One of the great (if largely unknown) mastermind
s of modern rock
, Josh Homme is the man driving rock and roll juggernaut Queens of the Stone Age
. Some musicians have developed reputations as "band whore
s," jumping from band to band and never staying put. If this is true, it would make Josh Homme a big-time band pimp
. He is known for constantly changing the lineup of his bands, and always finding major
musicians to fill the holes left by others. For evidence of this, check out the (INCOMPLETE) band line-up posted by blandoon here
. You get the idea.
Homme's rock career started in Palm Springs, CA
in the late 80s with a band called Kyuss
. For those of you unfamiliar with Kyuss, they sound kind of like Soundgarden
's hyperactive little brother. Kind of. Although Homme seemed to avoid the limelight
with Kyuss, hiring frontman John Garcia to split lead vocal
s with bassist Nick Oliveri
, Homme was the brain
behind the beast, writing the vast majority of the band's songs, as well as many of the lyrics. Despite the success of similar sounding bands in the early 90s, and probably due in part to the incredible but indescribable mix of punk, shred, psychedelic rock, and heavy metal they produced, Kyuss never achieved radio success
. The band eventually dissolved in 1995 after tensions between Homme and Garcia reached a peak, leaving behind four albums, a bunch of disappointed underground
fans, and a plethora of contacts which would become useful to Homme in the years to come. If you're only ever going to get one Kyuss album, make it Blues for the Red Sun
- Wretch (1991)
- Blues for the Red Sun (1992)
- Welcome to Sky Valley (1994)
- ...And the Circus Leaves Town 1995)
Okay, now things get really cool.
In 1996, vocal deity Mark Lanegan
asked Homme to join Screaming Trees
on tour to promote their mind-boggling album Dust
. The two became friends, and Lanegan have made frequent appearances on each other's albums since. The tour was also crucial to Homme's career, as it led not only to appearances on other band's albums (including, but not limited to Wellwater Conspiracy
, Gamma Ray
, and Mike Johnson
's solo work), but also to the foundation of the Desert Sessions
. Now a 10-volume set (and counting...), the Desert Sessions were begun at Rancho de la Luna studios, outside Joshua Tree National Park
, and became an instant phenomenon in the underground rock scene. Volumes I and II were released in February of 1998. Each session included a whole new crew of musicians, each song often having a wildly different lineup. Members of Monster Magnet
, Dinosaur, Jr.
, Screaming Trees
, Masters of Reality
, Mondo Generator
, Marilyn Manson
, A Perfect Circle
, and others have appeared on the sessions, which often make use of unorthodox
recording techniques and seem shot through with psychedelic drug reference
s. Due to their limited release, early sessions tend to be VERY hard to get a hold of and often sell for $60 or more on ebay.
Around the same time as the first sessions, Homme was assembling a new rock band from the ashes of Kyuss. With help from several Dessert Sessions collaborators, Homme released the first album under the name Queens of the Stone Age. The self-titled album received unanimous rave-reviews, including four stars from Rolling Stone
. In 1998, former bandmate Nick Oliveri
joined QOTSA, and the band released its second album, Rated R
. Mark Lanegan also took part in the project, and has appeared on every album since.
The album gained them a spot on the Ozzfest
tour that year, and gained the attention of Nirvana
/Foo Fighters drummer Dave Grohl
, who joined the band to record QOTSA's third album--the monstrous Songs for the Deaf
. The album's second track "No One Knows
" was an enormous hit, and the album was a huge success. Ex-A Perfect Circle/Ex-Zwan
bassist Paz Lenchantin
and her sister Anna supplied strings for the album, and Alain Johannes
, who would join the band later, banged the keys. After a short tour, Grohl left the band to return to the Foo Fighters, and was replaced by former Danzig
drummer Joey Castillo
, who looks pretty much like a human Harley
and plays like a demon. They also picked up their best-dressed member, the tie-wearing, guitar-shredding ex-Perfect Circle wildman Troy Van Leeuwen
In 2002, Homme was asked to write the score for the movie The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
, which he did with help from Oliveri. Soon afterward, Oliveri left the band to pursue other ventures**, including another Homme/Oliveri creation: The Eagles of Death Metal
. Alain Johannes was added to the full-time roster, and in 2005 the new lineup (with help once again from Lanegan, Chris Goss
, and others) released the monumental Lullabyes to Paralyze
Listen to this album in the dark.
November of 2005 saw the release of the band's first DVD
, titled Over the Years and Through the Woods
. It, of course, rocks. There's a great clip of Josh Homme talking about missing a concert in London
, and then footage of the doctor actually coming to see Homme. The conversation goes something like this:
So, you've been coughing up phlegm
Eh, what color is it? Green? Red?
Yeah. Some green, some red.
Ehm, right. And do you smoke?
(after a thoughtful pause) .... Yes. I love
** fscker has informed me that this was not, in fact, the case--Homme kicked Oliveri out of the band after learning that Oliveri was beating his girlfriend. A more complete story can be found
good lookin' out, bro.