APPARENTLY THERE'S demand for a Kyuss reunion. Then again, the demand may have been there since the day the band called it quits in 1995. And why not? Over the course of four years and as many albums, the four-piece from Palm Desert, California, gained a cult following in the '90s, while setting the standard for heaviness and stoniness for years to come. If any band was capable of hitting the brown note, it was Kyuss.
Now, 16 years later, three of the four original members are touring under the moniker Kyuss Lives! (The exclamation point is there to really drive home the fact that, well, Kyuss lives!) And there's something slightly icky about it. Noticeably absent from this resurrection is OG member and Queens of the Stone Age main-man Josh Homme, the only former member who apparently has anything going on these days. While Homme is not participating in the cash grab, he has offered his support to his former bandmates, although he showed a little trepidation in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times.
"Kyuss was like a religion to us boys—that's really what we were. I've had people say, 'I grew up with Kyuss,' and I always think, so did I. Kyuss had such a beautiful story, I'm always worried how you punctuate the final sentence."
Apparently with an exclamation point. And why wouldn't the three original members want to give Kyuss a second life? Prior to Kyuss Lives!, original vocalist John Garcia had been warming up crowds performing as Garcia Plays Kyuss. Drummer Brant Bjork had a brief stint with SoCal surf stoners Fu Manchu before releasing a couple of records with his band Brant Bjork and the Bros. Then there's Nick Oliveri. After getting the boot from Queens of the Stone Age in 2004, the volatile bassist reformed his old band Mondo Generator. This summer he was arrested on charges of domestic violence and engaging in a four-hour standoff with a SWAT team (which has kept him from performing the Kyuss Lives! European dates).
A Kyuss reunion in 2011 is nothing if not a perfect storm—fans want it, and three-quarters of the band are either unemployed or prison-bound. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.