Queens of the Stone Age

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Queens of the Stone Age
Queens of the Stone Age - SSE Arena Wembley - Saturday 18th November 2017 QOTSAWembley181117-29 (24730972488).jpg
Queens of the Stone Age performing in London, England in November 2017; left to right: Dean Fertita, Josh Homme, Jon Theodore, and Michael Shuman
Background information
Also known asGamma Ray (1996)
Origin Palm Desert, California, U.S.
Years active1996 (1996)–present
Associated acts
Website qotsa.com
Past members

Queens of the Stone Age is an American rock band formed in 1996 in Palm Desert, California. The band's line-up includes founder Josh Homme (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, lap steel, keyboard, percussion, backing vocals), Michael Shuman (bass guitar, keyboard, backing vocals), Dean Fertita (keyboards, guitar, percussion, backing vocals), and Jon Theodore (drums, percussion).

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Palm Desert, California City in California, United States

Palm Desert is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 14 miles (23 km) east of Palm Springs, 121 miles (194 km) northeast of San Diego and 122 miles (196 km) east of Los Angeles. The population was 48,445 at the 2010 census, up from 41,155 at the 2000 census. The city was one of the state's fastest growing in the 1980s and 1990s, beginning with 11,801 residents in 1980, doubling to 23,650 in 1990, 35,000 in 1995, and nearly double its 1990 population by 2000. A major center of growth in the Coachella Valley, Palm Desert is a popular retreat for "snowbirds" from colder climates, who swell its population by an estimated 31,000 each winter. In the past couple of years Palm Desert has seen more residents become "full-timers", mainly from the coasts and urban centers of California, who have come for both affordable and high-valued home prices.

Josh Homme American musician

Joshua Michael Homme is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. He is the founder, primary songwriter, and only continuous member of the rock band Queens of the Stone Age, which he formed in 1996 and in which he sings lead vocals and plays guitar, as well as occasionally playing bass, piano, and drums. He also co-founded Eagles of Death Metal in 1998, playing drums for their studio recordings and occasionally performing live with them.


Formed after the dissolution of Homme's previous band, Kyuss, [1] Queens of the Stone Age developed a style of riff-oriented, heavy rock music. Their sound has since evolved to incorporate a variety of different styles and influences, most notably including collaborations with Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan and Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl.

Kyuss American band

Kyuss was an American rock band, formed in Palm Desert, California, in 1987 by Josh Homme (guitar), John Garcia (vocals), Brant Bjork (drums) and Chris Cockrell (bass). After releasing an EP under the name Sons of Kyuss in 1990, the band shortened its name to Kyuss and recruited Nick Oliveri, replacing Cockrell as bassist. Over the next five years the band released four full-length albums, and one last split EP in 1997 as Kyuss and the newly formed Queens of the Stone Age. This tied up the loose ends of Kyuss and introduced the new band Queens of the Stone Age, which was initially composed entirely of former Kyuss members.

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

Screaming Trees band

Screaming Trees were an American rock band formed in Ellensburg, Washington in 1985 by vocalist Mark Lanegan, guitarist Gary Lee Conner, bass player Van Conner and drummer Mark Pickerel. Pickerel had been replaced by Barrett Martin by the time the band reached its most successful period. Although widely associated with grunge, the band's sound incorporated hard rock and psychedelic elements. During Screaming Trees' existence the band released seven studio albums, five EPs, and three compilations.


Formation and debut album (1996–1999)

After the breakup of his previous band, Kyuss, in 1995, Josh Homme briefly joined Screaming Trees as a touring guitarist, [2] before deciding to form a new band, Gamma Ray. In 1996 they released the eponymous Gamma Ray EP, featuring "Born to Hula" and "If Only Everything" (which would later appear on their self-titled debut as "If Only"). The EP featured Matt Cameron of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, Van Conner from Screaming Trees, and percussionist Victor Indrizzo. [3]

<i>Gamma Ray</i> (EP) EP by Gamma Ray, later Queens of the Stone Age

Gamma Ray is the debut EP by Gamma Ray, a musical project by former Kyuss guitarist Josh Homme, released in 1996 by Man's Ruin Records. After the breakup of Kyuss in 1995, Homme recorded the Gamma Ray material in Seattle with producer Chris Goss, bassist Van Conner, and drummer Victor Indrizzo. Former Kyuss singer John Garcia contributed backing vocals to the track "Born to Hula". After the release of the EP, Homme received a cease and desist order because the name Gamma Ray was already in use by a German power metal band. He changed the name of the project to Queens of the Stone Age, and both of the Gamma Ray tracks were re-released the following year by Man's Ruin on the Kyuss / Queens of the Stone Age split EP, which featured some of the final studio recordings by Kyuss and debuted the "Queens of the Stone Age" moniker for Homme's new project. The split EP also included a third track from the Gamma Ray recording sessions, "Spiders and Vinegaroons".

Matt Cameron American drummer

Matthew David Cameron is an American musician who currently serves as the drummer for Pearl Jam. After getting his start with the Seattle, Washington-based bands Bam Bam and Skin Yard, he first gained fame as the drummer for Soundgarden, which he joined in 1986, appeared on every studio album, and remained in until the band's break-up in 1997. In 1998, Cameron was invited to play on Pearl Jam's U.S. Yield Tour. He soon became a permanent member and has remained in the band ever since. In 2010, Soundgarden reunited, and Cameron remained with them until the death of Soundgarden's lead singer Chris Cornell on May 18, 2017 and their subsequent disbandment two years later.

Soundgarden American grunge rock band

Soundgarden was an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron became the band's full-time drummer in 1986, while bassist Ben Shepherd became a permanent replacement for Yamamoto in 1990. The band dissolved in 1997 and re-formed in 2010. Following Cornell's suicide in 2017 and a year of uncertainty of the band's future, Thayil declared in an October 2018 interview with Seattle Times that they would not continue as Soundgarden; they did, however, reunite in January 2019 for a one-off concert in tribute to Cornell.

Gamma Ray changed their name in 1997 after the German power metal band Gamma Ray threatened to sue. The name "Queens of the Stone Age" came from a nickname given to Kyuss by their producer Chris Goss. Homme said of the name: "Kings would be too macho. The Kings of the Stone Age wear armor and have axes and wrestle. The Queens of the Stone Age hang out with the Kings of the Stone Age's girlfriends when they wrestle ... Rock should be heavy enough for the boys and sweet enough for the girls. That way everyone's happy and it's more of a party. Kings of the Stone Age is too lopsided." [4]

Power metal is a subgenre of heavy metal combining characteristics of traditional heavy metal with speed metal, often within symphonic context. Generally, power metal is characterized by a faster, lighter, and more uplifting sound, in contrast with the heaviness and dissonance prevalent for example in extreme metal. Power metal bands usually have anthem-like songs with fantasy-based subject matter and strong choruses, thus creating a theatrical, dramatic and emotionally "powerful" sound. The term was first used in the middle of the 1980s and refers to two different but related styles: the first pioneered and largely practiced in North America with a harder sound similar to speed metal, and a later more widespread and popular style based in Europe, South America and East Asia with a lighter, more melodic sound and frequent use of keyboards.

Gamma Ray (band) German power metal band

Gamma Ray is a heavy metal band from Hamburg, northern Germany, founded and fronted by Kai Hansen after his departure from the German power metal band Helloween. Hansen is the current lead vocalist, guitarist as well as the chief songwriter of Gamma Ray. The band is known as one of the most prominent bands of the German heavy metal scene.

Chris Goss American record producer and musician

Christopher Ryan Goss is an American record producer and musician. Best known for producing records for Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age, he is regarded as an important figure in the development of stoner rock and desert rock genres. Goss is also the lead singer and guitarist of the hard rock band Masters of Reality.

The first release under the Queens of the Stone Age name was the song "18 A.D.," released on the compilation album Burn One Up! Music for Stoners which featured members of the Dutch stoner rock band Beaver. The band's first live appearance was on November 20, 1997, at OK Hotel in Seattle, Washington, with Cameron on drums, Mike Johnson of Dinosaur Jr. on bass and John McBain of Monster Magnet on guitar. In December that year, the band released a split EP, Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age , which featured three tracks from the Gamma Ray sessions as well as three Kyuss tracks recorded in 1995 prior to their breakup. [5]

Beaver or 13eaver as it is better known was a stoner rock band from the Netherlands. All of their CDs are considered rare, and are all out of print.

OK Hotel hotel

The OK Hotel was a bar and music venue located under the viaduct in Seattle's Pioneer Square district. The club's 15-year-plus life span came to an end with the Nisqually earthquake of February 28, 2001, which damaged numerous buildings in the historic district.

Mike Johnson is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer and bass guitarist. He was born in Grants Pass, Oregon and fronted Eugene, Oregon punk band Snakepit from 1984 until their break up in 1989. He joined Dinosaur Jr. as bass player in 1991 and played with the band live and on its recordings from 1991 to 1998. He was briefly married to Juned's Leslie Hardy in 1994, and contributed to both the band's studio albums. He collaborated with Mark Lanegan on his first five solo albums, playing guitar, co-producing, and writing music. In 1994, he released his first solo album, "Where Am I", on Up Records, and he continued a solo career, alongside involvement with the bands Queens of the Stone Age and Caustic Resin up until 2006's "Gone Out of Your Mind", when he moved to France with his wife.

Queens of the Stone Age released their self-titled debut in 1998 on Stone Gossard's and Regan Hagar's label Loosegroove Records, and on vinyl by Man's Ruin Records. Homme played guitar and bass on the album (the latter credited to Homme's alter-ego Carlo Von Sexron), Alfredo Hernández on the drums, and several other contributions by Chris Goss and Hutch. Homme reportedly asked Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan to appear on the record, but he was unable due to other commitments. [6]

<i>Queens of the Stone Age</i> (album) 1998 studio album by Queens of the Stone Age

Queens of the Stone Age is the eponymous debut studio album by American rock band Queens of the Stone Age, released by Loosegroove Records on October 6, 1998. It was primarily written and recorded in April 1998 by founding member Josh Homme and his former Kyuss bandmate Alfredo Hernández, with Hernández playing drums and Homme singing and playing the rest of the instruments. Homme also produced the album alongside Joe Barresi. Bassist Nick Oliveri, also a former member of Kyuss, would join the band by the time of the album's release. Queens of the Stone Age received generally positive reviews from critics, who placed it in the stoner rock genre and drew comparisons to krautrock bands such as Neu! and Can, as well as to Kyuss and other metal bands.

Stone Gossard musician, songwriter

Stone Carpenter Gossard is an American multi-instrumentalist who serves as the rhythm and additional lead guitarist for the American rock band Pearl Jam.

Regan Hagar is an American musician. Primarily a drummer, he also plays keyboard and guitar on occasion.

Soon after the recording sessions were finished for the album, former Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri joined the group, and touring commenced with a band consisting entirely of ex-Kyuss members. Guitarist Dave Catching joined shortly after. From this point forward, the band's line-up would change frequently; by the time their second album was being recorded, Hernández had left the group to play in other bands. [7]

Rated R (2000–2001)

2000's Rated R featured myriad musicians familiar with Homme and Oliveri's work and "crew" of sorts: among others, drummers Nick Lucero and Gene Trautmann, guitarists Dave Catching, Brendon McNichol, and Chris Goss contributed, and even Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, recording next door, stepped in for a guest spot on "Feel Good Hit of the Summer." [8]

Josh Homme in August 2003 Josh Homme 2003.jpg
Josh Homme in August 2003

The album garnered positive reviews and received a lot more attention than their debut, despite the fact that the lyrics to "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" were deemed by mega-retailer Wal-Mart to promote drug use, almost causing the record to get pulled from store shelves. [9] The success of the record also earned the band notable opening slots with The Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Hole, and a place at Ozzfest 2000. [8] It was during this time that Homme stated:

There's a robotic element to our albums, like the repetition of riffs. We also wanted to do a record that had a lot of dynamic range. We wanted to set it up in this band so we could play anything. We don't want to get roped in by our own music. If anyone has a good song (regardless of style) we should be able to play it.

Homme, interview with thefade.net [1]

During the 2001 Rock in Rio show, bassist Nick Oliveri was arrested after performing on stage naked, with only his bass guitar covering his genitals. Oliveri apologized to officials, saying that he did not know it was a crime in Brazil. [10]

Following his work on Rated R, former Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan joined the band as a full-time member, a position he held until early 2005. [11]

Towards the end of the Rated R tour, the band's performance at the 2001 Rock am Ring festival in Germany was, according to Homme, "the worst show we've ever played and it was in front of 40,000 people." [12] The band decided to tattoo themselves with the starting time of the performance, "Freitag 4:15." As Oliveri explained:

Me, Mark [Lanegan], Josh [Homme] and Hutch, our soundman, have the same tattoo, it's from Rock am Ring festival. The time we had to play was 4:15 in the afternoon and it was just a terrible show. It sucked, it was horrible. That's why I tattooed it on my ribs, where it would hurt, so I'd never forget.

Oliveri, interview with Daredevil Magazine (2005)

Songs for the Deaf, mainstream exposure and Oliveri's departure (2001–2004)

Nick Oliveri, bassist 1998-2004, performing with the band at the 2003 V Festival Nick Oliveri V Festival 2003.jpg
Nick Oliveri, bassist 1998–2004, performing with the band at the 2003 V Festival

Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer, Dave Grohl, joined in late 2001 to record drums for their third album. Songs for the Deaf was released in August 2002, again featuring Lanegan, along with former A Perfect Circle guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen to the touring line-up following the album's release. Also featured on Songs for the Deaf for the final track "Mosquito Song" were former A Perfect Circle bassist Paz Lenchantin on viola and piano, and Dean Ween on guitar.

This record was supposed to sound bizarre—like lightning in a bottle. We also were extremely fucked up. It even sounds that way to me, like a crazy person. The radio interludes are supposed to be like the drive from L.A. to Joshua Tree, a drive that makes you feel like you’re letting go—more David Lynch with every mile.

Homme, interview with jr.com [13]

Songs for the Deaf was a critical hit and was certified gold in 2003, with sales of over 900,000. [14] The singles "No One Knows" and "Go with the Flow" became hits on radio and MTV, with the former just outside the Billboard Top 40. "No One Knows" and "Go with the Flow" were also featured on the first iterations of the popular video games Guitar Hero and Rock Band (respectively). The song "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire" was featured as the theme song in Naughty Dog's "Jak X: Combat Racing" in 2005 along with "A Song For The Dead".

The Songs for the Deaf tour culminated in a string of headline dates in Australia in January 2004. Grohl returned to his other projects and was replaced on the European leg of the tour by former Danzig drummer Joey Castillo, who joined the band full-time. After the tour, Homme fired Oliveri, as he was convinced that Oliveri had been physically abusive to his girlfriend: "A couple years ago, I spoke to Nick about a rumor I heard. I said, 'If I ever find out that this is true, I can't know you, man.'" [15] Homme considered breaking up the band after firing Oliveri, but found a new determination to continue. [16] Oliveri countered in the press that the band had been "poisoned by hunger for power" and that without him, they were "Queens Lite." He later softened his opinion and said: "My relationship with Josh is good. The new Queens record kicks ass." [17] The two reportedly are still friends and as of October 2006, Oliveri was interested in rejoining the band. [18] Oliveri later contributed to a Queens of the Stone Age for the first time in nine years, contributing backing vocals to the band's sixth album, ...Like Clockwork .

Lullabies to Paralyze (2004–2006)

The band performing live, August 25, 2005 in Paris, France. Included in this performance are two bandmates from the band Eleven, Alain Johannes and the late Natasha Shneider, who joined the line-up for Lullabies to Paralyze and the supporting tour QOTSA Live Paris 200508 2.jpg
The band performing live, August 25, 2005 in Paris, France. Included in this performance are two bandmates from the band Eleven, Alain Johannes and the late Natasha Shneider, who joined the line-up for Lullabies to Paralyze and the supporting tour

In late 2004, Homme, along with Eleven multi-instrumentalist Alain Johannes and remaining band members Van Leeuwen and Castillo recorded the Queens' fourth studio album, Lullabies to Paralyze , a title taken from a lyric in "Mosquito Song" from their previous album. [19] The album featured guests including ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. Despite Lanegan reportedly turning down an invitation to remain with the band, he recorded vocals on new tracks (notably the solo vocalist on the opening track "This Lullaby") and appeared on the supporting tour as scheduling and his health permitted.

Lullabies to Paralyze was leaked onto the internet in February 2005 and was aired by Triple J radio in Australia on March 3, 2005 as an unsubstantiated 'World Premiere'. It was then officially released on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 in the US, debuting in the number 5 slot on the Billboard Music Chart, the greatest debut of any Queens record until ...Like Clockwork debuted at number 1 in June 2013.

On May 14, 2005, the group was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, hosted by Will Ferrell. One of Ferrell's popular Saturday Night Live characters, fictional Blue Öyster Cult cowbellist Gene Frenkle, made a re-appearance on the show, playing with the Queens on their first song of the night, "Little Sister." Frenkle played the song's wood block part using a cowbell along with the band.

On November 22, 2005, Queens of the Stone Age released a live album/DVD set, Over the Years and Through the Woods , featuring a live concert filmed in London, England, and bonus features which included rare videos of songs from 1998 to 2005. In 2005, the group supported Nine Inch Nails on their North American tour of With Teeth along with Autolux (for the first half of the tour) and Death from Above 1979 (for the second). NIN's guitarist Aaron North appeared as an onstage guest with the Queens for the songs "Born to Hula," "Regular John," "Avon," "Monsters in the Parasol" and "Long, Slow Goodbye" at the Wiltern LG in Los Angeles on December 19 and 20 2005.

Another onstage guest for the December 20 performance was Homme's former Kyuss bandmate John Garcia, the first time that Homme and Garcia had played together since 1997. As a special encore they performed three Kyuss songs: "Thumb," "Hurricane" and "Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop." [20] Homme stated that the band's lowest point was during the Lullabies era, [21] but that the record "took the lead jacket off" the band following the firing of Oliveri in 2004. [22]

Era Vulgaris and death of Shneider (2007–2008)

Joey Castillo and Josh Homme when the band performed at the Southside Festival near Tuttlingen, southern Germany, June 24, 2007 Queens of the Stone Age 2007.jpg
Joey Castillo and Josh Homme when the band performed at the Southside Festival near Tuttlingen, southern Germany, June 24, 2007

On Valentine's Day 2007, the band's official website announced the new album would be titled Era Vulgaris , and would be released in June. [23] Later in February, teaser videos surfaced showing Homme, Castillo, Van Leeuwen and Johannes in studio. [24] [25] Several sites reported that the album would include many guest vocalists, including Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, Julian Casablancas from The Strokes, Mark Lanegan, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, [26] and deceased humorist Erma Bombeck. [27] Death from Above 1979 bassist Jesse F. Keeler had been expected to play bass on the studio recording of the album, but not to tour; [28] however, due to schedule conflicts, he stated he would not be appearing on the album.

Era Vulgaris was completed in early April 2007 [29] and released June 12, 2007 in the US. [30] The tracks "Sick, Sick, Sick" and "3's & 7's" were released as singles in early June. [31] Homme has described the record as "dark, hard, and electrical, sort of like a construction worker." [32] When asked about the vocals on the record, specifically the different style of singing that Homme used, he replied:

I wanted to try some shit that was downright embarrassing at first. This record is a grower, not about what isn’t there, but what is.

Josh Homme, interview with jr.com, 2007 [13]

Bassist Michael Shuman (Wires On Fire, Jubilee and Mini Mansions) and keyboardist Dean Fertita (Hello=Fire, The Waxwings, The Dead Weather) took over touring duties from Alain Johannes and Natasha Shneider, respectively. [33] [34] In July 2007, Van Leeuwen stated the band had written new material, "still in its infancy" [35] which Homme later suggested might be released as an EP. [36] Following a subsequent interview with Homme, The Globe and Mail reported that the EP "could contain as many as 10 B-sides recorded during the Era Vulgaris sessions." [37] It was later reported that the EP would not be released due to the record label's unwillingness to put out another QOTSA release at that time. [38]

Queens of the Stone Age performing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park, September 14, 2007 Queens of the Stone Age at Austin City Limits Music Festival 2007.jpg
Queens of the Stone Age performing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park, September 14, 2007

The band began a North American Tour in 2007, which they named the "Duluth Tour" because they were going to many small towns and cities they had never played before, such as Duluth, Minnesota. [39] The tour was extended to other areas, such as the United Kingdom, where the band played more shows than on any of their previous UK tours. The band toured in Australia in late March to early April 2008, on the V festival tour, including a string of side shows. Throughout the beginning of May 2008, the band completed the Canadian leg of its touring. [40]

In November 2007, Queens of the Stone Age performed a semi-acoustic set in an underground salt mine in Germany, performing a selection of hits, rarities, covers and an unreleased song named "Cathedral City." [41] A DVD of the concert was planned but aside from a trailer promoting the DVD and a number of photographs, no footage of the concert has been released.

On July 2, 2008, Queens of the Stone Age's former keyboardist Natasha Shneider died of lung cancer at the age of 52. The news broke with a message posted on the MySpace page of the band Sweethead, of which Natasha's close friend and former bandmate Troy Van Leeuwen is a member. qotsa.com was updated with a memorial message by Homme replacing the normal front page. The band performed a concert in celebration of Natasha Shneider's life at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles on August 16, 2008. They were joined on stage by Shneider's husband Alain Johannes, Jack Black and Kyle Gass, Matt Cameron, Brody Dalle, Jesse Hughes, Chris Goss and PJ Harvey, playing a variety of QOTSA and non-QOTSA songs, including covers of songs from bands such as Cream and The Doors. Tenacious D and PJ Harvey also performed acoustic sets at the show. Proceeds from the concert went to defray the costs associated with Natasha’s illness.

On August 22 and 23 2008, Queens of the Stone Age performed the last shows of their Era Vulgaris tour at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK, and Josh Homme announced in an interview with the BBC and during the show that he would be returning to the studio to work on the next album. [42]

Homme's health issues, debut re-release and promotional tour (2009–2011)

During 2009 and 2010, band members worked on side projects during the down time. Troy Van Leeuwen started up a new band, Sweethead. Joey Castillo played for Eagles of Death Metal on their Heart On tour. Bassist Michael Shuman continued his work as drummer and vocalist with Mini Mansions, while Dean Fertita became the guitarist/keyboardist for Jack White's newest group, The Dead Weather. Josh Homme formed supergroup Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones. [43] After Them Crooked Vultures finished touring in June, the band toured and released a two-CD deluxe edition of Rated R on August 3, 2010. This edition featured the original CD along with six B-sides and live recordings from the band's Reading performance in 2000.

In 2010, Homme suffered from complications during a botched knee surgery, during which his heart stopped for a short time due to asphyxiation; doctors had to use a defibrillator to revive him. Following this, he was bedridden for four months and plunged into a deep depression, during which he considered giving up his music career altogether. [44] He elaborated on this experience further in an interview on Marc Maron's WTF podcast, explaining that he had contracted a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection which his immune system could not fight due to stress. Homme has since said that the experience contributed greatly to the writing and recording of ...Like Clockwork. [45]

After Homme recovered, Queens of the Stone Age released a remastered version of their self-titled debut album in early 2011, and performed the album in its entirety in a promotional tour. [46] The band performed on Conan on April 14, [47] and later played at the Australian music festival Soundwave. [30] Throughout the summer of 2011, the band appeared at various European festivals, including the Glastonbury Festival, in Somerset, UK. They also played at Pearl Jam's 20th Anniversary Festival at Alpine Valley in East Troy, WI on September 3 and 4, 2011, which would be their last with drummer Joey Castillo.

...Like Clockwork (2011–2014)

Josh Homme and Michael Shuman performing in 2011 Queens of the stone age 2011.jpg
Josh Homme and Michael Shuman performing in 2011

Plans to record a follow-up to Era Vulgaris had been mentioned since 2008, [48] but recording would not begin until August 2012. [46] In March 2011, Homme stated, "Doing the rehearsals for the first record is really defining the new one. It's been turning the new record into something else. What we were doing was bluesy, and now it's turned into this trancey, broken thing. The robots are coming home!" [49] According to Homme, the album would be finished by the end of 2012. He explained to BBC Radio 1, "We're going to take our one last break that we would get for a month, come back and do Glastonbury, then immediately jump in the studio. Our record will be done by the end of the year. We have enough songs." [50]

In November 2011, frequent collaborator Alain Johannes stated in regard to his studio work with the band: "We had a late night with Queens of the Stone Age again. [...] Just putting in days, super top secret, but it’s going to be amazing. I’m really excited about it. [...] Once we start the process, it goes to completion. So I can’t say exactly when, but it’s a really good start." [51]

On August 20, 2012, the band stated via a Facebook status update that they were "recording" their new album. [52]

In September 2012, it was revealed that Homme and producer Dave Sardy co-wrote and recorded a song entitled "Nobody To Love," which is featured during the end credits of the film End of Watch . [53] [54]

In November 2012, Homme informed BBC's Zane Lowe that Joey Castillo had left the band and that drums on the new album would be performed by Dave Grohl, who also performed on Songs for the Deaf. [55] Homme also confirmed with Lowe that the album would be released prior to their performance at the Download Festival in June 2013. In addition to Grohl, other former members contributing to the album include former bassists Nick Oliveri [56] and Johannes, [57] and vocalist Mark Lanegan. [58]

A number of collaborations from different musicians were announced for ...Like Clockwork, including Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, [59] Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears, [60] Brody Dalle, [57] and Elton John. [61]

In early 2013, Homme and fellow Queens contributors including Alain Johannes and Chris Goss recorded for the soundtrack of Dave Grohl's Sound City: Real to Reel . Goss, Johannes and Homme were on three tracks each. Josh's notably included a collaboration with Grohl and Trent Reznor called Mantra, and he was also featured in the film in an interview segment. Goss and Johannes were both featured members in the Sound City Players, playing Masters of Reality, Eleven, and Desert Sessions songs, as well as their penned tunes from the soundtrack. Former Kyuss bassist Scott Reeder also contributed to the soundtrack. [62]

Queens of the Stone Age at the Allstate Arena, December 11 2013. Queens of the Stone Age @ Allstate Arena 12-11-2013 (11412414294).jpg
Queens of the Stone Age at the Allstate Arena, December 11 2013.

In March 2013, Queens of the Stone Age announced that the new album, entitled ...Like Clockwork, would be released in June 2013 on Matador Records. [63] [64] A press release, issued by Matador at 9:00am EST on March 26, 2013, revealed further details of the album, including further guest appearances: Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys and UNKLE's James Lavelle. In addition to Grohl's contribution, the record also features performances by former drummer Castillo, as well as tracks by new drummer Jon Theodore (ex-The Mars Volta, One Day as a Lion). [65] [66] Queens Of The Stone Age premiered a new song "My God Is The Sun" at Lollapalooza Brasil on March 30, 2013, [67] a performance in which Theodore made his live debut. The studio version of the song premiered on Lowe's BBC Radio 1 program on April 8, 2013. [68]

...Like Clockwork was released on June 3, 2013 on Matador Records in the UK and on June 4 in the United States. Self-produced by the band, it is the first Queens of the Stone Age album to feature full contributions from bassist Michael Shuman and keyboardist and guitarist Dean Fertita. The album debuted in the number one position in the US and is the first QOTSA album to achieve this ranking. [69]

Following a performance by QOTSA at the Jay Z-owned Made In America Festival in the summer of 2013, Homme made comments about the rap star during a radio interview with CBC Radio 2's Strombo Show. Homme explained that his band was frisked by the event's security team prior to the performance and referred to Jay Z's personal interaction with the band as a marketing stunt. Homme stated:

The ...Like Clockwork tour culminated with a Halloween party at The Forum in Los Angeles, featuring guests such as The Kills, JD McPherson and Nick Oliveri's band Uncontrollable. [71] The band's performance featured an appearance from Oliveri who played songs with them during the encore set, including songs such as "Auto Pilot" and "Quick and to the Pointless" which had not been performed in a decade. [72]

Villains (2014–2018)

The band performing at Wembley in November 2017 Queens of the Stone Age - SSE Arena Wembley - Saturday 18th November 2017 QOTSAWembley181117-50 (37885906764).jpg
The band performing at Wembley in November 2017

In January 2014, Homme told Rolling Stone magazine the band would start recording a new album when they finished their tour for ...Like Clockwork. [73] In June 2014, Homme performed a solo acoustic show at James Lavelle's Meltdown festival, featuring guest performances from Troy Van Leeuwen and Mark Lanegan. During this gig, Homme played a new song called "Villains of Circumstance," which was performed again at another acoustic set in 2016. [74] The band indicated in February 2015, when it was announced they are to play Rock in Rio 2015 in Rio de Janeiro in September, that they were about to record a new album. [75] Despite this, in March 2016, Michael Shuman revealed that the band were on a break. [76]

During this period, the members of the band worked on various other projects. Josh Homme and Dean Fertita contributed to Iggy Pop's 2016 album Post Pop Depression and subsequent tour, while Troy van Leeuwen joined the rock supergroup Gone Is Gone with plans to release an EP and a studio album. [77] In May 2016, Van Leeuwen announced plans to record Queens of the Stone Age's seventh studio album "sometime this year." [78]

In January 2017, Troy Sanders from Mastodon and Gone Is Gone said Queens of the Stone Age will release a new album later in the year. [79] Following this, the band posted several photos on social media featuring their studio [80] and announced that they would be performing at the Fuji Rock Festival in July, their first performance in Japan since 2003. The band updated their social media accounts with a new logo and the words "Coming Twentyfive" on April 6, 2017, and announced a tour of Australia and New Zealand to begin in July.

On June 14, 2017, Queens of the Stone Age announced their new album Villains which was released on August 25, 2017. The teaser trailer took the form of a comedy skit featuring the band performing a polygraph test with Liam Lynch along with an appearance of the album's producer Mark Ronson, and featured a snippet of the song "Feet Don't Fail Me." The first single, "The Way You Used to Do," was released the following day along with the announcement of a world tour. [81] [82] The second advance single from the album, “The Evil Has Landed,” was released August 10, 2017. [83]

On October 24, 2017, as part of the Villains tour, the band headlined Madison Square Garden for the first time, having opened for Nine Inch Nails there in 2005, and for Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2003. Homme said he was "stoked". [84] Three sets of free tickets to this show were hidden at three stations along the Q line of the New York City Subway. [85]

On December 9, 2017, while on stage during the KROQ Acoustic Christmas concert in Inglewood, California, Homme kicked a photographer's camera into her face, resulting in injuries for which she later received medical treatment. [86] Homme, who was under the influence of alcohol at the time, later apologized through a video on the band's Instagram page, saying, "I hope you're okay, and I'm truly sorry. And I understand you have to do whatever you have to do. I just want you to know that I'm sorry. Goodnight, godspeed." [87]

Eighth studio album (2019–present)

In an interview with eonmusic in June 2019, Billy Gibbons announced that he has contributed to a new Queens of the Stone Age album that is set to be further announced by Homme later in the year. Gibbons also confirmed that Dave Grohl is involved in the recording sessions. [88]

Musical style

Throughout its career, the band has been described as alternative rock, stoner rock, [89] alternative metal, [90] [91] and hard rock. [92] Homme has described the band's self-titled debut album as driving music, angular and recorded dry, [93] with the album featuring solid and repetitive riffs in its song structure. [1] Rolling Stone magazine also noted a "connection between American meat-and-potatoes macho rock of the early 1970s, like Blue Cheer and Grand Funk Railroad, and the precision-timing drones in German rock of the same period." [94] The band's following album - Rated R - contained a wider variety of instruments, several recording guests and lead vocals shared by Homme, Oliveri and Lanegan. [94] Homme has also commented that "Our first record announced our sound. This one added that we’re different and weird." [13] The band continued to experiment on their third album, Songs for the Deaf, which also featured a line-up including three lead vocalists, many guest appearances and wide range of instrumentation, including horn and string sections. [95] Homme has described Lullabies to Paralyze as a "dark" album, which includes imagery inspired by The Brothers Grimm folk and fairy tales. [96] In 2005, Homme explained, "Where the poetry seems to be is when you start in the dark and reach for the light—that's what makes it not depressing to me..." [97] The album changed gears from the band's previous distinct "driving" sound, much due to the departure of longtime member Nick Oliveri. [13] The band almost exclusively used semi hollow body guitars during the making of the record. [98] With Era Vulgaris the band continued to develop their signature sound with more dance-oriented elements and electronic influences, while Homme has currently gone back to being the only lead vocalist in the band [99] and uses more distinct vocal melodies. [100]

Homme has on numerous occasions described their music as "rock versions of electronic music," stating that he takes inspiration from the repetitive nature of electronic trance music along with various forms of dance music, hip-hop, trip hop and krautrock. This heavy rock style mixed with the structure of electronic music has been dubbed by Homme as "robot rock" in an interview with KUNO-TV at the Roskilde Festival 2001.[ citation needed ]

In a 2013 interview with guitarist Matt Sweeney for Guitar Moves, a web series made by Vice Media's music channel Noisey, Homme revealed aspects of his distinctive guitar playing style. [101] He demonstrated the 'Josh Homme scale', which he claimed was the result of years playing and altering the blues scale. The scale has the intervals 1, b3, 3, b5, 5, 6, b7. His scale is the half whole scale with the second degree (b2) omitted. [102] In the same interview Homme referenced some of his earlier influences on his playing, citing both polka guitar styles and the techniques of Jimi Hendrix.


Frequent collaborators

Musician Queens of the
Stone Age
Rated R Songs for the Deaf Lullabies to Paralyze Era Vulgaris ...Like Clockwork Villains Total
Joey Castillo Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg3
Dave Catching Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg4
Brody Dalle Yes check.svgYes check.svg2
Dean Fertita [lower-alpha 1] Yes check.svgYes check.svg2
Chris Goss Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg5
Dave Grohl Yes check.svgYes check.svg2
Jesse Hughes Yes check.svgYes check.svg2
Alain Johannes Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg4
Mike Johnson Yes check.svgYes check.svg2
Mark Lanegan Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg5
Troy Van Leeuwen Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg4
Nick Oliveri [lower-alpha 2] Yes check.svgYes check.svgYes check.svg3
Michael Shuman [lower-alpha 3] Yes check.svgYes check.svg2
Jon Theodore Yes check.svgYes check.svg2
Gene Trautmann Yes check.svgYes check.svg2
  1. While not appearing on the album itself Fertita appeared on the bonus tracks "White Wedding", "Goin' Out West", "Christian Brothers" and "Needles in the Camel's Eye" on various versions of the album.
  2. Oliveri does not play on this album, however he does appears in the album's closing moments, in a recorded answering machine message to Homme, agreeing to join the band.
  3. While not appearing on the album itself Shuman appeared on the bonus tracks "White Wedding", "Goin' Out West", "Christian Brothers" and "Needles in the Camel's Eye" on various versions of the album.



Awards and nominations

A2IM Libera Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2018ThemselvesBest Live ActNominated
Villains Best Rock AlbumNominated
Independent ImpactNominated

BDSCertified Spin Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2003"No One Knows"50,000 SpinsWon

Billboard Music Video Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2000"The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret"Best New Artist Clip - Hard RockNominated

Grammy Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2003 "No One Knows" Best Hard Rock Performance Nominated
2004 "Go with the Flow"Nominated
2006 "Little Sister"Nominated
2008 "Sick, Sick, Sick"Nominated
2014 "My God Is the Sun" Best Rock Performance Nominated
...Like Clockwork Best Rock Album Nominated
2018 Villains Nominated

Hungarian Music Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2014 ...Like Clockwork Modern Pop/Rock Album of the YearNominated
2018 Villains Pop/Rock Album of the YearNominated

JIM Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2014ThemselvesBest International BandNominated
Best RockNominated
Best Live ActNominated
…Like Clockwork Best International AlbumNominated

L.A. Weekly Music Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2001ThemselvesBest New ArtistNominated
Best Hard Rock/Metal BandNominated

MTV Europe Music Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2003 "Go with the Flow"Best VideoNominated
ThemselvesWeb AwardNominated
2013 Best RockNominated

MTV Video Music Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2003 "Go with the Flow"Best Special Effects in a VideoWon
Best Art Direction in a VideoNominated
Breakthrough VideoNominated
"No One Knows"MTV2 AwardNominated

Much Music Video Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2003 "Go with the Flow" Best International Video - Group Nominated

Music Week Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2018ThemselvesPR ChampaignNominated

NME Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2001ThemselvesBest Metal Act [103] Nominated
2003 Songs for the Deaf Best AlbumNominated
"No One Knows"Best VideoNominated
2004"Go With the Flow"Nominated
ThemselvesBest International BandNominated
Best Live BandWon
...Like Clockwork Best AlbumNominated
ThemselvesBest International BandNominated

Q Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2003Queens of the Stone AgeBest Live ActWon
2017Best Act in the World TodayNominated

Rober Awards Music Poll

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2013"I Appear Missing"Best Promo VideoNominated
ThemselvesComeback of the YearNominated
Best Live ArtistNominated

UK Music Video Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2014"Smooth Sailing"Best Rock/Indie Video - InternationalWon

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Songs for the Deaf</i> 2002 album by Queens of the Stone Age

Songs for the Deaf is the third studio album by American rock band Queens of the Stone Age, released on August 27, 2002 by Interscope Records. The album features Foo Fighters and former Nirvana member Dave Grohl on drums, and was also the last studio album to feature Nick Oliveri on bass. Songs for the Deaf features a large number of guest musicians, much akin to the band's other releases, and is loosely considered a concept album, taking the listener on a drive through the California desert from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree while tuning into radio stations from towns along the way such as Banning and Chino Hills.

Nick Oliveri American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter

Nick Steven Oliveri is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter from Los Angeles, California. Oliveri is perhaps best known as a former member of Kyuss and later Queens of the Stone Age from 1998 to 2004. Oliveri is also a solo artist and frequent contributor to his friends' albums and tours, including Winnebago Deal, Mark Lanegan Band, Masters of Reality, Turbonegro and Moistboyz, among many others. Oliveri is currently the frontman of his project, Mondo Generator, a punk and metal hybrid that he formed in 1997. He has also worked periodically with the Dwarves since 1993.

The Desert Sessions are a musical collective series, founded by Josh Homme in 1997. Artists such as Brant Bjork, PJ Harvey, Jeordie White, Dave Catching, Nick Oliveri, Mark Lanegan, John McBain, Ben Shepherd, Josh Freese, Chris Goss, Alain Johannes, Troy Van Leeuwen, Dean Ween and many others from the Palm Desert Scene have contributed as songwriters and musicians.

Palm Desert Scene

The Palm Desert Scene is a group of related bands and musicians from Palm Desert, Southern California. Their hard rock sound – often described as desert rock – contains elements of psychedelia, blues, heavy metal, punk rock, alternative rock, and other genres, often featuring distinctive repetitive drum beats, a propensity for free-form jamming, and "trance-like" or "sludgy" grooves. The involved musicians often play in multiple bands simultaneously, and there is a high rate of collaboration between bands. The Palm Desert Scene is also notable for fostering stoner rock pioneers Kyuss. The term "stoner rock" is sometimes used interchangeably with the term "desert rock". However, not all Palm Desert scene bands are "stoner rock" and not all stoner rock bands sound exactly like those in Palm Desert. Palm Desert has been named by Blender magazine as "one of the top seven rock n' roll cities in America".

Brant Bjork American musician and drummer of Kyuss

Brant Bjork is an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer from Palm Desert, California. He is perhaps best known as the drummer and founder of the influential Californian stoner rock band Kyuss. Bjork played in Vista Chino, along with former Kyuss vocalist John Garcia, up until October 2014, at which point Nick Oliveri announced that there was a falling out and that Bjork and Garcia would continue working on their solo projects. He is one of the more notable figures in the stoner rock and Palm Desert scenes.

<i>Lullabies to Paralyze</i> 2005 studio album by Queens of the Stone Age

Lullabies to Paralyze is the fourth studio album by American rock band Queens of the Stone Age, released on March 21, 2005. The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200, and sold 97,000 copies in America during its first week of release, eventually topping over 342,000 copies as of March, 2007 according to Nielsen Soundscan. The album has been certified gold in the UK, where it has sold over 100,000 units. It is also the band's first album to be released after Nick Oliveri was fired from the band. Josh Homme and Mark Lanegan are the only members from the previous album, Songs for the Deaf, to play on this album and it is the first album to feature drummer Joey Castillo and guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen.

No One Knows Song by Queens of the Stone Age

"No One Knows" is a song by American rock band Queens of the Stone Age written by band members Josh Homme and Mark Lanegan. It was the first single and second track from their third album, Songs for the Deaf, and was released on November 26, 2002. "No One Knows" was a chart success, becoming the band's only single to top the US Modern Rock charts. The song was also critically acclaimed, receiving a nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 2003 Grammy Awards.

Troy Van Leeuwen musician

Troy Van Leeuwen is an American rock musician and producer. He is best known as the guitarist for the rock band Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA), for which he has served since 2002. He is also known for his work with the seminal rock band Failure, and with alternative rock supergroup A Perfect Circle, as well as recordings with QOTSA members' side projects such as the Desert Sessions, Mondo Generator, Eagles of Death Metal and the Gutter Twins. Van Leeuwen created his first side-project, Enemy, in 2005, Sweethead, in 2008, Gone Is Gone, in 2016, and toured with Iggy Pop supporting his album Post Pop Depression made with QOTSA bandmates Josh Homme and Dean Fertita.

Joey Castillo American drummer

Joseph William Castillo is an American musician and songwriter. He is best known for being the drummer of the hard rock band Queens of the Stone Age from 2002 to 2012. He has also been a member of Danzig, Eagles of Death Metal, California Breed, Zilch, and Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts.

Mondo Generator American rock band

Mondo Generator is an American rock hybrid band founded in 1997 by Nick Oliveri. The name of the band originated when Brant Bjork spray-painted the words on the side of Oliveri's Sunn amplifier. Mondo means "world" in Italian. The Oliveri-penned Kyuss song appearing on the 1992 album Blues for the Red Sun also took its name from this event, and the amplifier itself appears in the artwork for the album.

<i>Era Vulgaris</i> (album) 2007 studio album by Queens of the Stone Age

Era Vulgaris is the fifth studio album by American rock band Queens of the Stone Age. Recorded from July 2006 to April 2007, it was released on June 11, 2007 in the United Kingdom and June 12 in the United States, having been released on June 8 in other countries. The single "Sick, Sick, Sick" was released in May, followed by second single "3's & 7's" in early June, and third single "Make It wit Chu" in October. The album debuted at No. 14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 charts, selling 52,000 copies in its first week. It reached top ten positions in other countries, such as No. 7 in the UK, No. 5 in Canada, and No. 4 in Australia.

Josh Homme discography

Josh Homme is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer who has released 18 studio albums and collaborated with over 25 different artists. He started playing guitar in the 1980s and formed a band with Palm Desert, California schoolmates John Garcia and Brant Bjork, initially under the name Katzenjammer, then Sons of Kyuss, and later shortened to simply Kyuss. The band released an EP called Sons of Kyuss (1990) when Homme was 16 years old, before going on to record four critically acclaimed studio albums and a greatest hits release without breaking through to mainstream success. After the breakup of the band in 1995, Homme considered abandoning his music career, but was persuaded by vocalist Mark Lanegan to join the Screaming Trees on tour as second guitarist.

Them Crooked Vultures band

Them Crooked Vultures is a rock supergroup formed in Los Angeles in 2009 by John Paul Jones on bass and keyboards, Dave Grohl on drums and backing vocals, and Josh Homme on guitar and vocals. The group also includes guitarist Alain Johannes during live performances. The band began recording in February 2009, and performed their first gig on August 9, 2009, in Chicago, followed by a European debut on August 19. On October 1 the group embarked on a worldwide tour titled Deserve the Future with dates going into 2010. The band's first single "New Fang" was released in October 2009, followed by the group's self-titled debut album the following month, debuting at number 12 on the Billboard 200. The group won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance for "New Fang".

Vista Chino band

Vista Chino is an American rock band, formed in 2010 by vocalist John Garcia, drummer Brant Bjork and bassist Nick Oliveri, all previously members of Kyuss, along with guitarist Bruno Fevery.

<i>...Like Clockwork</i> 2013 studio album by Queens of the Stone Age

...Like Clockwork is the sixth studio album by American rock band Queens of the Stone Age, released on June 3, 2013, on Matador Records in the UK, and on June 4 in the United States. Self-produced by the band, it is the first Queens of the Stone Age album to feature full contributions from bassist Michael Shuman and keyboardist and guitarist Dean Fertita, who both joined the band in 2007 to tour in support of the band's fifth studio album, Era Vulgaris, and record its bonus tracks.


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