Nov. 24, 1999 - Jam!: He Ain't Joshin
by Mike Ross
Josh Homme refuses to stand for anyting.

The 25-year-old musician had been in a band called Kyuss since he was 15. From playing house parties in Palm Springs, California, they reached heights of success that far exceeded their expectations, and were worshipped as "heavy metal heroes" in the way that only heavy metal fans can - blind, rabid loyalty. Homme finally had enough in 1995, broke up the band and took a gig as a sideman in the Screaming Trees (also RIP). Now that he's back fronting a new group called Queens of the Stone Age - a trancy yet still hard-rocking outfit that plays tonight at the Rev - he wants to set a few people straight.

No. 1 -- Queens of the Stone Age is not, nor has it ever been, a "stoner" band.

"If I had a choice, I would take that away," Homme says. "Stoner rock, to me, is like saying the crucial element is drugs. And I don't believe that that's the case. I'm not an AA guy or anything, but at the same time I don't need any of that to make music."

Memo to promoters and PR people: knock it off with the marijuana references.

No. 2 -- Queens of the Stone Age is not, nor has it ever been, a "heavy metal" band. Some metal magazine only rated the band a "5" on the universal molecular Richter scale of musical heaviness.

"I'm totally comfortable with that," Homme laughs. "If nine is like screaming death-metal vocals, fine. Make me a two, man...

"Hopefully you can listen to the Queens when you're angry, mellow, happy, sad, running around town. It's user friendly. That was my one thing with Kyuss as well, that I felt like we had to play heavy and that was it. With this, we should be able to play what we think is good. I think the only way to make something truly heavy is if not every other song is heavy, too. It's like vanilla, man, and I just think we'd be better off skipping vanilla."

No. 3 -- Queens of the Stone Age will not, nor will it, loan its name to a worthy cause.

"I was almost on this Leonard Peltier thing. It would've been the first political statement for anything I've ever been on. And then I started thinking about it. They said, 'We want to talk to your lawyer.' And I'm thinking, I'm going to have to pay my lawyer to do this benefit record and do all this other stuff? And to be honest with you, the Leonard Peltier story, while compelling, isn't compelling enough for me to stand up and be counted by it. So I said, forget this. It's just not my trip. I don't want to change the reasons why we play."

No. 1 reason - music. Midnight tokers, metal heads and protest singers take note. Tickets to Queens of the Stone Age, with opening act Like Hell, are $9 (424-2745).

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