The Brian Jonestown Massacre is a band from San Francisco, California. They formed in 1985 and released their debut album, ‘Methodrone’, in 1995. Their music has been described as psychedelic punk rock, garage rock, and art rock. 

The band was founded by Anton Newcombe (born Anthony Newcomb) and Dawn, his girlfriend at the time. They met at a party hosted by John Cale (of Velvet Underground, who later became a good friend and sometimes collaborator of the band. Shortly after, Anton quickly recruited Matt Hollywood and Ricky Maymi to form a full lineup for upcoming sessions and gigs. The name of the band was inspired by the Jonestown mass suicide in 1978, the band having heard about the event before its occurrence, and some of them even went to visit the site. 

They were a part of the 1990s’ psychedelic rock movement. Having released several albums in their career, their influence on the genre can be seen through the success of bands like Radiohead and The Flaming Lips. With their first album, called “Methodrone” in 1995, they found minimal success and it never turned out the way they originally intended the album to be, so they decided to change their sound for the second album and recruited Dave Catching who helped them record their second album “Take it from the Man,” in 1996. The band was notorious for their live shows, which were sometimes chaotic, with Newcombe often jumping on the audience or even throwing himself into the crowd. 


Brian Jonestown Massacre Musical Style and Influences on Other Modern Artists 

The Brian Jonestown Massacre musical style is a combination of psychedelic rock, punk, and electronica. The band’s influence on other modern artists is a legacy that they will always be remembered for. There are three core members of the band who continue to tour and record with new material. The members have always been vocal about the use of psychedelic drugs during their shows and that the show should be an altered state experience. This psychedelic music transformed into a genre called psychobilly, which is a combination of punk rock, rockabilly, and horror movies. 


Career Thoughts and Next Steps 

The band Brian Jonestown Massacre is an example of a group that has been able to keep their original sound and style even as they have evolved. Why? It is because the band’s members are not afraid to experiment with new sounds, but they always return to the music that made them famous. This is the best way for artists to maintain their originality and stay on top of trends. 

That said, the conclusion is that one should be open-minded when it comes to experimenting with new sounds, but at the same time, they should not forget what made them famous in the first place. 


Where to watch them next? 

The band is playing next at Ram’s Head Live on March 30, 2022. Make sure to prepay for your parking tickets with Harbor Park Garage, our garage works with area venues to give discounts. Check out our Ram’s Head live Page and Ram’s Head Live concert calendar and we hope to see you there!