Originally posted by Tom Donno on 4th November 2013
Before their headline show at The Roundhouse we caught up with Vista Chino's drummer and Stoner Rock legend Brant Bjork to discuss the current tour and make-up of the band.
R13: How has the tour been so far?
BB: Yeah good, we're having a lot of fun, rocking and rolling!
R13: What are your best memories of playing the UK in the past? Have you played some good shows here?
BB: Oh yeah, you know I've been playing the UK for years, I always enjoy playing here in the UK. The people just really love Rock music, they're very enthusiastic. Just really warm people and very very appreciative so I really appreciate the ability to come over here to play.
R13: You guys obviously have a very well documented history with this band, did it feel good for yourself and John to just get some new stuff down on record and get out and tour it?
BB: Oh yeah of course man. You know, Vista Chino is all part of the adventure. The adventure began long ago and we just love what we do, we're just musicians riding the wave.
R13: Excellent stuff. There has been a lot of critical acclaim for the new album, there are some really killer tunes on there. What would you say is your favourite moment? Surely it's got to be the Gambling Moose!
BB: (Laughs) Well thank you man. Erm well you know it's such a boring thing to say but I generally don't have favourites, I truly do just really appreciate and love the record as a whole. I think the songs all work well, there is a nice flow and consistency there. So it depends on my mood, you know sometimes I'll dig one song more than others depending on my mood. I think there's songs like Sweet Remain, As You Wish and Dark And Lovely that kind of represent more of what our new musical chemistry and adventure is all about, like you'll see more of that style in the future. It's going deeper into the well of our influences and just really... you know in a lot of ways in terms of a world of music being super progressive and people always thinking ahead, I have a tendency to go backwards. I'll go deeper into Blues and Jazz and deeper into Roots music and Gypsy music...
R13: Is that like your main influences?
BB: Yeah, you know just go deeper in the well, because I like the authenticity of those original musical forms and then try and pull that up into where we're at now
R13: Ok cool. Being that we are now 'Vista Chino', do you like to focus on the new album live or can we still expect some old school Kyuss stuff going on?
BB: Well its a balancing act really. Kyuss is why we are here, it is why we are Vista Chino so we don't want to ignore that fact and the fans want to hear those classic songs and we enjoy playing them and so we are lucky to have those songs to play. We celebrate songs of the past along with the present...
R13: So you like the idea of celebrating that history?
BB: Yeah, for sure. We're up to having around six new songs a night, we're always looking at maybe more. But you've only got so much time to play and we don't want to lean too far into one side, we've just got a nice kind of balance.
R13: What kind of music do you guys listen to on tour?
BB: Yeah it's like I was saying, you'd usually find me listening to old blues, like Lightnin' Hopkins and John Coltrane. I'm really digging this new release from an old band from Detroit called Death, the record's called For The World To See so I've been listening to that a lot, it's fucking great. A lot of Dub, Reggae. I listen to a lot of different stuff, like I was listening to the first Motorhead record yesterday...
R13: What do you think of the new one?
BB: I've not heard that new one yet actually, but again I prefer to go backwards (laughs). That first Motorhead record is just classic.
R13: Cool. Are there any drummers in any up and coming bands you're particularly impressed with at the moment? Maybe not up and coming bands, but just some of those on the live circuit at the moment?
BB: I've not really seen any new bands in a while. I don't get out much (laughs). JP from Clutch is a great drummer. Other than that I don't really know (laughs), I don't go out much and see bands. I mean I'm sure there are great drummers out there; I hear a lot of good music.
R13: Does it feel good when you look at Kyuss and you look at Vista Chino, does it feel good when you have some of these up and coming bands and you can see how influenced they are by you, is that like the ultimate compliment?
BB: Oh yeah, of course we take that as a great compliment. We had our influences growing up as well. I always looked at what we were doing as just kind of contributing to the world of rock as well, and now it's like it's been long enough to where the new generation start adding to the whole world of rock and the influences are flattering. I think there are some bands which show more influence than others and I think it's all an evolution. I think ultimately they'll be able to blend influences hopefully leading to some really unique bands.
R13: Can we expect any new Vista Chino albums on the horizon? Is that already in the works?
BB: Oh yeah. We're kind of at a crossroads right now where we just really like what we're doing and the results of it are fantastic. We're just really content and inspired to move into the future with Vista Chino, we're just now collectively deciding how we're going to do that and there is a couple of different options. Bruno and I are really eager to get in and record another record. We already have new material which is exciting. So yeah we are just responding to the excitement of Vista Chino being here.
R13: What about away from Vista Chino, any more Brant Bjork solo stuff in the works?
BB: Yeah that's just it! I've got a lot of solo material on the shelf as well...
R13: Would you ever bring that stuff to Vista Chino, or do you like to keep them separate?
BB: It kind of naturally stays separate. I write a certain way and I wouldn't say it is completely alien to how I write as a solo artist, but I always have a tendency to write a certain way if I know I'm going to be playing to certain people because I want to pull the best natural chemistry that's there. If you've got a really good boogie bass player you don't want to give him a stiff song, it's just counter-productive. But as far as my solo work goes I've got a lot of stuff which I'm eager to put out and I'm sure I will, probably next year, but this is just one of those things I was talking about with the crossroads.
R13: Ok that's our lot so thank you very much for speaking to us today, and really looking forward to the show.
BB: No worries, thank you.
Originally posted by Tom Donno on 4th November 2013