The genre of stoner rock has roots in bands like Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer, but few bands contributed more to the modern era of stoner rock than Kyuss. When John Garcia started the punk/metal influenced Katzenjammer with his buddies Josh Homme and Brandt Bjork back in 1987, they had no idea that they would turn a whole genre on its heels. Not only did Kyuss help define modern stoner rock, but they took the age-old heaviness of their predecessors, hauled it out into the arid heat of the Palm Desert, and baked it into a whole new genre. Desert rock was born and began what became known as the Palm Desert Scene.
All good things must end and Kyuss split in 1995 and went their separate ways. Homme formed Queens of the Stone Age with Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri, and singer Garcia forged his own path. Building a resume of strong bands and varied guest appearances, Garcia has maintained a steady journeyman status…until now.
In 2014, John finally releases his opus, the album he always wanted to record but didn’t. (Spoiler alert: the album kills.) I found John to be like a spotlight—bright and beaming for all to see when we talked about his new album and his family, but leaving the stage a bit dark when the subject of the past came up. This is a more mature, focused John Garcia than I’ve ever seen, one who is ready to rip the rear view mirror off of the windshield and haul ass into whatever the future holds.
Hi John! How are you doing?
I’m doing good, doing good! They’ve got me doing a little bit of press today, they didn’t slap it on me too heavy, so that’s good. Things have been alright here. Where are you calling from?
I’m right outside of DC.
Oh alright, cool.
Just got back from a wonderful weekend in LA, and I miss it already.
Yeah, I was at the beach yesterday with my kids and it was just beautiful. Today’s a little overcast, but you can’t beat California weather sometimes.