Brant Bjork, John Garcia and Nick Oliveri — formerly of KYUSS — have announced their new project: VISTA CHINO. The group, comprised of the three founding members of the legendary rock band and guitarist Bruno Fevery, is currently recording new material in anticipation of a 2013 worldwide release that will coincide with major touring plans.
The final live appearances of KYUSS LIVES! — featuring the same lineup as VISTA CHINO — will take place in early 2013 as part of Australia's Soundwave Festival. The guys are looking forward to playing their classic songs along with new material.
Ex-KYUSS members Josh Homme and Scott Reeder filed a lawsuit against their former bandmates in March, claiming that they "made every attempt to help [Garcia and Bjork] 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. This is desperately what we were trying to avoid."
In his August 2012 ruling, a federal judge said that the new band may not use "the 'Kyuss' mark in any capacity unless the word 'Lives' follows the word 'Kyuss' in equally prominent lettering," He also prohibited KYUSS LIVES! from using the name "in conjunction with any studio album, live album, or other audio recording." The judge also warned the members of KYUSS LIVES! that "future concerts under the 'Kyuss Lives' mark might continue to subject them to liability for trademark infringement" and suggested, "It may be in Defendants' best interest to begin re-branding under a new name."
In a May 2012 interview with RolllingStone.com, Bjork stated about Homme and Reeder's lawsuit, "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."
He added, "Josh and I were the creative force within the band and after the completion of our second record, 'Blues For The Red Sun', we developed an opposing view on how the band should exist and operate. In 1992 Josh discovered publishing, which is the financial revenue stream for songwriting. After that, he wanted to write all the songs. As a drummer, I couldn't make him play my songs. I wasn't going to compromise my heart and soul and play drums for Josh to make money in a band I started. So I left the band. I was a confused, angry and sad 19-year-old idealist who sacrificed my love of my band for what I believed in. Two and a half years later, Josh would break up the band after John confronted him about the same thing; his need to control the band for personal gain."
Photo credit: K. Campbell