Brendan Crabb of Australia’s Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with former KYUSS and current KYUSS LIVES! and VISTA CHINO singer John Garcia. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On whether it’s been a welcome by-product of the KYUSS LIVES! experience that the legendary Californian heavy rockers have been able to enjoy the victory lap they never had the first time around:
Garcia: “I don’t look at it like that. I look at it as that we wanted to celebrate the past, revisit the past, and we did that. That will always be part of our history and we appreciate that. We appreciate our history and we like to revisit that. We wrote some of these songs when we were in our teens, and fucking hell, I’m 42 years old right now. This is what we do and it’s a good feeling to be able to do it. It’s where I’ve been that’ll always be with me, and the history of the band. But it’s also where I’m going, where everybody’s going. Where we’re going are these cool, new places and so we’re excited to get there. Also keeping the past very much in the present, and we’re gonna do both. There is really no unfinished business; there was no unfinished business. We finished it off and this is just another new chapter; another new, exciting chapter.”
On KYUSS LIVES! rebranding themselves as VISTA CHINO after a legal dispute with former KYUSS guitarist Josh Homme over the rights to the group’s name:
Garcia: “It’s an absolutely huge relief. Nobody wants to go through a lawsuit. Brant [Bjork, drums] and I have been through a fuck of a time trying to get through this thing, and we’re still trying to get through it. But it’s also super fucking refreshing to know that nobody can touch VISTA CHINO. Nobody has anything on VISTA CHINO that we can’t do. To say goodbye to KYUSS LIVES! down in Australia [at the upcoming Soundwave festival], it’s great. We’re all excited to do it. The legality of it all; I’ll be honest with you, it sucked. It totally sucked. Again, nobody wants to be sued. But you know, you’ve gotta get through it… The big light at the end of the tunnel is this record, and changing the name of the band. It’s somewhat of a bittersweet (thing) to say goodbye to KYUSS LIVES! but it’s also just a huge welcome to see the birth of fucking our new band. I can’t say it enough; to say goodbye to it in such an awesome, kick-ass country like Australia, it’s very fitting for us.”
On the upcoming VISTA CHINO album:
Garcia: “We’re right in the middle of recording the record. In the New Year, I’ll be doing my vocals up at Brant‘s studio up in Joshua Tree. So I’m very excited about getting in. The majority of the music is all done; the majority of the melodies and the lyrics are all done. So I’ve just gotta put it down to tape and then we’ll release the thing. So I’m stoked.”
On the musical direction of the VISTA CHINO material:
Garcia: “When you have one of the original songwriters and the original drummer, and you have… I used to sing for that band, still do. There’s gonna be some automatic similarities and I think it’s gonna be a rock record, for sure. But I don’t think that Brant has tried (to) steer clear away from his roots. Brant was a fan of KYUSS; we were all fans of each other, and we still are. I’m a huge fan of Brant Bjork; so to hear some of his compositions that he’s let me listen to have given me a clean palette to sing to, it’s great. It’s a great feeling to be in a band with him, and to write to some of his songs … Again, it’s gonna be a rock record and I think there’s gonna be some similarities there. I have to say that I myself am curious in regards to what the overall record is going to sound like. I can’t wait to get it done, to have it fill the void in my gut. So it’s an exciting, yet still curious time for me as to what the record’s gonna sound like. I’m stoked; I definitely think it’s gonna be a rock record.”
Read the entire interview from Loud magazine.
Photo credit: K. Campbell