Last updated
Kyuss, circa 1992. Left to right, Josh Homme, Brant Bjork, John Garcia, Nick Oliveri.
Background information
Also known as
  • Katzenjammer (1987–1989)
  • Sons of Kyuss (1989–1991)
Origin Palm Desert, California, United States
Years active1987–1996
Associated acts
Past members Josh Homme
John Garcia
Scott Reeder
Alfredo Hernández
Chris Cockrell
Brant Bjork
Nick Oliveri

Kyuss ( /ˈk.əs/ KY-əs) was an American rock band, formed in Palm Desert, California, in 1987 by Josh Homme (guitar), John Garcia (vocals), Brant Bjork (drums) and Chris Cockrell (bass). After releasing an EP under the name Sons of Kyuss in 1990, the band shortened its name to Kyuss and recruited Nick Oliveri, replacing Cockrell as bassist. Over the next five years the band released four full-length albums, and one last split EP in 1997 as Kyuss and the newly formed Queens of the Stone Age. This tied up the loose ends of Kyuss and introduced the new band Queens of the Stone Age, which was initially composed entirely of former Kyuss members.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Palm Desert, California City in California, United States

Palm Desert is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 14 miles (23 km) east of Palm Springs, 121 miles northeast of San Diego and 122 miles (196 km) east of Los Angeles. The population was 48,445 at the 2010 census, up from 41,155 at the 2000 census. The city was one of the state's fastest growing in the 1980s and 1990s, beginning with 11,801 residents in 1980, doubling to 23,650 in 1990, 35,000 in 1995, and nearly double its 1990 population by 2000. A major center of growth in the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert is a popular retreat for "snowbirds" from colder climates, who swell its population by an estimated 31,000 each winter. In the past couple of years Palm Desert has seen more residents become "full-timers", mainly from the coasts and urban centers of California, who have come for both affordable and high-valued home prices.


Oliveri left the band in 1992 and was replaced by Scott Reeder just prior to the release of Blues for the Red Sun . Drummer Bjork decided to leave the band in 1994, citing creative differences and a disdain for touring, and was replaced by Alfredo Hernández, formerly of fellow-Palm Desert band Yawning Man. Garcia and Homme were the band's only continuous members throughout the band's lifetime. Kyuss disbanded in 1996, and since then, members of Kyuss have gone on to form or play in several notable bands including Queens of the Stone Age, Fu Manchu, Dwarves, Eagles of Death Metal, Mondo Generator, Hermano, Unida, Slo Burn and Them Crooked Vultures.

Scott Reeder is best known as the former bass player of stoner rock bands Across the River, Kyuss and The Obsessed, as well as the current bass player for Fireball Ministry.

<i>Blues for the Red Sun</i> 1992 studio album by Kyuss

Blues for the Red Sun is the second studio album by American rock band Kyuss, released in 1992. While the album received mainly favorable reviews, it fared poorly commercially, selling only 39,000 units. It has since become a very influential album within the stoner rock genre. It was the last Kyuss album to feature bassist Nick Oliveri, who was replaced by Scott Reeder shortly after recording had been completed. Reeder had previously played with the Obsessed.

Alfredo Hernández is an American drummer best known as a former member of desert rock bands Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Brant Bjork and the Bros and Yawning Man, and as a current member of his new band, Avon. He is jazz trained.

In November 2010, three former members of the band (minus Homme, who declined to participate) reunited under the adapted moniker "Kyuss Lives!" for a world tour with plans to record a new album at some point. [5] A federal lawsuit subsequently filed by Homme resulted in Oliveri leaving the band in March 2012, [6] and five months later a court ruled that Garcia and Bjork were not allowed to release audio recordings under the Kyuss Lives! moniker. [7] As a result, they changed their name to Vista Chino. [8]

Kyuss Lives! Tour

The Kyuss Lives! Tour was a 2011 concert tour by Kyuss Lives!, a spin-off band featuring three former members of the stoner rock band Kyuss. It is the first tour since the "original" Kyuss broke up in 1995, and marks the first time in 19 years that John Garcia, Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri have performed together. The tour also marks the band's first outing with guitarist Bruno Fevery, who has taken Josh Homme's place. Scott Reeder, who was in Kyuss from 1992 to 1995, temporarily filled in for Oliveri on some European and all Canadian shows.

Vista Chino band

Vista Chino is an American rock band, formed in 2010 by vocalist John Garcia, drummer Brant Bjork and bassist Nick Oliveri, all previously members of Kyuss, along with guitarist Bruno Fevery.


As Katzenjammer and Sons of Kyuss (1987–1991)

The band formed in 1987 jamming under the name Katzenjammer (German slangword for "Hangover" [archaic], literally "moaning of a cat") before eventually deciding upon Sons of Kyuss. Brant Bjork selected the name from the undead monster found in the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game book Fiend Folio . [4] In 1989 the band recorded their eponymous debut EP, Sons of Kyuss , which was their only release to feature Chris Cockrell on bass. After self-releasing the EP in 1990, the band recruited Nick Oliveri – who had previously played second guitar in Katzenjammer – to replace Cockrell on bass, and shortened their name to Kyuss.

Son of Kyuss

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the son of Kyuss is a type of undead creature.

<i>Fiend Folio</i>

Fiend Folio is any of three products published for successive editions of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). All three are collections of monsters.

Nick Oliveri American musician

Nick Steven Oliveri is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter from Los Angeles, California. Oliveri is perhaps best known as a former member of Kyuss and later Queens of the Stone Age from 1998 to 2004. Oliveri is also a solo artist and frequent contributor to his friends' albums and tours, including Winnebago Deal, Mark Lanegan Band, Masters of Reality, Turbonegro and Moistboyz, among many others. Oliveri is currently the frontman of his project, Mondo Generator, a punk and metal hybrid that he formed in 1997. He has also worked periodically with the Dwarves since 1993.

As Kyuss (1991–1996)

Kyuss' first line-up consisted of vocalist John Garcia, guitarist Josh Homme, bassist Nick Oliveri and drummer Brant Bjork. The band gradually built a local following in Palm Desert, California and frequently performed at parties in and around the isolated towns of Southern California's desert areas. These impromptu and predominantly outdoor shows, referred to locally as "generator parties", [3] consisted of small crowds of people, beer drinking, and the use of gasoline-powered generators to provide electricity for the equipment. [9] Homme commented that playing in the desert "was the shaping factor for the band" noting that "there's no clubs here, so you can only play for free. If people don't like you, they'll tell you. You can't suck." [3]

John Garcia (singer) American singer

John Garcia is a vocalist and songwriter. Garcia is best known as the vocalist and founding member of Kyuss, Slo Burn, and Unida. Garcia recently performed in Vista Chino with former Kyuss drummer Brant Bjork although the band broke up in 2014 after a falling out which caused Garcia to leave the band. Garcia and Bjork have since decided to continue their individual solo projects, with Garcia releasing his debut album John Garcia on July 25, 2014.

Josh Homme American musician

Joshua Michael Homme is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. He is best known as the founder, primary songwriter, and only continuous member of the rock band Queens of the Stone Age, which he formed in 1996 and in which he sings lead vocals and plays guitar, as well as occasionally playing bass, piano, and drums.

Brant Bjork American musician and drummer of Kyuss

Brant Bjork is an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer from Palm Desert, California. He is perhaps best known as the drummer and founder of the influential Californian stoner rock band Kyuss. Bjork played in Vista Chino, along with former Kyuss vocalist John Garcia, up until October 2014, at which point Nick Oliveri announced that there was a falling out and that Bjork and Garcia would continue working on their solo projects. He is one of the more notable figures in the stoner rock and Palm Desert scenes.

The band then signed with independent record label Dali, who released their debut album, Wretch , in September 1991. Several songs on the album were re-recorded versions of those that appeared on the Sons of Kyuss EP. Album sales were sluggish, though the band was quickly making a name for itself as a live act. [4] Guitarist Josh Homme soon gained a reputation for his unique downtuned, psychedelic style of guitar playing, and his convention of playing electric guitars through bass guitar amplifiers to create a bass-heavy sound.

An independent record label is a record label that operates without the funding of major record labels. Many artists begin their careers on independent labels.

<i>Wretch</i> (album) 1991 studio album by Kyuss

Wretch is the first full-length album by American rock band Kyuss, released in September 1991 on Dali Records. The tracks "Black Widow" and "Deadly Kiss" are taken from the band's debut EP, Sons of Kyuss (1990), recorded with original bassist Chris Cockrell, while the rest of the album was recorded with his replacement Nick Oliveri. The Sons of Kyuss songs "Love Has Passed Me By", "Katzenjammer", and "Isolation Desolation" were re-recorded for Wretch, the latter's title shortened to "Isolation".

Psychedelic rock Style of rock music

Psychedelic rock is a diverse style of rock music inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centred around perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music is intended to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs, most notably LSD. Many psychedelic groups differ in style, and the label is often applied spuriously.

In 1992, the band, along with new producer Chris Goss, began work on their next album, Blues for the Red Sun . Goss understood the band, and was able to accurately capture their live sound in the studio. Released in June that year, the album was critically hailed and is today widely regarded as a pioneering stoner rock record. By the end of 1993, they were invited to open nine dates for Metallica touring Australia. [3] Comparisons to stoner rock godfathers Black Sabbath became common, though Homme claimed to have little knowledge of the band at the time [10] but Bjork asserted he and Oliveri were hugely influenced by the British group. [11]

Oliveri left the band following completion of the album and Scott Reeder, who had been approached about joining Kyuss five to six months earlier during a West Coast tour with The Obsessed, made his debut at the release party for Blues for the Red Sun.

The band then soon found themselves signed with major label Elektra Records after Dali Records hit financial problems and was bought by Elektra. In 1994, they would release their first major label album, self-titled Kyuss. Originally intended to be titled Pools of Mercury, the album commonly came to be known among fans as Welcome to Sky Valley . Between record company shuffling and bandmember shuffling it would take a whole year for the album recorded in 1993 to be released. Once again produced by Chris Goss, it received critical acclaim and, musically, demonstrated a much more psychedelic and mature sound. However, personal problems emerged and drummer Brant Bjork left the band following completion of the recording sessions. Bjork cited his extreme distaste for touring, particularly band relationship problems that develop during long periods on the road. He was replaced by Alfredo Hernández, who had previously played with Reeder in the band Across the River during the mid-80s. In July 1995, they released their fourth and final album, ...And the Circus Leaves Town . A video was made for "One Inch Man", the album's only official single. The album was not as successful commercially as Sky Valley, receiving mixed reviews. Kyuss broke up sometime early in 1996. With the sudden breakup, ...And the Circus Leaves Town received a rejuvenation in appeal and is now considered a strong effort. A compilation EP was later released in 1997 containing singles and b-sides.

After the band's breakup in 1996, there had been frequent and persistent speculation among fans regarding the possibility of a Kyuss reunion. When asked in late 2004 about whether the band would ever re-unite, Homme replied that this was unlikely to happen in the near future. However, on December 20, 2005, Garcia made a guest appearance onstage with Queens of the Stone Age during their encore at the Wiltern LG in Los Angeles. They performed three Kyuss songs together: "Thumb", "Hurricane" and "Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop". [12] The band has reportedly received numerous offers to re-form, all of which have been turned down:

The offers come in all the time. They're getting more and more expensive, and more and more elaborate. The money is crazy, but I've never been tempted – I don't really care about the money, I never have. That's not what KYUSS was about, so to punctuate the end of our sentence with that would be blasphemy. KYUSS fans are so fuckin' rad, they're fuckin' badass – but to me, reunions are just not necessary. It's not what it was, it's what it is, and KYUSS was a really magical thing – and if you weren't there, well, you weren't. That's just the luck of the draw. I don't feel the urge to do it for somebody who didn't have the opportunity to see us, or just didn't take the opportunity to see us. I'll let other bands alter their great legacies. KYUSS has such a great history that it would be a total error. I like that nobody saw KYUSS, and that it was largely misunderstood. That sounds like a legend forming to me. I'm too proud of it to rub my dick on it.

Josh Homme to Joel McIver, May 2007 [13]

Scott Reeder also commented on a possible Kyuss reunion in early 2008, saying "I think everyone but Josh would do it in a heartbeat". Reeder also noted that he would "do it for free beer again". [14]

Post-break up (1996–present)

Shortly after the breakup, Homme toured as the rhythm guitarist with Screaming Trees and began work on ongoing The Desert Sessions recording series. In December 1997, a transitional split EP was released, featuring three songs by Kyuss (the Black Sabbath cover "Into the Void," "Fatso Forgotso," and "Flip the Phase") and three songs by Queens of the Stone Age ("If Only Everything", "Born to Hula" and "Spiders & Vinegaroons"). Homme and Hernandez formed Queens of the Stone Age in 1998, and recruited Oliveri as bassist after completion of their debut album.

Hernandez later played with Yawning Man, Che and Orquestra Del Desierto, while Oliveri formed the band Mondo Generator, named after the only Kyuss song credited solely (words and music) to him. Drummer Brant Bjork went on to form the band Brant Bjork and the Bros, recorded and performed with Fu Manchu and Mondo Generator, and has recorded several solo albums.

John Garcia went on to form Slo Burn, although the band was short-lived and released only one EP, Amusing the Amazing , before disbanding in September 1997. He was also briefly associated with the band Karma to Burn. In 1998, he began working with the band Unida, recording one EP, one LP and an unreleased album. At the same time he started working with the band Hermano, having released three LP's and one live album to date. Garcia has more recently been working on a solo album. [15]

In 1997, Homme, Bjork, and Oliveri recorded three songs together ("13th Floor", "Simple Exploding Man", & "Cocaine Rodeo") for Mondo Generator's debut album Cocaine Rodeo, released in 2000. Also featuring Garcia and Chris Goss on one track, the songs are regarded by many fans as the true final Kyuss recordings.

In 2000, a compilation album, Muchas Gracias: The Best of Kyuss , was released. The album is a collection of the band's singles, as well as B-sides and live material.

Although Kyuss left behind some "rarities", many of them were released on Muchas Gracias, and further releases from the band appear unlikely. Singer John Garcia told in a 2005 interview:

There are so many untitled songs that have never been heard, that I have up in my little crawl space up above my bed. I don't see those songs coming out anytime in the near future. Everybody's too busy to do stuff like that. It's a job to go back and listen to it, and then if you want to re-record them. [16]

In 2010, a European "John Garcia plays Kyuss" tour was announced. In June 2010, former Kyuss members Nick Oliveri and Brant Bjork joined Garcia onstage to perform "Green Machine" and "Gardenia" during a headlining appearance by "Garcia Plays Kyuss" at Hellfest in Clisson, France [17] and they also appeared onstage with Garcia in other concerts on the tour.

In November 2010, Garcia, Oliveri and Bjork announced plans to tour under the moniker "Kyuss Lives!" with guitarist Bruno Fevery. In reference to the new band name, Garcia stated that "there is never going to be a Kyuss without Josh Homme" and that "hopefully in the future him and I can get together and do some writing." [18] The band went on to tour Europe, [5] Australasia [19] [20] and North and South America. The band then announced plans to record a new studio album for a summer 2012 release in addition to a live album. [21]

However, in March 2012, it was revealed that Josh Homme, after persuading bassist Scott Reeder to support him, had filed a federal lawsuit against John Garcia and Brant Bjork alleging "trademark infringement and consumer fraud" over the use of the Kyuss name despite the fact Brant Bjork had originally created the name. Nick Oliveri left Kyuss later that month after it was revealed that Garcia and Bjork had tried to take control of the Kyuss trademark. [6]

In August 2012 the courts ruled that Garcia and Bjork could not release any recordings, studio or live, under the Kyuss Lives! moniker. While they were allowed to continue using the moniker for live shows (as long as, unlike the band's current logo, Lives! is written in the same size and next to the word Kyuss to avoid confusion), the judge stated that they may face issues in the future and that "it may be in Defendants' best interest to begin re-branding under a new name". [22] On November 29, 2012, it was announced that Kyuss Lives! had changed their name to Vista Chino. [8]


Band members


Sons of Kyuss
  • John Garcia – lead vocals
  • Josh Homme – guitars, backing vocals
  • Chris Cockrell – bass
  • Brant Bjork – drums, percussion
  • John Garcia – lead vocals
  • Josh Homme – guitars
  • Nick Oliveri – bass
  • Brant Bjork – drums, percussion
  • John Garcia – lead vocals
  • Josh Homme – guitars
  • Scott Reeder  – bass
  • Brant Bjork – drums, percussion
  • John Garcia – lead vocals
  • Josh Homme – guitars
  • Scott Reeder – bass
  • Alfredo Hernández  – drums, percussion



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