Music & Nightlife

Kyuss alum Bjork in Charlotte for rare headliner show

Brant Bjork brings his Low Desert Punks to Charlotte for rare Southeast headlining show.
Brant Bjork brings his Low Desert Punks to Charlotte for rare Southeast headlining show. Brant Bjork.com

In 2010, the members of influential desert-rock pioneers Kyuss reformed as Kyuss Lives! without fellow founder and Queens of the the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme. The reunion tour was met with critical acclaim, fan fawning and sellout shows in Europe and the U.S. until Homme sued over use of the name.

The group continued to tour and put out an album as Vista Chino, but that chapter is over. The band’s drummer and revered stoner rock musician and producer Brant Bjork (who was also a member of Fu Manchu) released his latest solo album with his band the Low Desert Punks last year.

He ends his current tour at Amos’ Southend Friday, which marks his first solo show in Charlotte and the band’s only headlining date on the tour.

“That was fantastic. It was an amazing experience – very cathartic for me that I was able to go back and finally wrap up what I felt like was unfinished business,” says Bjork of the reunion. (He called Tuesday on his way to Asheville.)

“I’m honored and grateful people enjoy the music that Kyuss created, but it is a band that is very dysfunctional in terms of people and personalities. That’s why the band was short-lived in the beginning. Part of what makes it unique and expressive is what makes it difficult to get the car running,” he says.

As a solo artist where he’s the songwriter, guitarist and vocalist and sometimes plays all the instruments in the studio, he’s explored all sorts of musical musings. But his latest, “Black Flower Power,” taps into his heavier, funkier rock side.

“For this album I was getting into the spirit of my teenage years when I really enjoyed heavy rock and tapped into that zone,” he explains. “But we’re done with our new record and it’s already changed directions.”

The title is a good way to describe Bjork’s merger of heavy rock aggression and peace-loving aesthetic.

 ‘Black Flower Power’ sums up a feeling and a perspective I had at the time I was writing the music,” he says. “Because the energy and current state of the world – but most specifically my country, the U.S. – I can’t help but reflect on the ’60s when there was a lot of unrest and courage and creative drive and need and will to be heard and express and feel certain things.

“I liked the concept of social activism and consciousness of the ’60s, whether it be civil rights or marijuana or hippies or anything relating. It dawned on me it’s (like) Black Panthers and hippies coming together.”

For an artist who tours frequently and is still only one step away from Homme’s other band, Eagles of Death Metal, Bjork says he was sad, scared, angry and confused by the terrorist attack at the Bataclan nightclub in Paris.

“At the same time these really tragic, unfortunate events allow us to reflect and take it as an opportunity to evolve and learn and ask ourselves why these things are happening,” he adds, reiterating his message of power in peace. “What (do) we do to move ourselves into a higher consciousness?”

Brant Bjork

When: 8 p.m. Friday.

Where: Amos’ Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St.

Tickets: $16-$29.50.

Details: 704-377-6874; www.amossouthend.com.

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