The film "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys" is about two drinkin', smokin' Catholic schoolboys who create a comic book depicting themselves as superheroes seeking retribution against a strict one-legged nun who is portrayed as a motorcycle madwoman. With an off-beat plotline like that, it's not that surprising that Queens of the Stone Age members Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri were asked to write music for the film's score.
Producer Bob Stevenson, who directed Queens' 2000 video for "Monsters in the Parasol," asked the two songwriters to hop onboard last year, and with the help of Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk they wrote five songs "The Atomic Trinity," "Hanging (a.k.a. Ramble Off)," "Francis and Margie," "Stoned" and "All the Same" to accompany Todd McFarlane's animation sequences for the flick and the closing credits.
"It was really cool because we'd never done soundtrack work before," singer/guitarist Homme said. "Usually people call you up and ask, 'Oh, will you put a song [from one of your records] on our soundtrack?' But for this we were actually watching this film go by and writing stuff to the scenes."
"Since the characters come to realize their superhero selves at these quick times, we had to make these abrupt [musical] punches at these weird times, which was challenging," added bassist/singer Oliveri.
Surely, the writing style was unconventional for a band that learned to play by jamming endlessly in the California desert, but it couldn't have been all that challenging considering the guys had the project in the bag in less time than it takes many groups to tune up their instruments and adjust their sound levels.
"It took about 35 minutes to write it all," Homme boasted. "I've always thought that we're writing soundtrack music for movies that don't yet exist anyway, so when the movie existed it was like, 'Okay, I've got that one right there. No problem.' "
"Scream" and "Blade II" composer Marco Beltrami wrote the rest of the music for the soundtrack, which came out last week. The film is currently in limited release.
Queens of the Stone Age are playing festivals in Europe with Foo Fighter Dave Grohl in tow (see "Queens Of The Stone Age Go Deaf At NYC Show"), and will release their new album Songs for the Deaf on August 20 (see "Queens Of The Stone Age Flex Their Star Power").
For a full-length feature on Dave Grohl, see "Dave Grohl: Rock Royal."