NME x Josh Homme: ‘We’re here to do bad guy stuff’

The boys are back

The first single ‘The Way You Used To Do’ has been called ‘super sexy’. How sexy would you say it is?

Josh Homme: “Well it’s about screwing so I guess that answers that question!”

How representative is it of the rest of the album?

“They all have this shared philosophy, which has always been my philosophy, but it seems ever more urgent and it’s that now is all you’ll ever get. You need to not wait and do whatever you want to do now. That is inside every moment of the record. It’s got an urgency without an emergency, you know what I mean?”

The last album (2013’s …Like Clockwork) had a bunch of amazing guests, including Elton John and Alex Turner. Are there any on ‘Villains’?

“No, there are no guests. One of the coolest parts about all this is being able to pop up like a Whac-a-Mole in the spot that you don’t expect. So whack away.”

Read More: Queens of The Stone Age new album: Everything we know so far

Mark Ronson is producing – how did that come about?

“I’ve known Mark casually for a couple of years – we’ve both been up late in the same places. My kids were listening to ‘Uptown Funk’, and I thought ‘this sounds amazing, it’s really tight and dry’ and that was the direction I wanted to take this record in. Then Ronson called me up to work on this [Lady] Gaga stuff and within half an hour I was like ‘I think I’ll ask Ronson to do this’ – it will confuse and dismay people. I think one of the true joys of being in a rock’n’roll band is to define expectations just so you can defy them.”

You’ve previously said the record is ‘up-tempo’ – can you tell us any more about the overall vibe?

“There are some slower moments but I like to dance, man, and whether it’s Eagles [Of Death Metal] or Queens or [Them Crooked] Vultures there’s no reason not to conjoin rock’n’roll and dance and hallelujah and darkness and all that in one thing. In a world of desperately going for ‘likes’ I think ‘Villains’ is more like, ‘We’ll take the dislikes, we’ll take all the outcasts’. This album is here to do bad guy stuff.”

Is there a thread running through the album’s lyrics?

“Queens has always been like an ice-cream parlour or a video arcade, it’s safe from the bullshit of the day. I’m not interested in being topical in that way, yet at the same time it’s completely about now.”

‘Villains’ is out August 25.