Is there anyone left for QOTSA frontman Josh Homme to collaborate with? He’s rattled through musicians from some of rock’s most iconic bands including Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam and Primal Scream. Now that he’s announced a new album with Iggy Pop and Arctic Monkeys’ drummer Matt Helders it’d be easy to forget how he made his name. So here’s 50 things you never knew about Homme’s main outfit Queens Of The Stone Age.
We’ll start with the revelation that Homme’s life before music was all about throwing “bricks into a dumpster”. With deadpan understatement he says, “It wasn’t great”.
Homme’s career got underway in 1987, playing guitar for Kyuss. They released four full length albums before splitting in 1995 with Homme enjoying a stint in The Screaming Trees. At one point Queens Of The Stone Age – formed in 1996 – were entirely composed of ex-Kyuss members.
The band had to change their name owing to the threat of being sued by a German metal band also called Gamma Ray. The Queens Of The Stone Age name was minted in 1997.
His first band was called Autocracy and he joined at the age of 12.
Homme came up with the lyrics “Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, Marijuana, Ecstasy and Alcohol” for the ‘Feel Good Hit Of The Summer’ by simply listing what was in his system after a three-day bender.
When they were recording ‘Feel Good Hit Of The Summer’, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford was in a studio nearby. He was invited to pop in and, on seeing the lyrics, smirked, “A rock’n’roll cocktail, I know this one.”
Despite Nick Oliveri being kicked out the band in 2004, Homme and Oliveri remained friends which made it “easy” when they joined forces to create QOTSA’s 6th album, ‘…Like Clockwork’.
Josh Homme is also well known for his outlandish remarks and Glastonbury 2011 was no different. At the same gig where Beyoncé was headlining the Pyramid Stage, he simply said “fuck Beyoncé!” Even Zane Lowe proudly announced he saw QOTSA instead. What a man.
Before their headlining slot at Glastonbury 2011, QOTSA allowed fans to vote for their favourite songs spanning their entire discography which was then filtered into a 10 song “best of” set. One of their best performances to date.
10KROQ Weenie Roast
Homme died on the operation table due to complications during a knee operation in 2010. Thankfully he joined the likes of Slash who have died only to be resuscitated and the incident prompted the creation of “…Like Clockwork”.
The album title, “…Like Clockwork”, is an inside joke. The band use the phrase “it’s going like clockwork” when things are going well and say it sarcastically when things are going badly.
A young British artist called Boneface created the bleak, blood-splattered animation accompanying the release of the album and singles such as ‘My God Is The Sun’.
‘Era Vulgaris’ is Latin for ‘the common era’.
Queens Of the Stone Age’s second album ‘Rated R’ cemented the notion that QOTSA were one of the most daring and adventurous rock bands at that time. NME gave the album 9/10.
As well as the CD release of ‘Rated R’, there was also a vinyl issue simply entitled ‘X’. It featured additional bonus tracks, a plain red LP sleeve, no barcode and ref number 000 000-0. You had to know what you were looking for to obtain this rarity.
The debut album track ‘Mexicola’ was named after a mixed drink made with tequila, lime juice and cola.
During the UK tour for ‘Songs For The Deaf’, a support group for the hard of hearing turned up en masse, having got the wrong end of the stick. One of them was holding a balloon so they could feel the vibrations. They were given a refund.
The title of ‘Lullabies To Paralyze’ was intended to bridge the record with its predecessor ‘Songs For The Deaf’, its name being a line from that album’s final track, ‘Mosquito Song’.
Homme told NME his reluctance to spend leisure time with people he doesn’t know aids song writing; instead of spending time with unfamiliar faces he writes new material with Oliveri amongst others.
Joey Castillo, who took over the drum sticks from Dave Grohl in 2002, described the role in the band as “a difficult drumming situation”.
During an Interview published in NME in October 2002, Josh Homme, despite being on the ‘Take Only What You Can Handle Tour’, still cares for his body by taking vitamin tablets… with vodka.
In the same interview Homme stated that Australia is QOTSA’s favourite tour destination. Homme declared, “They’ve got the whole way of living down” which Nick Oliveri agreed by saying, “Beer, beautiful women. Beaches”.
During an interview on ‘Later with Jools Holland’ this year, Homme joked about corrupting the Arctic Monkeys which led to them, one-by-one, all moving to Los Angeles.
“I think if you play music and you join a scene you’re already too late.”
Homme has professed that QOTSA are “not part of a scene”. He also believes that “Music… isn’t about jumping on a bandwagon. It’s an expression of your reality.”