NXNE Preview: Brant Bjork
Brant Bjork is in no danger of becoming a huge pop sensation, and that suits him just fine. As a founding member of Kyuss who's also served time in Fu Manchu and Queens of the Stone Age, Bjork has definitely earned his stripes in the riff rock world, and he's quite happy doing his thing his way.
His new album, Punk Rock Guilt, is a purely analog document of stoner metal that's truly been a "long time coming." Over the phone from his home in California, Bjork tells me "it's been on the shelf for about three years ... I hadn't been working on it. I just made it and then sat on it. It just kind of sat there and collected dust, and then we just realized now's a good time to release it."
Since the record has much more in common with Black Sabbath and Pentagram than Minor Threat or the Dead Kennedys, I'm confused about the title. "I don't know - I'm kind of mocking the whole term as far as 'punk rock' goes," Bjork explains. "I guess you could compare it to something like Catholic guilt. I think it's kind of silly, so it's kind of tongue in cheek to be honest. I don't quite totally understand it, so I figured I'd use it as a record title. To me punk rock is freedom, I never really looked at it as a specific style or a specific sound. It's independence and freedom, that's what punk rock translated to me, so this is kind of like my version of it."
Bjork's a very laid back individual. Aside from writing ten and a half minute long anthems and letting his records age before they get released, he's no stranger to having band members scattered all over the globe. "The last four years my band has been kind of scattered," he says. "I moved from Barcelona back to California [presumably for the architecture: stv] in November and got two new members who are actually from Europe, so we're still a little scattered but I've been used to it over the years ... we all seem to come together, it's not a prob."
Brant Bjork and the Boys will play two shows as part of Toronto's NXNE, first at [the] El Mocambo (Downstairs), Friday, June 13th at 12:00 AM, and then at Bovine Sex Club, Saturday, June 14th at 2:00 AM.
Photo from Brant Bjork and the Bros' MySpace
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