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 Bands A-Z: Queens of the Stone Age
 News Archive: Queens of the Stone Age




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'Part of me wishes I could just point over to the stage and be like, 'My answer is this.' '...


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'I tell one guy about it, and then all of a sudden the New York Post gets involved.' ...


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'All the limos and flashbulbs and stuff are all are pretty meaningless' ...




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In a little less than 36 months, Josh Homme went from being a redheaded desert rat with a penchant for writing the meatiest hooks around to being a certified rock-and-roll celebrity with a famous girlfriend (Distillers singer Brody Dalle) and a more-famous public punch-up under his belt. And that's not even getting into the intra-band strife that nearly destroyed the Queens of the Stone Age and sent their fans into a tizzy. To say the very least, the hemisphere Homme now inhabits has changed exponentially.

"Sometimes I feel that it's better to be anonymous, and you never see me on the red carpet at every event. Riding in a limo every once in awhile is cool, but expecting to have a limo everywhere you go is lame," Homme says slowly, with diplomatic pauses. "The press is an interesting world. It's like a soap opera, because the truth is a perception. There's only three truths: yours, mine, and whatever happened. I don't find all the attention to be interesting, I just find it really new. Like, I'm involved in something, and I tell one guy about it, and then all of a sudden the New York Post gets involved."

  "I'm not trying to be a tough guy. I'm not a fighter. But someone was being a jerk, wouldn't leave and moved towards me — and what are you going to do? You're going to hit him..."
He's talking about the April 2004 altercation that occurred at a New York bar between himself and an unidentified man — all of which, it was reported, started when said unidentified man insulted Dalle. And judging by the way Homme is tapping his Doc Marten-ed feet, neither are topics he enjoys discussing.

"I'm not trying to be a tough guy. I'm not a fighter," he says. "But someone was being a jerk, wouldn't leave and moved towards me — and what are you going to do? You're going to hit him. And then everything snowballed from there.

"I really do try to figure out the right thing to do. I just love to play music. All that other drama and trippy stuff really has got nothing to do with me," he continues. "It's hard for me to discuss me and Brody, because when you put so much into any kind of relationship with someone, you owe it to them to not tell people everything about your relationship. So when I get questions about stuff like that, it's like, 'F--- you.' "

And with that, Homme casts his eyes towards the hangar's massive arched ceiling. Maybe this line of questioning makes him feel like the walls aren't the only thing closing in on him. For a solid minute, it is entirely possible that he is contemplating punching me in the face ... and we haven't even begun to discuss the topic that most Queens fans want to hear about: his very public (but still very private) split with longtime friend and musical compatriot Nick Oliveri.

In February 2004, Queens' fan sites began to buzz with rumors that Homme had fired Oliveri from the band because of the bassist's hard-partying ways. Many fans thought that Homme had sold his best friend down the river. After all, Oliveri was the wildman ying to his bluesman yang, the guy who had helped form the Queens (and had even helped form QOTSA-forerunner Kyuss). Surely, fans argued, after all they'd been through, Homme could overlook a few drugs or drinks.

  "Nick is the realest person in rock and roll, and I love that. But Nick and I have grown apart. I know some people don't understand, and I don't expect them to, and I'm not going to go around trying to convince them to..."
But on February 12, the Queens released a terse statement confirming that Oliveri was out. And fans were pissed. Homme and Oliveri exchanged some unpleasant words; the latter even recorded a song with his new band the Dwarves that called out "the queens of the trust fund." Now, more than a year after Oliveri exited, Homme discusses the issue in more measured terms.

"In our scene and in the Queens family, everyone has a role to play. And the role I have to play has some of the hard stuff in it," he says, eyes closed slightly. "But, what I've done with this band in the past year was really difficult. And I doubt that some of my detractors would have the balls to do what I had to do. Nick is the realest person in rock and roll, and I love that. But Nick and I have grown apart. It's happened in the past, it's just never been such a story before. I know some people don't understand, and I don't expect them to, and I'm not going to go around trying to convince them to."


NEXT: 'If you're saying this band's gone soft, you really don't know what the f--- you're talking about' ...
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