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Nick Oliveri And Mondo Generator

Nick Oliveri is best known as the bassist/singer for Queens of the Stone Age and an original member of Kyuss. But in addition to his more renowned projects, he's also been a member of shock-punkers the Dwarves, and also fronts his own side band, Mondo Generator. Hailing from Coachella Valley in California (a small resort community of the Palm Desert -- right near the Joshua Tree National Monument), Oliveri befriended local guitarist Josh Homme early on. The two would eventually begin to jam on punk favorites together (due to the intense desert heat, rehearsals were held in bandmember's bedrooms rather than garages), and when singer John Garcia and drummer Brant Bjork eventually signed on, Kyuss was born during the late ‘80s. Instead of specializing in any of the then-prevalent hard rock styles (thrash, glam, etc.), Kyuss' music often resembled classic Black Sabbath, due to its slow grooves and detuned guitars -- yet Oliveri's punk roots could be detected in the mix as well. The group's hot and humid surroundings also found its way into the music and approach as well, as Kyuss quickly built a following by playing all-night "generator parties" out in the middle of the desert. A collection of early tracks, Wretch, followed in 1991, but failed to capture what the group truly sounded like. With the emergence of such similarly styled bands as Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, the musical climate seemed perfect for a group like Kyuss, and the group delivered one of the decade's most underrated (and subsequently influential) releases, 1992's Blues for the Red Sun.

Shortly after its release, however, Oliveri found himself growing further and further away from Kyuss' musical direction, as he sought to go in a more punk-based direction. His wish was soon granted, as he left Kyuss and joined up with the Dwarves. Performing under the alias of Rex Everything (supposedly due to his habit of breaking things), Oliveri appeared on such Dwarves releases as 1997's Dwarves are Young and Good Looking. The latter part of the ‘90s saw Oliveri launch his own band, Mondo Generator (named after a Kyuss song he penned for Blues for the Red Sun), which continued on in the path of confrontational punk. Although an album's worth of tunes was recorded around this time, it was ultimately shelved, and not issued until 2000, under the title of Cocaine Rodeo. The late ‘90s also saw Oliveri team up once more with Homme (Kyuss had disbanded in 1997) in a new outfit, Queens of the Stone Age, which proved to be more musically varied than either of its leader's former outfits. With such subsequent releases as 1998's self-titled debut, 2000's R, and 2002's Songs for the Deaf, QOTSA also obtained something that Kyuss never did -- commercial success, as the band quickly became one of the finest and acclaimed in all of hard rock. Additionally, Oliveri has appeared on several volumes of Homme's ongoing Desert Sessions series, and guested on a pair of projects by Melissa Auf Der Maur -- the Black Sabbath tribute, Hand of Doom (2002's Live in Los Angeles), plus her solo debut, Auf Der Maur. The near future also promises to see more Oliveri-related releases, including a sophomore effort by Mondo Generator, as well as another side project, Headband. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
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