The Stoner Metal
What, you want more than that? OK. Kyuss were a highly influential American stoner rocknote
band from Palm Desert, California. They were the pioneers of their genre (stoner metal/rock), which is vaguely a subgenre of Doom Metal
but often has very little to do with doom. Its characteristics include heavily detuned guitars, low-end-heavy sound (Josh Homme would plug his guitar into a bass amp for this very reason), massive Black Sabbath
influence, hallucinogenic themes and an overall insanely deep and heavy sound.
However, they didn't have nearly as much commercial success or recognition as Queens of the Stone Age
, a band you've probably heard of that is fronted by Josh Homme, former guitarist for Kyuss.
They formed in 1987 as Sons of Kyuss, and released an EP under that name
in 1990 before shortening their name to "Kyuss". (Kyuss is an evil demigod of worms and corruption
from the Dungeons & Dragons
game, and Son of Kyuss was an undead monster
described in the 1st Edition D&D Fiend Folio.) Over the next few years, the band released four full-length albums before splitting up in 1995. Their only constant members were vocalist John Garcia (known for his very recognisable voice, which is often said to be synonymous with the genre) and guitarist Josh Homme, who you already know of.Former members:
Discography (as Kyuss)
- John Garcia, vocals (1987-1995)
- Josh Homme, guitar (1987-1995)
- Nick Oliveri, guitar (1987-1988), bass (1991-1992) [he has also been in Queens of the Stone Age; he's the shirtless bald guy in QOTSA's video for "No One Knows" and the shirtless long-haired dude in the video for Kyuss' "Thong Song"]
- Chris Cockrell, bass (1987-1991)
- Brant Bjork, drums (1987-1994)
- Scott Reeder, bass (1992-1995)
- Alfredo Hernandez, drums (1994-1995)
- Wretch, 1991
- Blues for the Red Sun, 1992
- Welcome to Sky Valley, 1994
- ...And the Circus Leaves Town, 1995
Tropes that apply to Kyuss:
- Breakup Breakout: After Kyuss broke up, Josh Homme founded Queens of the Stone Age and had far more commercial success than Kyuss ever did.
- Cover Version: They did a cover of Yawning Man's "Catamaran", a cover of Across the River's "N.O.", and their last release, a Kyuss/QOTSA split single, had a cover of "Into the Void" by Black Sabbath.
- Creative Differences: Bjork left the band because he and Homme began clashing over songwriting, and Homme had started refusing to play on his songs.
- Creator Breakdown: After they disbanded, Josh apparently had one.
- Credits Gag: The liner notes of Blues for the Red Sun credit John Garcia with "lyrics" for "Molten Universe", "Apothecaries' Weight", "800" and "Capsized", all of whom are instrumentals.
- Epic Rocking: "Spaceship Landing" is 11 minutes, and there's a good few songs that stretch past 6-7. Played with on Welcome to Sky Valley, which has 10 songs but on most CD versions smooshes them together into three tunes plus the Hidden Track.
Josh, asked why the CDs combine the tracks: I just wanted it to be like hell to play on a CD player.
- Heavy Mithril: They're named after a Dungeons & Dragons demigod.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: On the border between 6 and 7. Some of their gentler songs go as low as 3 (the acoustic blues-rock tune "Space Cadet").
- Name's the Same: What does Brant's family name remind you of?...
- "Thong Song" isn't about ladies' undergarments. It's about a type of sandals popular in the Palm Desert.
- Non-Appearing Title: Several examples, including "Gardenia", "Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop" and "50 Million Year Trip (Downside Up)".
- Shout-Out: The main "Freedom Run" riff has a slight similarity to Sabbath's "War Pigs". Both are completely awesome.
- Stoner Metal: Trope Maker along with Sleep.
- The Red Stapler: Josh's Ovation GP guitar.
- Basically, some fans instantly went to eBay when they discovered what he was playing and managed to hike the prices of a guitar that was fairly unpopular up to insane heights. Now you're lucky if GP aficionados don't tear you apart for wanting "Josh Homme's guitar."
- Title Only Chorus: FREEDOM RUN! FREEDOM RUN!
- Word Salad Lyrics: A lot of the stuff they made.
- Subverted with "Demon Cleaner," where the lyrics seem to mean nothing, but it's actually about brushing your teeth. No really, look:
"Homme: I have a tooth obsession. I've had everything done to my teeth that you could have done. I used to dream about teeth all the time-I've had nightmares about them since I was a kid, like horrible night terrors. I even went the doctor about it, and that's why I hate going to sleep even to this day. I still always have nightmares. So I'd have this recurring dream where I'm getting my teeth pulled out and then I'd flash forward and I'd be in a giant mouth with these teeth bleeding everywhere. And I'd be cleaning these giant teeth while the blood was coming down and I'd be drowning in a sea of toothbrush foam and blood. So "Demon Cleaner" was this metaphor for, you know, you gotta keep yourself clean, you gotta keep yourself tight."
- Word Salad Title: "(Beginning of What's About to Happen) Hwy 74", "Apothecaries' Weight", "Molten Universe", "50 Million Year Trip (Downside Up)", "Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop", "Thee Ol' Boozeroony", "Tangy Sizzle", "Phototropic". Their other songs tend to be less out there as far as titles go.