Vista Chino's lineup in 2013.
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Genres||Desert Rock, Stoner Rock, Stoner Metal|
|Years active||2010 - 2013 (As Kyuss Lives!), 2013 - 2014|
|Associated acts||Kyuss, Mondo Generator, Corrosion of Conformity, Fireball Ministry|
Vista Chino were a desert rock band from Los Angeles, California, initially known as Kyuss Lives!. They are best known as a band featuring members of Kyuss following a John Garcia Plays Kyuss performance before eventually writing original music together. The band released one album in 2013 with tours following until their disbanding in 2014.
Formation, Kyuss Lives! and Lawsuit (2010 - 2013)Edit
In 2010, a European "John Garcia plays Kyuss" tour was announced, starting with a gig at Roadburn Festival. His backing-band was composed of Belgian and Dutch musicians from Agua de Annique, Kong, Celestial Season and Arsenal. The setlists were almost exclusively Kyuss songs.
In June 2010, former Kyuss members Nick Oliveri and Brant Bjork joined John Garcia onstage to perform "Green Machine" and "Gardenia" during a headlining appearance by "Garcia Plays Kyuss" at Hellfest in Clisson, France and they also appeared onstage with Garcia in other concerts on the tour, representing 3⁄4 of Kyuss' Blues for the Red Sun lineup.
In November 2010, Garcia, Oliveri and Bjork announced a European tour under the moniker "Kyuss Lives!", with Bruno Fevery serving as the band's guitarist. In reference to the new band name, Garcia stated in the January 2011 issue of Rock-A-Rolla that "there is never going to be a Kyuss without Josh Homme" and that "hopefully in the future him and I can get together and do some writing.". According to Oliveri in an interview with Antiquiet, Homme was never even asked about participating in the reunion.
Kyuss Lives! followed with tours of Australia and New Zealand in May. They toured Europe in June 2011 and announced a North and South America tour for late Summer and Fall, 2011, with Scott Reeder playing many dates outside of the US (This was while Nick Oliveri was dealing with personal legal issues at the time). The tour wrapped up on New Year's Eve 2011 at Cherry Cola's Rock 'n' Rolla Cabaret and Lounge, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Kyuss Lives! expressed interest to record a new studio album for a summer 2012 release.
In March 2012 it was revealed that Josh Homme (Eventually with Scott Reeder joining in on the lawsuit) had filed a federal lawsuit against John Garcia and Brant Bjork alleging "trademark infringement and consumer fraud" over the use of the Kyuss name. Nick Oliveri left Kyuss later that month, stating "managerial issues" and was replaced by Billy Cordell.
Brant Bjork (Along with John Garcia) spoke out to Rolling Stone magazine about the situation and the long-standing clash between Homme and 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.
In the summer of 1987, I started a band with my best friend, Chris Cockrell. This band would ultimately become Kyuss. Kyuss was a name I found in a Dungeons and Dragons book called Fiend Folio. Kyuss is a big part of my life as a musician, and when someone asks me formal questions about Kyuss, or wants to discuss the band casually, I can't help having a point of view that is naturally inherited by someone who is the original founding member.
Josh filing this lawsuit is not an issue of today … it's an issue that began over 20 years ago. That is why the band was short-lived. 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.
After Kyuss broke up, Josh started a new band where he could have ultimate control. This band was Queens of the Stone Age, and with this band Josh arrived at the level of success and rewards that he was in pursuit of with Kyuss. It's very clear that Kyuss was not meant to be his vehicle for personal gain. Queens of the Stone Age was the effort that was proper for bringing him his fame and fortune. For years, understandably, there has been a misconception that Kyuss was Josh's band. I assume this is the result of his controlling the songwriting on the remaining records. 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 are all responsible for. The simple fact that we got the band back together and successfully brought Kyuss back to the people without him has left Josh's ego bruised. Even though I respected the music Kyuss made without me, I swallowed the bitter pill of watching the band carry on after I left, and now Josh is getting a taste. I dealt with that taste by learning the music business and carrying on with new bands and a solo career for the last 18 years. Josh is dealing with this taste by taking John and I to federal court. I've known Josh since I was 10 years old. How a person who has experienced the richness of life that he has would take the time to take his past band members and friends – guys who directly contributed to his ability to go on to have his own successful career – is sad. I feel sorry for him. But no, I'm not surprised. This is a classic conflict fueled by power, control, money and greed and this lawsuit leaves no question who is part of the problem and who is part of the solution.”
— Brant Bjork, Rolling Stone 
In August 2012, Judge S. James Otero of the United States District Court Central District of California ruled partly in Homme's favor, declaring that Garcia and Bjork could not release audio recordings under the Kyuss Lives! moniker and encouraging them re-brand under a new name. However, the band scored a partial victory as the court ruling permitted the band to use the Kyuss Lives! name and logo for performances and promotional materials, provided the words "Kyuss" and "Lives" were printed in "equally-prominent lettering." In response to the whole situation the band opted to rename themselves "Vista Chino" to avoid legal hassles as the musicians involved all still had an intent to record.
In November 2012, Nick Oliveri announced that he would be rejoining Kyuss Lives!. Kyuss Lives! played their final performances under that name at the Soundwave Festivals in 2013. However, Mike Dean played bass on all the 2013 Soundwave shows and sidewaves. Despite being in the recording sessions for Vista Chino's album, Oliveri had not been seen to actively participate with the band at that point, having not appeared in recent photoshoots or toured with the band. From 2012 - 2013 Mike Dean had been acting as the band's touring and session bassist, having played one track on the band's album, Peace. In August 2013, singer John Garcia said that Vista Chino "is a three-piece band with [himself], Brant [Bjork, drummer] and Bruno [Fevery, guitarist]. It always will be." but also described Oliveri as "an honorary band member". Brant explained why Oliveri left Kyuss Lives in the same May 2012 interview with Rolling Stone:
|“||“I honestly don't know exactly why Nick left the band. My speculation is that he became overwhelmed with the lawsuit in combination with his personal legal issues, and it was simply too much for him to manage. Nick has mended his friendship with Josh over the years, and that, combined with his love of Queens of the Stone Age … I think he just couldn't stand to be caught in the middle of everything. Nick did not play a major role when he was in Kyuss, but he played a very important role in Queens of the Stone Age. He is still brokenhearted over being fired from the band. His heart is still with Queens. Now, with all this mess, I believe Nick simply didn't feel his time and energy was worth it, so he gave up.”||”|
— Brant Bjork, Rolling Stone 
Vista Chino, Peace and Dissolution (2013 - 2014)Edit
On 23 May 2013, it was announced that Vista Chino had signed with Napalm Records. That same day a new song, "Dargona Dragona," was posted on the band's SoundCloud page. Their debut album, Peace, was released on September 3, 2013. Guest appearances included Mike Dean on "As You Wish" and Chris Cockrell on "The Gambling Moose." The album peaked at #14 on the Billboard Heatseekers Album chart.
The first show played under the new moniker was on 9 June 2013 at the Orion Music and More Festival. A tour of the United States with Black Pussy followed.
In October 2014, former bassist Nick Oliveri claimed that the band had broken up due to a falling out that led to Garcia leaving the band. During this period, Bjork and Garcia decided to continue their solo careers. Oliveri gave his thoughts as far as the lawsuit, recording Peace and the band's breakup in an interview with Antiquiet:
|“|| “Yeah, that [The 2012 lawsuit] was a horrible situation. The thing about lawsuits is that, most of the time, they make sure a band never mend their problems, or even play again. I think it’s a damn shame because it cuts Kyuss, this legendary cool thing, to something that you can hear on a record and that’s it. Which is still great, I love those records and I’m proud to be a part of them, but I think it’s the fans’ band now, and if they wanted us to be out there playing, we should’ve been out there playing. But then again, I see both sides, because I’m friends with both sides. Somehow I got out of that unscathed, from either side. I made a choice to bow out, I don’t play music for lawsuits. I do understand Josh’s point, I asked him before every tour we did, “hey we’re gonna do more than just the one tour with Kyuss Lives!, is that cool?” And he was always supportive, while John Garcia was managing it. Then things changed a bit with management and who was making decisions, and Josh put a stop to it.
[In regards to recording Peace with Vista Chino] Well, I went back to play on their record Peace in 2012. [Guitarist] Bruno Fevery, who is a great fucking person by the way, asked me to play bass on it. He told me everything else was recorded at that point, and I was like, “what?” So I listened to it, and it sounded cool, so I started writing bass lines and recording them as we went. I never did any live shows with Vista Chino. And as far as I know, John left the band, the band broke up.
Yeah, it [Vista Chino's breakup] sucks. Everything sucks about the whole situation, and it’s a shame. I think the band was good, then it got taken over, and now it’s gone to hell. I wish it was out there, whether I was playing or not. They had Mike [Dean, from Corrosion of Conformity], and he’s one of my all-time favorite bass players, and I thought it was cool that they were out there playing. But again, I can’t help but think things could’ve turned out differently. And at the same time, I don’t know why Josh was never asked to do it, he should’ve been asked even if just out of respect. You can’t do a reunion without the main songwriter, especially if you’re going to use the same name, and Josh was definitely the main songwriter.
Maybe Kyuss wouldn’t have been as important if the band had done eight records. Maybe people wouldn’t be stoked about it, or even care about it anymore fifteen years later. Also, if Kyuss had never broken up, think of the bands that wouldn’t have happened.”
— Nick Oliveri, Antiquiet 
Despite the inactivity the band has remained active for a time on social media, however, and on 31 December 2014, posted a picture of Garcia and Bjork, and teased a new album for 2015 though ultimately nothing has come of it.
8Brant Bjork would resume his solo career with a new moniker known as The Low Desert Punk Band. This moniker would release Black Flower Power on 17 November 2014 to positive critical acclaim. Since it's release, Brant has gone on to release two more solo albums under his name as of 2018 along with a reissue campaign via Heavy Psych Sounds and RidingEasy Records.
- John Garcia went on to release his eponymous solo debut in 2014 with a host of guest musicians including Oliveri. As of 2018, Garcia had released a second solo album with a third on the way set for a 2019 release while touring Europe. Garcia has also been involved with reunions with Slo Burn and Hermano.
- Nick Oliveri returned to his current projects such as Mondo Generator and is currently the bassist for The Dwarves. Oliveri would also have involvement with Moistboyz, Svetlanas and Bloodclot. Oliveri would begin a rarities compilation series entitled N.O. Hits At All with Heavy Psych Sounds, with five volumes released between 2017 and 2018.
- Bruno Fevery would go back to a career as a session guitarist, also working with the likes of Tjens Matic and Arsenal.
- Scott Reeder would concentrate on Sun & Sail Club before later joining Fireball Ministry.
- Billy Cordell would eventually join the Whizards.
- Mike Dean would concentrate back on Corrosion of Conformity.
- Peace (2013, Napalm Records)
- John Garcia - Vocals (2010 - 2014)
- Bruno Fevery - Guitar (2010 - 2014)
- Brant Bjork - Drums, Vocals (2010 - 2014)
- Mike Dean - Bass (2013 - 2014)
- Nick Oliveri - Bass, Backing Vocals (2010 - Mar. 2012, Nov. - Dec. 2012)
- Billy Cordell - Bass (Mar. - Nov. 2012)
- Scott Reeder - Bass (2011)
- ↑ VerdamnisAccessed 12th August 2016
- ↑ Rolling Stone Kyuss Lives! Respond to Josh Homme, Scott Reeder's Lawsuit, accessed 12th August 2016
- ↑ Rolling StoneAccessed 12th August 2016
- ↑ AntiquietAccessed 12th August 2016
- ↑ Rolling Stone Kyuss Lives! Respond to Josh Homme, Scott Reeder's Lawsuit, accessed 12th August 2016
- ↑ Antiquiet Nick Oliveri Interview, accessed 12th August 2016