Queens of the Stone Age pride themselves on their no-frills approach to rock and roll, and while one recent development may indicate a change in their hard-line stance, the band has another plan to show that rocking arenas hasn't gone to their heads.
On November 22, Queens will flex their rarely used merchandising muscle with the release of "Over the Years and Through the Trees," a live DVD filmed during the band's two-night stand at London's Brixton Academy last month. It's the Queens' first-every foray into the concert-film market and comes complete with all the usual bells and whistles, including behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the band.
The Queens had originally come up with the idea for "Trees" after an April 19 gig at Los Angeles' Henry Fonda Theatre, promising a DVD filled with "lots and lots of extras and never-before-seen stupidity" and at least one shower scene (see "Next QOTSA Video Reminds Josh Homme Of Italian Porn"). They finally decided to film the shows at the Brixton Academy, partially because the house was filled with their loyal fans (thanks to an open call on QOTSA.com), but also because they had twice been forced to cancel the gigs — first due to frontman Josh Homme's severe bronchitis and then the July terrorist bombings in London (see "Queens Soldier On With Tour Despite Homme's Onstage Collapse").
But while QOTSA might be joining the ranks of rock bands with DVDs, they're still trying to stay as far away from the mainstream as possible, as evidenced by their latest touring venture.
While they spend most nights rocking arenas with Nine Inch Nails (see "My, What Paralyzing Teeth You Have: Queens, NIN To Tour"), Queens are using their downtime to play a series of "renegade shows," basically intimate gigs at out-of-the-way venues announced on QOTSA.com shortly before the performance.
"Take that cigarette out of your mouth and put that porno mag down. QOTSA will be doing select renegade shows across the nation," a posting on the site read. "It's a tour-within-a-tour, in places you would never suspect. Show up, be merry. Clues will appear for these. You need to be watchful."
The first "renegade show" took place on Sunday at Powell's City of Books in Portland, Oregon. More than 300 Queens fans packed the bookstore for an intimate acoustic show by Homme and company. According to QOTSA.com, the next on-the-sly gig will take place on October 6 at the Belmont Army Surplus store in Chicago, Illinois, the day before the Queens and Nine Inch Nails play the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
For Josh Homme's take on performing live, see the feature "Queens of the Stone Age: A Stone Unturned."