Fired Bassist Fires Back At Queens Of The Stone Age

Nick Oliveri calls new group dynamic 'Queens Lite.'

A week after Queens of the Stone Age announced that bassist Nick Oliveri had split from the group, Oliveri has revealed that his departure was not voluntary.

"Unfortunately, I was fired," Oliveri said in a statement on the Web site of his group Mondo Generator. "Queens of the Stone Age as we all know it is no more."

Though Queens plan to hit the studio this spring to work on a new album (see "Nick Oliveri, Mark Lanegan Leave Queens Of The Stone Age"), Oliveri said the group dynamic will be totally different now that he and singer Mark Lanegan are out.

"I heard it's called 'Queens Lite,' " he quipped, then turned serious. "At one time, the thing I really loved about the Queens was that there were three frontmen — organic and original. I'd never heard of a rock band with three lead singers, with three different voices. My favorite band is dead."

In a press statement last week, Queens of the Stone Age's label said, "A number of incidents occurring over the last 18 months have led to the decision that [singer/guitarist Josh Homme and Oliveri] can no longer maintain a working partnership in the band."

In his post, Oliveri said Queens were formed to be free-spirited — an alternative to the corporate rock protocol — but the more successful they became, the more they began to operate like the establishment they claimed to oppose.

"The concept was simple," Oliveri wrote. "A rock band: selfless, mindless, ego-free, unprotected, about danger, sex and no bull rock and roll. You know what happens when a pure and original rock band gets polluted, poisoned by hunger for power and by control issues? Things get really out of control."

He also implied that the further Queens progressed into the writing process for the new album, the more Homme wanted to call the shots. "The strongest leaders are chosen by their followers, not self-appointed," Oliveri wrote. "The best frontmen are chosen by their fans. And whatever happened to loyalty?"

Oliveri is in Los Angeles working with material from a recently recorded Mondo Generator show at the Troubadour, which he plans to release in the near future. He also played on Lanegan's upcoming solo album, Bubblegum, and did some recording for punk band the Dwarves. He said he hopes to hit the road with Mondo Generator soon.