SPOTLIGHT : The Brian Jonestown Massacre

SPOTLIGHT : The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Who (or what)?

Fronted by the always entertaining and genius figure Anton Newcombe, playing over 30 instruents, the current line up consists of Joel Gion on the tambourine, Ricky Maymi and Ryan Van Kriedt on guitar, Rob Campanella as the Keyboardist/Organist, Dan Allaire on drums and Collin Hegna on Bass.

Former Members include co-founder Matt Hollywood, Jeff Davies, Miranda Lee Richards, Brian Glaze, Brad Artley, Frankie “Teardrop” Emerson, Peter Hayes, Patrick Staczek, Dean Taylor, Travis Threlkel and Matthew J. Tow.

Where are they from?

The band formed in San Francisco in 1990.

What do they sound like?

Hard to peg down to a single genre or style, as The BJM tend to produce a sound that mixes anything and everything. At their core they are sixties revivalists that take influence from Psychedelic rock, Garage, 90s Shoe Gazing, Country, Blues, Folk and Electronica. They capture the dirty essence of mid-sixties Stones and the LSD years of the Beatles while also touching on Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine.

Songs to get you started?

When I Was Yesterday (1995), Evergreen (1995), Anemone (1996), Those Memories (1996), Straight Up And Down (1996), Not If You Were The Last Dandy On Earth (1997), Going To Hell (1998), Telegram (2001), When Jokers Attack (2003), Our Time (2010), Clouds Are Lies (2012), What You Isn’t (2014), Le Sacre Du Printemps (2015), Pish (2015)

What are they doing now?

The released ‘Musique de Film Imaginé’ in 2015 having recorded it in 2014 at Anton’s home studio located in Berlin and ‘MINI ALBUM THINGY WINGY’, the band are venturing on a tour at the end of April covering America, Canada, The UK, The Netherlands and France.

Bonus points facts

  • Along with the Dandy Warhols, The BJM were the subjects of the 2004 documentary film ‘Dig!’ Which focused on the bands friendship turned rivalry and the turmoils of fame or lack of it.
  • Their 2015 album Music de Film Imagine is a soundtrack for an Imaginary French film inspired by directors François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.
  • Fans of the band would go to shows expecting more than just music as they were famous for fighting on stage or walking off mid set.
  • The band’s name is a portmanteau of former Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones and the infamous cult and mass suicide that happened in Jonestown, Guyana.
  • Anton and Co. managed to release 3 full length albums in one year with ‘Their Majesties’ Second Request’, ‘Take It From The Man’ and ‘Thank God For Mental Illness’ all being released in 1996.
  • As well as recording their first independent record in 17 hours on home audio equipment, Anton has always maintained that he managed to record and produce ‘Thank God For Mental Illness’ for only $17.

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