Between 1988 and 1995, desert-rockers Kyuss made a valiant effort to save rock 'n' roll. The band's mixture of Black Sabbath-style riffs and a laid-back desert attitude helped them establish the genre of stoner rock. Though not a commercial success at the time, their shadow looms large over rock and metal.
Guitarist Josh Homme, now of Queens of the Stone Age, has declined to participate in a Kyuss reunion. Nonetheless, vocalist John Garcia, bassist Nick Oliveri, and drummer Brant Bjork perform this Saturday at the Fox Theater in Pomona (and on November 18th at The Wiltern) as Kyuss Lives. Bruno Fevery from John Garcia's "Garcia Plays Kyuss" touring project will handle guitar duties, so clearly this line-up knows what it's doing. Still some die-hard fans don't think it's okay to like the group without Homme. We don't feel that way, however, so here are five reasons it's okay to embrace a Kyuss reunion without him.
5. Nick Oliveri might be going away for a while.
Nick Oliveri's assorted legal issues loom over the group. He's facing up to fifteen years for a domestic violence incident in July that involved LAPD's SWAT team. There were additional drugs and weapons-related charges as well. Until a court date is set, however, Oliveri will continue to do all U.S. dates on this tour -- with ex-Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder doing the Canadian stops. In any case, despite what you may think of him personally, Oliveri provides a very energetic presence on bass. If he's convicted, this could be your last chance to see him for a very long time.
4. Brant Bjork is a fucking beast of a drummer.
Nick Oliveri is not the only wild-man musician in the band. One of the most underappreciated rock drummers of recent times, Brant Bjork enters a trance-like state when he performs live. He is not a virtuoso like Neil Peart, but every band he has ever been in loses a little charm when he exits.
3. The reunion could lead to reissues of Kyuss's classic albums.
With recent deluxe reissues like Nirvana's Nevermind popping up, a sold-out tour could encourage Warner Music Group to reissue Kyuss's classic albums, as none of them have been re-released on CD in North America since their original releases. Kyuss also recorded numerous splits, 7-inches, and B-sides during their existence. John Garcia has said he has tons of unheard tracks in his possession. Bundling them with reissues of their classic albums -- curated by someone who knows what he's doing -- could add to the band's legacy.
2. Josh Homme might reconsider his stance.
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Homme enjoys the fact that Kyuss was under-appreciated and misunderstood in their time, and prefers to keep it that way. Since they broke up, he has only performed Kyuss songs on one occasion, when he was joined by John Garcia during the encore of a Queens Of The Stone Age show at The Wiltern in December 2005. Every Kyuss fan wishes that Homme would reconsider. Perhaps a successful tour without him would change his mind.
1. Somehow, Homme has no problems with this tour.
Usually, when a band reunites without a key member, trash talking ensues -- or even lawsuits. (See: Creedence Clearwater Revisited and The Doors of the 21st Century.) Homme, however, has been more than gracious about the Kyuss Lives! tour. This week he even wished the band luck with the tour, saying that he wants to "shout from the mountaintops: 'Go get 'em, boys!'" If Homme is okay with a Homme-less Kyuss reunion, you should be too.