After decades of creating jaw-dropping music, The Brian Jonestown Massacre continues to blow minds at a breakneck speed. Band leader Anton Newcombe pauses long enough to discuss lineup changes, saying no to everything and the group’s 19th album, Fire Doesn’t Grow on Trees.
Anton Newcombe has been called a lot of things over the years: Madman. Self-destructive narcissistic. Musical genius. Of all the labels, the last one still rings true today. For those unfamiliar with the decades of musical output from his band The Brian Jonestown Massacre, you’ve been missing out on a blizzard of ever-evolving psychedelic rock goodness.
A few days after the release of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s 19th album Fire Doesn’t Grow on Trees, HUSTLERMagazine.com caught up with Anton via telephone from his home in Berlin to talk about how he survived himself, his band’s staggering number of ex-members and the new album.
HUSTLERMagazine.com: Do you remember the first time you ever saw a HUSTLER?
Anton Newcombe: You might find this funny. I have personally never seen a porno. That’s because I ended up finding a HUSTLER Magazine that someone had thrown over a wall when I was a little kid. And I was like, “What the fuck?!” At that time, Larry Flynt was also publishing a lot of photos of the Vietnam soldiers with their heads blown off. He was on the front line of, “This is what is really going on.” He pushed the limits of the American press.
Did you ever have any interaction with the magazine or Larry Flynt when you lived in Los Angeles?
No, I never really had any interaction, but I have memories of him being in court and pissing off a judge by paying the fines with pennies: “Here’s your fine.” I remember seeing all that in the news before they made the movie. At the end of the day, the rights that he fought for were the rights for everybody.