|June 2005 - Suicide Girls: Josh Home from QOTSA interview
With the release of their latest album Lullabies to Paralyze, Queens of the Stone Age are still reigning as America's current greatest rock outfit and show no signs of stopping. Josh Homme is clearly the bearer of the crown and sitting high on the thrown of the rock world. He is redefining the term rock with each and every one of his projects [Queens of the Stone Age , Eagles of Death Metal, Desert Sessions, and his own record label Rekords Rekords]. The world of music has been demanding a good ass kicking and the Queens are the boys for the job. Josh took some time out of their busy touring schedule to share some of the secrets of life with us...
Missy: How are you feeling? You had to cancel some dates a few months ago in Europe and then a show in Minneapolis.
Josh: Yeah, you know what I never get sick and I never get quite sick like that. Coughing up blood was a new experience. I don't recommend it! It's not as fun as I thought it would be. Then I got the flu and I was seeing shit! Do you ever get reoccurring dreams or anything like that? Every time I get the flu, with a really high temperature, I start to hallucinate. I see a lion with dragon's wings on it. I was sitting in the back lounge of the bus asking why there was a dragon in the back lounge. I guess that's all it took to cancel the show.
M: They're like "You can't go on stage when you're seeing dragons!"
J: Yeah, but the thing is they look bad ass!!! And so it's one of those things where I'm like "Man, I wish you could see this because it's totally tits!".
M: Were you excited to play Saturday Night Live?
J: Oh yeah that was really cool. I felt like a little boy!
M: How was it having Will Ferrell up there?
J: It was really hard for me to not laugh and just keep character. When I turned around I saw he was tired from playing cowbell for the minute or minute and a half. I don't know if you saw it, but he was putting so much energy into the cowbell! He gives the bell everything he's got. I think he was physically tired and I think I fucked up a little bit but WIll Ferrell was banging on the cowbell, so I don't think anyone was looking at me!
M: How did you hear about Suicide Girls? We've been told you are a fan.
J: I like to keep my feet on the sidewalk. I'm always looking for cool stuff to do because that's what we're supposed to do, ya know? Independent minded girls that are naked sounds like a great start to something.
M: You have said that you were fond of girls with piercings and tattoos, so I was wondering what is it about the SG inclined ladies that you like so much?
J: I like people that try to express themselves, because you only get one go at it. I think everyone is trying to figure out who they are and their own thing. I like when people take chances. You got to risk something to be able to give something, you know? Some of these piercings now are kind of nuts! Piercing spots that don't have skin folds...It's like, "look it's my ribs!".
M: Or the cleavage piercings seems to be the one everyone is doing now!
J: Well I guess that's tits!
M: You're quite the sex symbol yourself! How does it feel to be on the other-side of desire?
J: It feels like I should...I don't know? I haven't really thought about that too much!
M: I mean, come on your picture is on the wall of little girls bedrooms...
J: Don't even! You're giving me a giant boner!
M: Your projects seem to be designed for a revolving lineup. It's been said that even the most key members can leave and the band will still be as rockin' as it was before they left. Obviously you are doing something right here! As the chief of the projects, do you think there is an advantage or disadvantage to the way members come and go?
J: Well, I think what's most important is the idea of something. I think people get fixated on the example of an idea. The example of an idea is just something you utilize to express what the idea is. The expression of this idea is Queens of the Stone Age, but the idea is that you will never slack on the music and will always humble yourself at the alter of Rock. God that analogy sucks, but I'm going to go with it!!! Not everyone deserves to be a musician, you get lucky enough to be one. I think our thing is that you commit to go in and try to sound as original as possible. We just do our own thing because that's the obligation! Oh, and we try not to suck!
M: You've worked with some amazing people over the years, and probably could work with just about anyone you wanted...
J: I worship the devil!
M: Oh that's how you do it!
J: No, i don't worship the devil.
M: What made you decide to bring Brody [Dalle] and Shirley Manson on the album?
J: Well man, I'm in the L-U-V with Brody so that was an easy decision! Shirley is a friend of Brody's and they were just talking and drinking wine. It was about 4:30 in the morning and I just looked at them and said, "I definitely need hot bitches to sing in this!"
M: And they said "We will oblige!"?
J: They really do have amazing voices. I'm also the winner of the push of public opinions sometimes. So putting a de-moral in the mix together, where you don't individually hear one, but you hear a gang of people for about 15 seconds - it was kind of an exciting inside joke for me!
M: Who is the one person you would love to collaborate with?
J: I love Peaches. I really like Death from Above right now and I'm actually getting the luxury of doing a couple of remixes for them. I didn't even know I could do that! I don't necessarily think about it so much, because I don't want to ruin the possibility of something cool by thinking about it. Usually something cool is something that just happens. It doesn't require picking your brain all over it and rubbing it. It's not a genie's lamp!
M: What was the inspiration for Lullabies to Paralyze?
J: One of the things was that we sort of disappeared a little bit. Sometimes you actually get caught in the web of things where people are talking about... what kind of breakfast cereal you like. Really the topic of breakfast cereal is generally a very boring one. And so the idea of this Grimm Brothers fairy tale where we could kind of disappear into the woods came about. I love the stories of Hansel and Gretel where basically they are meant to scare the shit out of little kids!
M: Yeah! They are really creepy and dark, you know?
J: Yeah! I mean what they are is basically a warning. It's like "Listen to your parents and stop fucking with me!".
M: Or step into the woods and a witch will eat you!
J: Yeah! Or Rumpelstiltskin where he's so angry that he stamps he's right foot into the earth. But he's still so angry that he grabs his left leg and rips himself in half. And that's the ending! It's like "okay, so Rumplestiltskin's pissed."
M: Do you think you'll ever put out a children's book with the Lullaby story from the CD?
J: My life is like one long children's book so the necessity to write it down seems uncomfortably weird!
M: You grew up around the desert. What is it about that place that drives your inspiration?
J: To me it's my home. You know? Just to connect with it's familiarity and the safety of home. I'm glad to be from there because it's a great place to feel small. Because the landscape is so much larger than you are, you kind of feel tiny. I think some people think the desert is dead, but I just think it's bad ass! Watch when you go out there, cause it's crazy!!
M: What was the first and last song written for the album?
J: The last song to be written for the album was "Broken Box". It's about a girl that well.... her and I didn't get along so well.
M: A little feud?
J: You know how sometimes you like someone and they just don't like you back? And then you'll get mad at them because they don't like you? Then you'll be like "What the fuck!? What's wrong with me? What's the deal?". So, this song is kind of about that. It's about a girl I never liked anyways. The first song written was "I Never Came", which is really a bitter sweet love song. It's about realizing that no matter what you try to do to stamp it out that you still love somebody. You know? So that's nice, see!
M: Well, that's sweet!
J: See I can be!
M: So you start our with sweet intentions and end it up...
J: And end it up...in prison style.
M: You are the hardest working man in the business with all of your projects [Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Desert Sessions]...
J: Wait till you hear the new Eagles of Death Metal! It's so cool! It makes me want to dance around the room and so I do that!
M: When's it coming out!
J: I think it's probably not going to come out till towards the end of the year or till the first part of next year, like January.
M: You sold your soul to the devil! How psyched were you when "I Only Want You" by Eagles of Death Metal, was played during the most dramatic scene of the OC?
J: I know! See, the thing with the Eagles is since Jesse, his nick name is The Devil, already figured he sold his soul. Writing the music is for himself and it's a gift he gives to everyone else. But really, he won't give it to anybody. Plus he has a mustache which makes him uncomfortably Tom Selleck-ish.
M: It would have been ten times better if Jesse was a guest that episode and started dancing in the midst of the fight scene.
J: Oh I know! See, that's the message that I like about SG. Correct me if I'm wrong but it's like, lets not fight, lets make out!
M: See he could have been dancing around showing some SG love and a little Eagles love!
J: As long as I get to make out, he can show his mustache and dance, I'm good!
J: Let me ask you a question! Making out is such a beautiful term because it's so young and sweet, you know? I think more people need to make out. What do you think?
M: I definitely think so! I think making out is the best thing in the world. It's just so loving, cute, sweet and nice. You know? Whether it move son or not the moment of the make-out is just bliss.
J: Yeah, it's two people trying to get inside each-other. It's like the concept that I'm touching you. Im touching this end of the phone and you are too!
M: I heard Queens of the Stone Age is going to be doing the soundtrack for a video game, is that true?
J: Well it's not the Queens! I actually received a gag order in the mail, and they actually mailed me a ball gag. If I have to answer the question I'm going to have to go grab it and use it so you won't understand what I'm saying!
M: That's fair enough! So, is each band an opportunity to explore a different side of your personality or is it just the idea of collaborating that excites you?
J: Well, I like to play whatever I think is good. I think people listen to whatever they think is good. I don't think people go " I need metal and that's it!". I mean that's what you do when you're thirteen. Like I was like, "I gotta have a GBH album or I'm going to die!". I think now it's one of those things where I have a bunch of different itches that I have to scratch.
M: I definitely think that's true. I don't think anybody claims their identity from one genre of music.
J: Music is the explanation of what's in your life. I've got a trippy kind of life so I need multiple bands!
M: Rumor has it you are going to be releasing a QOTSA DVD in November?
J: Yeah! That's going to be very cool because it will feature making out.
M: So there will be a little bit of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll?
J: Yeah, that's the only thing I know how to do now basically. But I know how to do it pretty good, I've been practicing!
M: Good job!
J: Thank you! I'm training for the Special Olympics...
M: You said it's going to be a completely different take on Rock N Roll DVDs. Should we be expecting some fine acting from you Josh?
J: No, not really, just me acting like myself. I didn't say that, but I'm hoping that it will be like that! We're just shoving our hands in the idea box and picking them all out. I think sometimes when I watch some of these DVDs of live concerts, it's just the whole concert and that's it! You know? I want to do extra stuff. When you see stuff, you see how things are. Sometimes Queens' music is dark, but somehow it's ok to deliver it with a smile on your face because thing's are still going to kick in. I want to put the "FU" in fun!
M: So is it going to be a number of different shows that you recorded over the course of the tour?
J: Well, the episode is around one main show with a strange location. It will have older stuff and really older stuff. It will show not just us, but anything that is eye candy and exciting! I think sometimes it doesn't need to be two songs in a row, just something that licks the screen.
M: So something visually interesting as well.
J: Yeah it should be a good song, with eye candy, and hooks! Something that makes you get the wiggles. I like the wiggles!
M: Wiggling is fun!
J: Yeah, it's like shake your tale. Shake your tail feather!
M: So what's going on with the new QOTSA video
J: Terry Richardson did the funniest fucking air guitar video I've ever seen for "Everybody Knows That You're Insane"! I think it may even be on our site now. You have to see the full nude one! It's this little Japanese guy and he gives air guitar a new meaning. It's forever changed the air guitar, so I feel proud of that!
M: That's on your website, right?
J: Yeah, but I don't think the full nude one is on there. You have to get the impact of the Japanese midget cock.
M: Will it be a bonus on the DVD?
J: A very small bonus, apparently... but a bonus nonetheless! I think it's important that you get bonused out.
M: I know you have a show to do but one last question.... How dramatically has the music scene changed, for you personally, since 1992, when you started in Kyuss, to now?
J: You know, I didn't pay that much attention. I just like to play. I don't like the outside scene to affect it too much. I'm not so much of a joiner. I think if you play music and you join a scene you're already too late.
M: So you just started a new scene?
J: Yeah, and when you start a new one and when everyone starts to come over, you burn it. I also think music is a device for happiness. It's an expression for love, anger, and all the emotions that are tough to tap. I can't go without it. It's in the songs and they are going to speak to you, yell at you, and correct you. You know?