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Kyuss lives, under new name Vista Chino

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

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Vista Chino was supposed to be the name of the new album by Kyuss Lives! But it turned into the band name after Kyuss alumni Josh Homme (now leading Queens of the Stone Age) and Scott Reeder filed suit against former bandmates Brant Bjork and Josh Garcia.

"Josh and Scott endorsed it at first; Scott even participated and things seemed to get great," says drummer Bjork. "I think for some people it was too good. So instead of communicating with us they filed (the lawsuit) and went public, which put a lot of pressure on them to be convicted in it and see it through.

"I believe in my heart that at some point they probably realized they overreacted, and the tragedy of all this is our communication as people is so bad that what could've been a 20- or 30-minute phone call blew up into all this. It took a year out of our lives and it was very, very painful...So in the end we realized the fastest way to get back to doing what we loved was just to change the name, which was fine. I just try to take all that I can from it, learn from it and apply it to me just moving forward and concentrate on music."

Vista Chino, named after a street in the Palm Desert region where Kyuss formed, plays the same kind of heavy, "stoner" rock as its predecessor, and the group continues to play Kyuss music in its shows. And Bjork, 40, says the title the group selected for its first album as Vista Chino, "Peace," was pointedly inspired by the tumult that preceded its release.

"I think it represents what our mindset has been all along," Bjork says. "It's like, 'Hey man, we're musicians. We just want to play our music. We just want people to feel good and have a good time. We don't want conflict.' A lot of this stuff is political, almost, and we're not interested in that.

"So 'Peace' is just like, "Yeah, that's it man. Chill out, and let's move on...' "

Vista Chino, Easy Action and others perform Friday Sept. 20, at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $24 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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