Sept. 2000 - Guitar World: High Priests
by Don Kaye
Josh Homme was a founding member of the quintessential modern stoner band Kyuss. But the guitarist frowns on notions that his latest group, Queens of the Stone Age, is a "stoner rock" band.

"Stoner rock is like a toy truck to me," says Homme. "Sometimes you drive it around the room, and sometimes you light it on fire, do stunts with it and destroy it." For the record, Homme says the Queens' new album, Rated R (Interscope)isn't a stoner rock album. "So it's more like we're lighting the truck on fire this time."

While Rated R delivers plenty of the band's trademark, groove-heavy hard rock, it also delves into straight punk ("Quick and to the Pointless") and, in a vague sort of way, funk ("In The Fade"). Homme says the album owes its range of styles to the Queens' transient membership: the group functions as a collective, its configuration changing from three to five members regularly.

"It really is more of a musical experiment," he says. "It keeps moving and reinventing itself. That way we never get painted into a corner." That may explain why Homme frequently takes a backseat to his bandmates, letting bassist Nick Olivieri [sic] sing lead on three songs, while Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan handles "In The Fade." Former Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford can be heard singing on the title track, a song whose lyrics are "Nicotine, Valium, Vicodan, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol."

"Rob was recording in the studio next to ours, and we thought that this would be a great song for him," recalls Homme. "I showed him the lyrics, not knowing what he'd think of it all, but he said, 'Oh, a rock and roll cocktail. I know this one!'"

Guitar: "I never tell what I'm playing. I like to play stuff that I feel belongs to me only, which is the same guitar that I played in Kyuss."
Amps: Ampeg, Trace Elliot, and Gallien-Krueger
Currently listening to: Roy Orbison, System of a Down, Tom Waits, Bjork
All-Time Favorite Album: Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power

Thanks to Bryin for typing this one up.

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