John Garcia and Brant Bjork respond over Kyuss Lives! lawsuit; Kyuss name dragged further through the mud


Deary, deary me. Now it seems its getting personal between the four men at the center of the pending lawsuit over the Kyuss name. As you may remember, Josh Homme and Scott Reeder filed a lawsuit against former bandmates John Garcia and Brant Bjork over the use of the Kyuss name in relation to Garcia and Bjork’s reformation of the band under the name of Kyuss Lives! Garcia and Bjork have remained largely silent. Until now that is, with this revealing e-mail exchange courtesy of Rolling Stone.

Some of the more interesting exchanges are listed below:
Did the federal lawsuit filed by Josh and Scott in March come as a surprise?

Brant Bjork: Was I surprised? As far as Scott is concerned, yes, I was very surprised. I wasn’t surprised by Josh at all. They don’t want to mention that they trademarked the name Kyuss after I left the band, assuring that I had no rights in Kyuss’ future. They’re both accusing John and I of doing something that they actually did themselves. Their inner conflict is this: both Josh and Scott want control and money from Kyuss Lives!, but they don’t want to participate and they ultimately don’t want us to exist. The double standard is unbelievable.

… We have a lot of respect for Scott as a musician and had a lot of respect for him as a person. Based on the fact that John and I jammed with Nick at Hellfest in 2010, we asked Nick to be the bass player and its quite obvious Scott is bitter about that. Scott’s stance is weak and shameful.

Bjork also went into detail about when he formed Kyuss in 1987 and criticized Homme’s attempt to claim the band as his own.This untruth has affected Josh’s ability to accept historical fact to the point that he truly believes he is entitled to dictate what we do with a band that we’re all responsible for. The simple fact that we got the band back together without him has left his ego bruised. I swallowed the bitter pill watching the band carry on after I left – now Josh is getting a taste.”
How would I steal a name that I myself found? Trademark infringement and consumer fraud are accusations used by Josh and Scott to justify why they do not want John and I to continue as a band without them. As for consumer fraud, we had a successful last year performing sold out shows all over the world. Kyuss fans are intelligent, conscious people. If they thought this was consumer fraud, they wouldn’t have supported it. Their accusation of consumer fraud a year after our successful tours is very insulting to us and to the fans.
John Garcia said of the band’s future plans:Win or lose, we believe that the name Kyuss Lives! is worth fighting for, and regardless of the outcome of this foolish lawsuit Josh Homme and Scott Reeder have filed against us, we will continue conducting business as usual and connecting with our amazing loyal fans. It is our God-given right to play any and every Kyuss song anywhere and anyhow we see fit, no matter who wrote what, and we will continue to do so for as long as we are alive. Because of this, we have already won.
I don’t think there are any real winners in this – at least Black Sabbath had already done their best to sully their reputation before the Bill Ward fiasco, but at least they’ve come out of it relatively clean time and time again. There are plenty of losers here – myself and fans of Kyuss the world over will be disappointed at how readily this lawsuit appears to be played out in public, and its more certain than not that more dirty laundry is going to come out of the wash yet.
Peter Clegg
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Josh Homme and Scott Reeder sue Kyuss Lives! Sad news indeed.

I sincerely wish the above headline was a work of fiction, but unfortunately the news is very true. Yep, Queens of the Stone Age and ex-Kyuss guitarist Josh Homme, along with former bassist Scott Reeder, have filed a lawsuit against Kyuss Lives!, the reincarnated version of Kyuss formed by former bandmates John Garcia, Nick Oliveri, Brant Bjork, with Bruno Fevery enlisted in Homme’s former role.

Following a successful reunion at the end of 2010 which resulted in an excellent tour in 2011, Kyuss Lives! were all set to record a new album. They ploughed on in spite on Nick Oliveri’s arrest following a stand-off with police outside his house, enlisting the services of Reeder in his place. Now though, it seems the band’s name is about to get dragged through the courts, the mud, and all of befouling stigmas.
In a joint statement, Homme and Reeder said:
“With open arms, we made every attempt to help them continue Kyuss Lives! respectfully, only to discover while they looked us in the eye, Kyuss Lives’ management and band had filed federal documents in 2011 in an attempt to steal the name Kyuss … It’s a sad day for us and for John – but most of all for the fans.
“What a needless mess. This is desperately what we were trying to avoid.”

Homme and Reeder have filed a lawsuit, citing trademark infringement and consumer fraud. Crikey.

Garcia and Bjork have since responded with the following statement:

“We are both shocked and saddened that our friend and one time band mate has chosen to file a lawsuit against us, especially after having positive discussions since our reformation.We look forward to resolving this private matter behind closed doors and moving forward with work on our new album and connecting with our amazing, loyal fans.”

Any action which results in a band’s reputation being forever sullied is regrettable whichever way you look at it. I’m not Homme’s biggest fan – I respect his talents, his work, and without doubt he’s one of the greatest rock stars around. As a person I find him somewhat irritable at best. But I don’t want to get into all that. The charges are a big deal and supposing they are true, Homme and Reeder may have a point.
Still, purely as a fan, this news dejects me. I had a crazy, awesome night watching Kyuss Lives! with my brother in Manchester in April last year. It really felt like the good times were back for this band, even sans-Homme. Alas, it can’t be long before the mud-slinging begins. And there’s nothing I can add to the last part of that statement that can sum it up for the fans any better than Homme and Reeder can.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one. Let’s hope they can resolve this issue in a more savoury fashion than its heading right now.
Peter Clegg

Celebrating Summer

It’s really cracking the flags out there today, as it has been much of the past weekend. It got me thinking about the songs I’ve listened to over the years that get me into the mood for such weather, or at least make me look forward to the time it brings. Here are five songs I feel fit this specification best – leave comments below with whatever songs inspire your summer.
1. AC/DC – It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)
(from High Voltage, ATCO, 1974)
This follows on nicely from the last article I did on AC/DC, and I could have just as easily chosen that song. But this one has more significance, simply in that it fires me up for any potential festival visit (Download was often my festival of choice until this year). That riff, that chorus, and that awesome bagpipe section from Bon Scott. This should be the anthem of choice for any band starting out and indeed a nice one to crank up loud or even just sing acapella to on the long walk from the campsite to the festival arena, beer can in hand.

2. Hüsker Dü – Celebrated Summer

(from New Day Rising, SST, 1985)
The first time I heard any form of this song was the cover version performed by Anthrax (found on the bonus disc from 2003’s ‘We’ve Come For You All’). I was lazing around the bedroom, with nothing much to do but to read magazines or play video games. The sun was shining outside but I wasn’t one for getting a tan. Maybe that’s a bit antisocial (no pun intended, Anthrax fans), but I was doing what I was into at the time. It was summer break at sixth form college, and I was just making the most of it. This song came on and stuck in my head ever since. I was soon checking out the original version by Hüsker Dü, one of the greatest hardcore/alt-rock acts of all time. I was not disappointed – it’s an upbeat song as summer intended and for anyone who doesn’t look forward to the end of summertime, and indeed the return to school or work, throw yourselves a party and get this song on.

3. Faith No More – Falling To Pieces

(from The Real Thing, Slash, 1989)
I remember cranking this one out a hell of a lot when I initially got into Faith No More. I have an old neighbour to thank for getting into them – as kids, me and my brother were kept awake by the sound of Faith No More booming through the walls. At the time we only recognised their sound from Top of the Pops, which they frequented back in the day. Fast forward about ten years later, and I finally decided to explore this fascination by purchasing the ‘This Is It’ compilation one summer – I forget exactly which year. I was thoroughly impressed, but despite the massive appeal of songs like ‘Epic’, ‘From Out of Nowhere’ and the legendary cover of ‘Easy’, ‘Falling To Pieces’ somehow stands out for me as a song to remind me of the good times. I’m not sure why – maybe it’s the riff in the verse – but walking down the street, shades on, earphones in, musical device loud and proud, this is perfection.

4. Kyuss – Thong Song

(from Blues For the Red Sun, Dali, 1992)
Despite my best efforts, I was unable to avoid a clichéd choice in this list – that being mainly pop-punk, skater-punk, nu-metal and stoner rock. But I wouldn’t choose this particular song without good reason. This song isn’t about underwear, but about flip flops – and it doesn’t get much more summery than that, does it? The song itself is delightfully simple – a short slide riff pulses in the background, John Garcia singing about his hair being ‘real loooooooooooooooooooong!’ among other things. And of course, it comes booming in with a ‘whoa yeah!’ Rockin’.

5. Fu Manchu – Evil Eye

(from The Action Is Go, Mammoth, 1997)
I couldn’t have this list without Fu Manchu – yeah, another stoner rock band, I know. But they have so many songs with attitude and a real driving down the highway vibe about them that I couldn’t not pick one. Hell on Wheels does the job for me just as well, but ‘Evil Eye’ was one of the first Fu Manchu songs I ever heard and is pretty much my favourite. Get a load of that riff, and that middle section – ‘Evil eye will fall’. Hell yes.

Peter Clegg

Hüsker Dü – Celebrated Summer