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Here's Five: The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Here's Five: The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Thursday 29th October, 2015 10:56AM

Last year The Brian Jonestown Massacre released Revelation, a beautifully cohesive album of neo-psychedelia that turned out to be one of our favourite records for 2014. But Revelation is just the tip of the iceberg of the group's output. Having formed in San Fran in the late 80s the group, helmed by Anton Newcombe, has clocked up an impressive 14 studio albums, not to mention countless EPs, singles and compilations. 

To the delight of many BJM fans who share the band's songs on YouTube, Newcombe sometime pops up in the comments section to offer a little insight into what went on in the recording sessions. The result is a wonderful little cache of stories that has built up online, and so in anticipation of their impending visit to these shores we thought we'd share some of our favourites. And make sure you check back in on Monday to read our full interview with Anton...

1. When I Was Yesterday (Spacegirl & Other Favorites, 1993)
I bought these two Silvertone Hollowbodys - one was late 50s, must have been the most expensive guitar sears ever made, it was giant and thick - I detuned it and wrote this. I played the drums first, then tracked the music on top. It was all in my head complete - the guitar got stolen from a van I had to sleep in while recording sessions. Basically quite a few times in my life... it was either record for tomorrow or give up for a flat today. So I went camping.

2. Crushed (Spacegirl & Other Favorites, 1993)

This was recorded at Naut Humon's compound in Hunter's Point off of 3rd way out in the sticks by the old Candlestick Park. I tracked it in the control room on an Otari 8trk with Dolby SR- I remember Travis Thrillkel making a bet with me who could write a song faster... while we rode to the studio in a VW van he had. I let it rip with the bass line haha beatbox freestyling before we even pulled up... I love the snake guitars....epic. Good words too

3. That Girl Suicide (Methodrone, 1995)

I picked out a matching guitar and bass for an ex-girlfriend Diana... matching because she wanted to learn. We were sitting in her bedroom, and I said play this "the bass riff" and I did the rest, then tricked the group bit by bit at the next practice. Everyone still thinks they wrote it. Whatever. Go listen to all their records of all the great songs they wrote and get back to me. I could actually care less. I'm too busy writing new songs.

Let me add - the actual session is live at the compound with the group - one take... that's why the vocals are not so hot... we were all in the main room... and everyone did a good job. Including Brian Glaze. Travis Thrillkel was good in these days with me on the psycho bits and Jeff was great at rhythm, we both had this country old school Chet Atkins thing in our blood that would pop up sometimes... with all the other junk.

4. Convertible (Tangible Box Set 1993)

Ricky's uncle Ed had a studio - we had a party trying to cut this single and Ed flipped when I told everyone to fuck off and pay attention. I got pissed and he threw us out.. so I needed to retrack it - I ended up tracking at Naut Humon's place. It was so kick ass as a live group rather than just me.

5. Their Satanic Majesty's 2nd Request (Enrique's Dream) (Tangible Box Set 1993)

Then Ricky said "we had a talk man and we are all quitting if you record one more song without us" so I said come out then... he did, and fell asleep - I put a mic in front of his nose and created this... released it. "Run like the olympiad.. never be short of breath... and only jesus knows where the last diamond mine will be found.." classic tv preaching I recorded off the waiting room tv... at the studio. Ran it through the fender twin vibrato etc…

The Brian Jonestown Massacre are coming to New Zealand for four shows kicking off next Friday 6th November in Christchurch, head over here for full details of all shows and to buy tickets.


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The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Fri 6th Nov
Ngaio Marsh Theatre, Christchurch
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Sat 7th Nov
Sammys, Dunedin
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Sun 8th Nov
Bodega, Wellington
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Tue 10th Nov
The Powerstation, Auckland