Brant Bjork (born March 19, 1973) is an American musician from Palm Desert, California, who is a drummer, producer, guitarist and one of the more notable figures in the stoner rock and Palm Desert scenes.
Early career and Kyuss
While in high school, Bjork got together with locals Josh Homme, Chris Cockrell, (later Nick Oliveri), and John Garcia resulting in the formation of Kyuss (previously known as Katzenjammer and Sons of Kyuss). Kyuss was signed to Elektra Records and became the first desert rock band to achieve international success. Bjork helped issue 1992’s Blues for the Red Sun, which helped create the ensuing stoner rock movement. In 1993, Bjork left the band following the release of Welcome to Sky Valley.
Named after “the sons of Kyuss,” monsters in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, Kyuss first came together around guitarist Josh Homme and vocalist John Garcia in the small Southern California town of Palm Desert in the late ’80s. The band members moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and signed to Chameleon Records after 13 performances in the big city, but Bjork quit after two years.
Bjork joined Fu Manchu as the drummer for 1997’s Action Is Go – a role he continued to fill until his departure prior to the tour for their 2002 album California Crossing.
He has also recorded several solo albums including the psychedelic and soulful, Jalamanta (Originally released on Man’s Ruin, 1999), Brant Bjork & the Operators (2002), Keep Your Cool (2003) and Local Angel (2004), the latter three being released on the music label Bjork founded, Duna Records.
 Brant Bjork
Bjork playing live in Exeter, June 19, 2006
In October 2003, Brant Bjork toured Europe under the title “Brant Bjork and the Bros.” He was backed by Dylan Roche on bass guitar, Michael Peffer on drums, and Mike Pygmie on guitar. Pygmie left the band after the tour and was replaced by Scott Cortez for further touring in the US and Europe in 2004. In 2005, the Bros went into the studio and recorded Bjork’s fifth album Saved by Magic. It was released on August 1, 2005 and features 2 full discs. The music style is a mix of Jalamanta, and The Sounds of Liberation.
2006 saw the release of Sabbia, a stoned-out “visual soundtrack” by film maker Kate McCabe.
A new live DVD and 3 new records are on the shelf; one with the Bros and a couple of solo efforts. The first solo album, entitled Tres Dias was released on February 27, 2007 followed by a Bros album Somera Sól, May 2007. On September 25, 2007, “The Native Tongue”, a song from “Tres Dias’, was featured on a Poison Tree Records compilation called Road To Nowhere. During 2007, the label Duna Records failed and has changed to Low Desert Punk Recordings. Brant cited that it was a beast requiring too much time and energy. The first release on the new Low Desert Punk Recordings was Punk Rock Guilt, May 2008. This album had previously been known as the untitled “New Jersey Sessions” recorded back in 2005. The next Low Desert Punk release followed in March 2010 called Gods & Goddesses which featured a new lineup including Billy Cordell from Yawning Man on bass guitar.
Return to Kyuss
In November 2010, it was announced that Bjork will be part of a newly formed Kyuss (now known as Kyuss Lives!) with a new lineup, consisting of Bjork, Bruno Fevery (who is replacing founding member Josh Homme) on guitar, Nick Oliveri on bass and John Garcia on vocals. The band are midway through a European, Australian and New Zealand tour, which takes place March to May 2011. A new studio album is also in the works.
Twisted Wheel formed in February 2007 by two former members of The Children, guitarist and singer Jonny Brown and bassist Rick Lees. Brown and Lees were joined by drummer Adam Clarke. The band took their name from Manchester’s northern soul nightclub, the Twisted Wheel, having been inspired by Oasis naming themselves after a Swindon music venue. A week later, they played their first gig at Viva indie club in Stalybridge. Twisted Wheel where booked as one of the support acts for Oasis‘ 2009 Heaton Park concerts.
Bassist Rick Lees in 2009.
The band signed to Columbia Records in January 2008. Their first single, She’s A Weapon, was released in April 2008 to high acclaim by Radio 1‘s Zane Lowe, NME and Q. Their follow-up record, a five-track EP entitled You Stole The Sun, was released in July 2008.
The band spent much of 2008 touring, including an acclaimed homecoming gig at the Manchester Academy in September. They supported bands including Kasabian,The Pigeon Detectives and The View , played the Reading and Leeds festivals, and have been announced as the main support acts for Oasis in January 2009 and The Enemy in March 2009. Their sound has been described as old school gritty rock ‘n’ roll reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys and the Clash. The band have been noted as “a breath of fresh air” by Liam Gallagher. They also have a fan in Paul Weller, who came to watch them at London’s 100 Club and subsequently invited the band on his summer forest tour in 2009.
The band’s debut album Twisted Wheel, produced by the highly acclaimed Dave Sardy, was recorded in June 2008 and released on 13 April 2009. The first single from the album, “Lucy The Castle“, was released in November 2008, with the follow-up, “We Are Us“, released in March 2009.The album reached a peak of 45 in the UK album charts and received mixed reviews by critics.
Since releasing the album the band have confirmed that they are working on new material and are due to release an EP early 2010. The follow up to the band’s debut album will be released some time this year and have “more hardcore rock n roll punk noise with deeper words and points to be made about the sad state of the music industry in England.” There is also talk of a new member joining the band “to sing harmonies and choruses and add something to the sound.”
My Favorite Highway is an American pop rock band from Fairfax, Virginia, formed in late 2004. They signed with Virgin Records in 2008 and re-released their 2008 album How to Call a Bluff on May 5, 2009. Lead singer, Dave Cook, is bassist Will Cook’s cousin, and before the lead guitarist, Pat Jenkins, joined the band, drummer Bobby Morgenthaler’s brother, Brian, was the guitarist.
Two of the band’s songs have been featured on VH1 shows, including “Bittersweet Life” on The Hills and “What Are You Waiting For” on The City. They have toured with Ace Enders and The Dangerous Summer, and in the summer of 2009 they toured with The Cab. In fall 2009 they are going on the “Cheap Date Tour” with Forever the Sickest Kids. They have toured with Holiday Parade multiple times. They also played the 2009 Bamboozle festival. They have sold over 100,000 digital tracks as of June, 2009.
- The Pre-Release – Single – 2005
- Anywhere But The End EP – 2006
- “Cheap Thrillz And Dolla Bill$”* – 2007
- How to Call a Bluff – 2008 (2009 re-release)
- David Cook – lead vocals, keys, rhythm guitar
- Will Cook – Bass guitar
- Pat Jenkins – lead guitar, vocals
- Bobby Morgenthaler – drums
Massively heavy, yet delicately beautiful, Giant Squid makes brutally honest and sincere music that no one genre will be able to claim it for its own. A formidable beast like its namesake, Giant Squid wields immaculate tone, inspirational songwriting, and organic, yet fierce walls of melody.
Metridium Fields, the band’s debut album on The End Records, was released as a gorgeous digi-pak in August of 2006. The record quickly garnered rave reviews, which in their own descriptive acclaim, will describe the music of Giant Squid better than the band feels it can do itself.
Finally, a post-everything band that actually meets and sometimes surpasses their insta-cool laundry list of influences.” – Decibel Magazine
“Monstrously penetrating, conceptually abstract, doomingly essential.” – Thrasher Magazine
“…hauntingly heavy indie-rock…” – SURF Magazine
“Very few songs have ever fixated on the torture in my own heart with their frequencies.” – heathenharvest.com
“EPIC. It’s the only word that can aptly describe the tremendous riffs and thunderous symphony that blends effortlessly with ethereal soundscapes to form the album, “Metridium Fields” – thehvscene.com
“Metridium Fields is breath of fresh air… another in a long-line of The End Records releases that kicks convention to the curb and over time reveals its hidden treasures to those patient enough to stick with it.” – blabbermouth.net
“Giant Squid is a band which has taken the droning, drawn-out stoner metal genre to a new height or, at the very least, to a new dimension and created something never heard before… grab a well-worn copy of Moby Dick, and lose yourself in Metridium Fields. It is simply fantastic by all definitions of the word.” – decoymusic.com
“Let me introduce to you what may get my vote for best album of 2006. Metridium Fields is simply unbelievable.” – criticalmetal.com
“After the first spin of Metridium Fields, it becomes increasingly clear that Giant Squid are the new champions of ambient doom.” – metalcityzine.com
Genre: Alternative Rock
Brand New is an alternative rock band based in the United States. It currently consists of lead vocalist, guitarist, and lyricist Jesse Lacey; guitarist Vincent Accardi; bass guitarist Garrett Tierney; and drummer Brian Lane. The band was formed in 2000 in Merrick, New York and consists partly of former members of the band The Rookie Lot. Brand New has toured with many bands including Thrice, Crime In Stereo, Dashboard Confessional, and mewithoutYou.
The band has released three studio albums so far Your Favorite Weapon (2001), Deja Entendu (2003), and The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (2006). On February 12, 2007, in an interview with BBC Manchester, Lacey stated that the band plans to release another album. On August 18, 2008 the band announced via a MySpace update that they are wrapping up their tour and plan to record new music in the Fall.
Genre: New Wave Rock Dance
The band TV/TV may be new to the New York City scene, but the history of its members is a long one. After growing up together, close friends Josh Ocean (vocals) and Joe Esposito (guitar), came together in their Lower East Side apartment in 2006 to create a band based on their shared passion for music. The goal of TV/TV from the start was to write music that they would want to listen to. Ocean came up with the name after learning about a group of Berkeley students in the 1970s, called TVTV. The students brought handheld cameras to the Democratic and Republican national conventions and got in the faces of the politicians, asking the questions that no one else wanted to ask. TV/TV has managed to spread its rock driven dance grooves to hundreds of anxious listeners without ever loosing sight of their pop sensibility. The band has played in venues across New York City recently, including: Pianos, the Knitting Factory, Luna Lounge and the Mercury Lounge. TV/TV just finished their debut EP, “Something to Get Excited About!” produced by Zach Odom and Kenneth Mount (Cartel). With the release of their debut EP, TV/TV is sure to create excitement to listeners all over!