Thrash Hits

November 3rd, 2010

Kyuss are back (but without Josh Homme): The Argument AGAINST

Our ih-house surly bastard, Hugh Platt, greeted the news that “Kyuss” were reforming by sighing too much, and pulling a face that makes Droopy look happy. What exactly is his problem with ‘Kyuss Lives!’…?

Kyuss Lives! promo photo Thrash Hits

Sorry, but this ain’t Kyuss. Not even close.

Sure, click over to the band’s Wikipedia page, scrool down and Lo! John Garcia, Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri are among the list of former members of Kyuss. And that’s three out of four roles filled, right? By anyone’s estimation, 75% of a band’s line-up can be counted as legit, right? Right?!??

No – of course it can’t. Even the three ex-Kyuss members involved in this moneyspinner acknowledge that it isn’t really Kyuss – that’s why they’re going under the somewhat berkish moniker of ‘Kyuss Lives’. The creative core of Kyuss is, was, and always will be Josh Homme. Don’t believe me? Go check out the songwriting credits on any of Kyuss’ albums. Sure, there’s a couple of tracks on each album where Garcia gets a look in, and Brant Bjork’s input cannot be understated (particularly on 1994’s seminal Welcome To Sky Valley), but Kyuss’s songs are for the overwhelming most-part Homme’s songs. For “Kyuss” to reform without Homme is like a Smashing Pumpkins without Billy Corgan. It is a Guns ‘N Roses without Slash. Oh.

Spot the difference between ‘Kyuss Lives’ and the real deal:

Hell, if we’re picking hairs, Nick Oliveri isn’t even the bass player that most people associate with the “classic” Kyuss line-up. His involvement ended following the recording of the band’s second album, Blues for the Red Sun, and it wasn’t until the band started touring that record, with Scott Reeder on bass duties, that anyone really paid much heed to the Palm Desert rockers. It wasn’t until the release of the aforementioned Welcome to Sky Valley album – made by the line-up of Homme, Bjork, Reeder and Garcia – that Kyuss went from being a critically-acclaimed band to universally-hailed stoner-rock kings.

Josh Homme isn’t in this Kyuss reason because unlike the other three, he doesn’t need to be. As Amit has previously said, Homme’s success post-Kyuss has been stratospheric. He has helmed Queens of the Stone into becoming one of the biggest crossover rock acts of the last decade. He married a punk rock icon. He hangs out with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones and makes music that sounds like a watered-down Desert Session to sell to idiots and Andy Copping as meaningful rock’n’roll.

Despite being involved in multiple bands since being booted out of Queens of the Stone Age in 2004 (by Josh Homme, no less), Nick Oliveri hasn’t exactly been burning the candle at both ends. And even as a Kyuss fanboy, it pains me to admit that Brant Bjork’s work since leaving Kyuss haven’t lit the world alight. And then there’s John Garcia. Garcia – talented musician as he is – knows the monetary value of the Kyuss name. When he toured as “Garcia plays Kyuss” earlier this year, Garcia sold more tickets, sold more merch, and made more money than he has done in years. When he brought out Nick Oliveri and Brant Bjork for that set at Hellfest, all three of them sat up and took notice of the excited coverage the event got across the internet. With album sales dropping through the floor, everyone’s got a mortgage to pay.

Don’t fuck with Josh Homme:

So go ahead – buy yourself a ticket to a ‘Kyuss Lives’ show. Convince yourself that you’re watching something special. Get nostalgic about events and musicians whose heyday happened well before you were old enough to give two tugs of a dead dog’s cock about them. Go home, sleep with your wife, and be happy. Just remember one little thing from me:

Sorry, but this ain’t Kyuss. It’s not even close.

[poll id=”26″]

Oo-er. Sounds like Hugh doesn’t agree with Amit Sharma one bit on this one. If you missed Amit’s explanation of why the Kyuss re-union is worth getting excited about, click here and check it out. Now’s the time to scope out the band’s forthcoming UK live dates, and decide whether or not you want to stump up your cash for a ticket to see ‘Kyuss Lives’…

Kyuss Lives Spring 2011 tourdates
31 Nottingham Rock City
01 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
02 London The Forum
04 Glasgow ABC1
05 Manchester Academy
06 Bristol O2 Academy

Note that 03 April 2011 is available, just in case they decide that one night at the Kentish Town Forum is not enough…


  • I do agree with you to a point that this IS a money spinner and I also agree that Homme is the main song writer BUT they are not reforming Kyuss and making a new record because I wouldn’t agree with that. That Kyuss riffage is clearly Homme because he took it with him to QOTSA. I will say though coming from a predominately stoner rock background that everyone I knew rated Brant Bjork’s work highly and as you pointed out his work on sky valley ( which most would argue is their best album ) is important.

    • Raz

      It definitely can’t be a money spinner if it’s a 6-date tour with a 2000 capacity venue in London. The maths means not that much money.

      • (It’s a 20+ date European tour, but hey FACTS, etc)

  • Amit Sharma

    Trust me, as a fan Id rather see the Sky Valley lineup with Scott Reeder on bass.

    But this is definitely a 3/4 reunion and you don’t need Wikipedia to tell you otherwise – it is the original lineup of Kyuss after Katzenjammer and Sons Of Kyuss (bar Josh). Wretch was recorded was by these four guys – except for a few odd Chris Cockrell bass tracks that were reused from the Sons Of Kyuss EP sessions.

    Trust me, if they were reforming indefinitely and going to start recording again I would agree with many of Hugh’s points – but at this stage, it’s just a tour and there’s nowt wrong with people having the chance to experience it. Who cares what they’ve been up to since, as long as it sounds good on the night that’s all people care about!

    Ain’t gonna be a complete money-spinner but in the long term will generate more interest / success for whatever they do after this…

  • feelgoodhitofthejimmy

    As a HUGE Kyuss fan aswell as 25 year old from England iv never got to see kyuss play.They had long split before i ever even “found” them.but iv been listening to them for was my older brother saying “jim, stop listening to this shit british crap and listen to this” and he gave me QOTSA(1st album), Rated R and all the Kyuss albums. That music changed my fucking life man.i used to listen to oasis and absolute shite like that,the music my bro gave me saved me!if ever any of the members touring with their bands after Kyuss came to england,im fucking there! BB&the Bros,Fu manchu,Reeder,Nebula,Mondogenerator,Unida and obviously Queens(11 times)..fucking every gig,penny spent,sickie pulled.all because i love these musicians! so for years iv listened to em never thinking id never see them live. its not kyuss…ok…but 3 members of kyuss…3 members of the band that changed my life?on the same stage? playing kyuss songs that iv listened to for years? playing 45 minutes away from my house? its as close as im ever gonna get. so i buy my ticket in 27 minutes.

  • KyussLives!

    Why are so many people whining about this? Can’t they understand how so many people never thought they would hear any Kyuss songs live again? I was too young to go to their shows the first time, and most people I know got into them after they broke up. The guys have been getting asked about getting back together constantly since they broke up, and do realize many never got the chance to see them. I made the trip to Hellfest, and got goosebumps when Nick and Brant joined John onstage. Did it ever occur to the author that maybe since all of the guys have still remained friends (most of the time) since Kyuss, that after over 15 years apart they might actually MISS playing together and playing those songs? And that they want to give the fans what they want? They can’t help it if Josh is too busy or not interested in doing it right now. But they’re not kids anymore, and can’t wait forever to see if he’ll change his mind. Stop p*ssing all over this and let us enjoy it for the miracle that it is!

  • Anonymous

    where’d my essay go?

    • It’s on the “FOR” post

  • Mr.Cee

    Who cares?? Really its a chance for a lot of fans to hear these great tracks live for the first time.Bring it on I say. Ive seen Josh live many times with Queens and loved every minute of it but im sure this other guitarist will be able to bust out his Kyuss riffs with ease (I hope).Anyway, all i’m trying to say is its a dream come true for me. I would rather it be without Josh than not at all.

  • How_diggity

    Sadly I agree with Homme, this is blasphemy.

    Maybe this is the other guys’ way of pressuring Homme to eventually make a festival appearance or two.

    Scott Reeder was absolutely integral to that band. Sad, just sad.

  • Dave

    You sound like a bit of a tool & also an Homme fanboy. Of course he was the core of the band, but you can’t downplay the contribution the others made to the overall sound. I’d rather see some Kyuss members kicking out the jams than sit at home whinging about “it’s not the same without Josh etc…” And for the record I’m 30 now, was 14 when I first heard the band (Red Sun) so your patronising claims about being too young etc…do not apply to me.

  • desertboy

    although i respect olivieri i cant imagine kyuss without Scott Reeder…. no way man,,,

  • S8n667_ha

    so howcome mr homme hasnt released anything vaguely decent since kyuss broke up? I actually consider it a bonus that he wont be there cant stand the man. love kyus though.

  • Indestrox

     I was kinda dubious about this line up (I much prefer the stff with Scott Reeder) but I gotta say after seeing em a coupla nights ago they totally killed it… amazing show, amazing sound and just a killer performance all round.

  • Robyny83

    you sound like such a douche! seriously you seem to care more about fame and money than music. Josh Homme didnt make Kyuss..and besides theyre not writing a record so who cares who wrote what. Brant Bjork has written incredible material since then, and the reason its not on the radio or what ever you think it needs to be to be creditable is because he, along with Garcia arent sell outs who will write radio friendly tunes for a buck. We get it, youre a QOTSA fan. so go see them and buy their records…Real KYUSS fans are stoked for this!

  • great revue, exactly the same i thought. smashed my money away for the garcia plays kyuss shit and had to leave after the second song. it didn’t sound even close to kyuss. this new guitarist is really nothing special

  • Vitor

    most of kyuss best songs were bjork’s: green machine, thumb, gardenia, whitewater, freedom run.
    needless to say that the worst kyuss album was exactly the one in which homme was in the core without brant: circus.
    homme is great, but brant is a LOT better.

  • Vitor

    most of kyuss best songs were bjork’s: green machine, thumb, gardenia, whitewater, freedom run.
    needless to say that the worst kyuss album was exactly the one in which homme was in the core without brant: circus.
    homme is great, but brant is a LOT better.

  • Agreed on the whole Josh thing, but I look at it this way — it’s like seeing a Kyuss tribute band that is closer to the real thing than any other tribute band could ever be.

    We’ll be seeing them this month at the Wiltern, with no illusions that this is the band in its totality. That said, I can’t think of anyone who can cover Garcia better than Garcia.

    Too bad they couldn’t get Yawning Man or any other authentic Palm Desert acts to open up for them though.

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