Brant Bjork brings his new band, The Low Desert Punks, to Astor Rocks, along with The Meat Puppets, The Love Junkies, Axe Girl, The Shakeys, FAIM, Sun Gods, Doctopus, Painkillers, Coalminers Sect and Heard Of Cows, on Monday, June 2, over two stages at the Astor Theatre. Bjork chats with AARON BRYANS about the twists and turns of his musical career and the birth of The Low Desert Punks.
When Brant Bjork and Chris Cockrell put down the skateboards and formed the iconic band Kyuss (originally under the banner name Katzenjammer) Bjork had no clue what a huge impact he would have on the music industry.
Recording four albums with Kyuss, five with Fu Manchu and one under the revamped Vista Chino, Bjork has taken the next step in expressing his musical creativity in The Low Desert Punks.
“There’s been many different bands that I have worked with over the years to perform my music. This particular band is very exciting for me because the vision of this particular band was about having good times, having maximum fun but also getting maximum rock out. These guys are all dear friends of mine, I’ve known some of them for years, I’ve worked with some of them for years. It’s going to be a big difference between this band and other bands I’ve worked with in the past and I think people who come out to our shows are going to see that.”
Bjork’s evolution as an artist has been clear throughout his musical journey, venturing into new styles to suit his requirements and broad exploration.
“In a lot of ways I’ve changed; in a lot of ways I’ve stayed the same,” Bjork explains. “The thing that excites me about music is there will always be this thing that is my love and my spark of inspiration that comes from hearing music and rock’n’roll as a kid. That shit just lights my fire. That is always burning. What have I done with that inspiration, that fire? I’ve kind of, over the years, taken that fire and cooked a whole lot of different foods.”
It hasn’t always been a positive journey for Bjork who was faced with an unexpected lawsuit from long time friend and bandmate Josh Homme, after Bjork attempted to revive Kyuss under the name Kyuss Lives!
“I don’t have a relationship with Josh,” Bjork calmly states. “I need to be brutally correct with that situation. Josh and I were friends when we were younger and kids. We were friendly enough to play music together and be in a band but we were never on the same page; we kind of came from different worlds. I accepted our differences over the years and chalked it up, as people are different and that’s okay; there was enough room for both of us and both of our trips. But the lawsuit for me was a really unnecessary thing; I think his insecurity went way too far and now it’s really simple for me to say I just don’t like that dude. For me he’s just a dude I have no respect for.”
Whilst Bjork is well known for his efforts in Kyuss and his other associated acts; he has also had an incredible career as a solo artist, releasing seven LPs with many being entirely performed by Bjork himself.
“When I shifted into my solo work it was interesting because I was literally a solo artist in the truest sense. I was creating music all by myself, I was playing all the instruments, writing all the music of course, performing all the tracks. In terms of recording that was really satisfying in terms of being an artist and wanting to fully express your vision. It’s kind of apples and oranges. I love the commodity of the band, I love working with people; I love bouncing ideas off people and the creative process. That’s where I was born as a musician, the call-and-response of being in a band with guys and having that team spirit. That’s where I was originally from. Do I have a preference? It kind of depends on the time and the place and what it is that’s inside me that needs to come out.
“Sometimes there’s something inside me that needs to be fully expressed by myself. Sometimes I have a concept where I need a band and that’s where I’m at right now. I need a rock band to do what I’m feeling right now.”
Brant Bjork brings his new band, The Low Desert Punks, to Astor Rocks on Monday, June 2.
Get your tickets here.