homme on tour. Homme, of Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures fame, is not involved in the project, and is in the process of recording a new QOTSA album. With Homme, this would be the show of the fall, maybe even the year. But even without the QOTSA frontman, Kyuss Lives! will still rock the shine right off your shoes. Check out more tour info after the jump.
On top of touring for the first time in over 15 years, the band has also announced plans to record a new album when the tour is over. In an interview with Rock Sound, Garcia said: “Our rehearsals are going so well that we’re thinking of doing another record … Brant, Nick and myself have collectively agreed that once everything is done live and we’re done with our solo projects, we’re going to do another record.”
Josh Homme, the group’s founding member, has always dismissed the idea of a Kyuss reunion. If Homme were involved in this new Kyuss project, it would surely be one of the biggest rock stories of the year. Homme’s absence has tempered expectations for the reunion, but not enough to prevent the band from selling out every show they’ve played. In a recent phone interview with the LA Times, Homme, who has known Garcia and Oliveri since high school, and Bjork since he was 8, showed support for his former bandmates: “I want to shout from the mountaintops: ‘Go get ‘em, boys!’ … I’m stoked for them. I hope they … blow your mind.”
Watch Kyuss Lives! performing “Hurricane ” live on August 31st on The Daily Habit:
Unfortunately, this reunion story is not all positive. Bassist Nick Oliveri, in the midst of all the hype over the Kyuss reunion, was arrested on July 12, 2011, for suspicion of felony domestic violence after a standoff with police SWAT team. Drugs and a loaded rifle were found in the home. Oliveri has been charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, and one misdemeanor count of resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison. Oliveri is out on bail, but is unable to leave the country. Scott Reeder has filled in with the band on their international tour dates.
This is not the first time Oliveri has dealt with domestic violence allegations. In fact, Oliveri was fired from QOTSA back in 2004 after band leader Josh Homme learned that the bassist had been physically abusive to his girlfriend.
It is yet to be seen what impact Oliveri’s legal troubles will have on this highly anticipated reunion, and only time will tell as our legal system runs its course. However, the question persists how fans will react to the moral implications of Oliveri’s conduct.
At the risk of editorializing, I find it difficult to support a musician whose personal conduct I find so reprehensible. Domestic violence is a cowardly act. Yet, while I tell myself that it is the music, and not the man, that I am truly a fan of, those concepts can often be difficult to distinguish. In the world of Rock and Roll most shortcomings are not just overlooked, they’re often embraced. It is our faults that make us unique. I mean, they don’t just group sex, drugs, and rock and roll together for nothing. But not all actions can simply be dismissed as part and parcel of the rock and roll lifestyle. Domestic violence is NOT Rock and Roll. It is something to which I cannot simply turn a blind eye. So I must admit that Oliveri’s conduct has found a way to taint my impression of his work. Unfortunately, it seems I have found it particularly challenging to separate the music from the man.
I am curious how other fans view this situaton. Am I missing the point? Maybe Kyuss and the music are bigger than the personal actions of one of its members. Please feel free to comment below.