|June 25, 2002 - BBC Radio 1: Queens of the Stone Age on the Rock Show
|by Mary Anne Hobbs
Ahead of playing their tiny London gig and Glastonbury, Josh and Nick came into the studio to talk to Mary Anne about the new Queens Of The Stone Age album, Songs For The Deaf, getting hyper with Dave Grohl and those Spanish interludes on the record.
It's such a ferocious language though, Spanish, English is a little bit dreary in comparison.
I think it's pretty sexy myself.
Two words, concept album
As if it were a good word. It makes me think of Tommy and Meatloaf and all the records I hate.
Should we be afraid at this point?
No because it is a very soft concept. What it is is with three singers and all the diverse music on this album, if we had just left it alone, it would have thrown you off. Really it is just a way to stitch the songs together so that it has a flow. We make records as a whole so this was the best way to bring it all together. Concept is the word we use because we don't know another word to use.
Songs for the Deaf is the title, but how deaf do you need to be?
It's kind of like a metaphor to open your mind, eyes, ears. It's also for deaf people. We have a sense of humour that we rarely use, ever.
Tell us a bit about the process of making the record. Where did you record it - did you head out to the desert, some crazy location?
We started working with this guy who was a real scientist and kind of a dumbass, and so we got rid of him and finished the record ourselves.
You very much love the idea of going off into an open space so that you can transcend to a different plane.
I think music is a great escape and to make that possible you probably need to escape some reality to make it.
'It's just a heavy groovin' tune that was on our desert sessions'
I guess, Many people will be familiar with the fact that Dave Grohl was one of your best walking advertisements.
Well he was paid a lot of money.
In many ways he was a Queen's superfan before.
I don't think he realised how much we liked his band. It was one of those things where he would come out to our shows, It was cool, we kind of like mutually respected him and liked each other's bands. He was one of the early supporters, it was cool top play with him
It's pretty unbelievable that this collaboration should happen at this point. He just wants to go back to his roots and smack the living daylights out of a drum kit.
Josh - I think that he is a drummer first, and people have sort of forgotten that. And you know there is so much finality, people are saying that we are Yoko-ing the Foo Fighters. It's so much more casual than that. You can be in this band and do that band as well. It doesn't have the finality of the bible.
Nick -We have set up Queens where there are a bunch of different members who one in and out. Dave isn't going to stay forever, but there is an open door for him to come and jam with us, because he is one of our favourite drummers. He's an honorary member.
Josh- He has the badge and the patch and the sweatshirt.
It feels to me as if there is a virtual turnstile at the head of the QOTSA camp. You pay your money and you get on, have a ride?
Josh - What it is is that I think musicians want to play in other bands and things that are more loose. We don't have to write all the music. It's just about good music and playing with people you respect. It doesn't have to be forever, it just has to be now. It makes you appreciate your other thing too. He is excited about his other record, and I think the reason why is because he has been out playing with us. It makes you excited about the things you do.
Nick - You pick up things along the way. I have learnt how to be really hyper from hanging out with Dave.
Lets talk about the gig - I imagine there is going to be a whole heap of new songs.
We haven't written the set list, but there will be anything from 4 to 47 new songs on it.
This is our favourite and most appreciative crowd in the world. I think it's cause they are really drunk, or it could be that I am. I can't figure it out anymore.
And then you have Glastonbury to follow. Have you ever experienced it before?
No, but I have taken a mud bath once. So I am assuming it is much like that.
[Go With The Flow plays]
'We played this song at Reading, it was kind of premature, but we thought we'd do it anyway. It's an up-tempo robotic transient beat. It flows as it goes.'
You just never stop working. Casey Chaos was in a couple of weeks ago and was telling us about the band Head Band. He played us a couple of bars of material - tell us about the project.
J - He's sort of a madman. We thought that we do a lot of melodic stuff, but we come from heavy punk rock background and so does Casey. We all thought it would be great to have a project that unleashes aggressiveness. That's the Head Band. It's sort of like the pissed off version of all our bands. In Amens' case they are already a little bit angry.
Tell us a bit about Mondo Generator, Nick, you supported Amen in LA.
We did a show in SF supporting my old band the Dwarfs it was great because I played in both bands that night.
Do you think there is something of a compulsive obsessive?
I wanna play music, and I will sleep when I am dead. We've all seen enough TV for one lifetime. This is the moment to play as much music as possible and while it's here, we want to take advantage of it.
I know that you like to head out to the desert and look for scorpions in your shoes what about Desert Sessions?
On a sad note, Fred Drake a member of the Earthlings, the man who owns the studio died two days ago, so there's gonna be a moment of thinking. I really want to do another one. I kindof have the next line-up potentially to do another one but I feel a bit strange about it.
The other thing we wanted to talk to you about was a collaboration between former RATM drummer, Brad Wilk, to do 5 songs for the Jodie Foster new movie, the Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys. What does that sound like?
It's a very dark movie about these boys who can't stand a num who teaches them. In their other life, their comic book life, they are super heros fighting Nunzilla which is her. So it's half animation and half live action so it's interesting. It's not a song, it's scoring. I wrote their theme song and for some of the moments when they are drinking and smoking and screwing and we did a full complete song for the end to finish the movie. It turned out really good.
It was great to play with Brad and to do something that was completely different. I felt like we have always played soundtrack music for movies that don't exist yet, so this was fulfilling that.
[Hanging Tree plays]
'This is a song written by Alain Johannes. It was originally on a Desert Session 7∓8 and it is just a beautiful song that's very dark and cerebral because it is in a strange time signature and there is some great lyric going on in there.'