|November 1998 - Stonerama: Interview with Nick
by Dave Vickers
This was an interview I did with Nick Oliveri from Queens of The Stone Age at the beginning of November 1998. This interview has never been published. I'm sure it's all been said before but it may be of interest to a diehard or two.
DV: You guys just did a small Canadian tour?
NO: Yeah, we went Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, and Winnipeg.
DV: So that went okay?
NO: Yeah, it as a lot of fun.
DV: So what about Europe, how was that?
NO: Uh, we're going to Europe on the 9th (of November), we leave, and we'll be there until the 20th of December. So we're pretty much gonna go everywhere over there and, yeah, it'll be awesome.
DV: Do you generally like the Europe crowd better than North America or what?
NO: Um, yeah… The crowd's in Europe, they seem kind, of a bit crazier. But yeah, it's always fun to play here. You know what I mean? Always.
DV: Yeah, I know that, basically your type of music seems to have caught on faster in Europe, where as in North America seems to be a bit behind.
NO: Yeah, there's a lot going on in Europe that we don't have a grasp on over here. They seem to… when they like something they're not afraid to show it, you know what I mean. It seems like here, a lot of people are scared to like, be into something, or let themselves be loose at a show or something, you know.
DV: Yeah, how do you guys react to being one of the main influence on a lot of these bands coming out nowadays; where Kyuss and Monster Magnet are declared as some of the main influences?
NO: Uh, wow! That's pretty cool, I guess. We never would've thought that it would've been, you know? But that's cool if it is. That's pretty awesome. Yeah, I dunno. It's something that I never really think about too much, just because, you know, 'cuz I'm a ????? guy, you know so it's something that I never really thought about. But it's kinda cool actually, you know. It's pretty cool.
DV: How is it for you, after a few years reforming with some Kyuss members you used to play with?
NO: It was cool, man. We all went out and did different bands and all came back to the same place. Which is kinda cool, you know. 'Cuz Josh went to Screaming Trees, and I played with the Dwarves for awhile, so I mean we all were doing different things, and we all ended up wanting to do the same thing, so we ended up back at the same place.
DV: You had a band called Mondo Generator, too.
NO: Yeah, I did for awhile, out of Texas, yeah.
DV: How did that go?
NO: It was cool, you know. We had a good time for a while there, and then I kinda changed some members in the band, and it kinda just like turned into shit, so I said fuck it and broke it up.
DV: What can you tell me about the new album?
NO: Well, it was recorded in like 20 days, and at Monkey Studios with Chris Goss, he has a studio out here, and the last track on the record was recorded at Rancho De La Luna, Fred Drake and Dave Catching's studio in Joshua Tree. It's real focused compared to what we were like in Kyuss where we'd go off on these spacey jams for like twenty minutes, you know? These are like, the songs are more structured and have more focus where we havelike, background vocals and actual choruses and stuff like that which we never would have thought of doing with Kyuss! So it's a little more focused, and a lot more like, robotic. We try to take a riff and uh, pound it into people's head by doing it over and over again, you now so. But we're trying to do stuff where we don't have to stick to like doing one thing and want to be able to you know, the songs that we're writing now, even the newer newer stuff is uh... every song kinda has its own little theme. We're sticking to not having any limits or any boundaries. If we like it and it sounds good and it works, then we're gonna play, you know? Instead of "Well I have to sound like this". So it's something that we strayed away from a little bit with the Kyuss thing, by not having to the same things, but still having that element there obviously. So it's cool man. We're having a lot of fun doing it.
DV: Well now that you guys have played a lot of shows, inevitably most of the people who show up are gonna be Kyuss fans, so how are they taking to the new stuff?
NO: It's seems to be pretty cool. I mean everybody seems to be into it so... I mean I know there's gonna be people who aren't gonna be into it, probably. But there's gonna be people that are gonna really, I think, take to it, you know? I like what we're doing so I'd think that other people would (laughs)! We're all having a lot of fun, so it's cool man. And it seems like everybody that's coming out to the shows has been into it. We're trying to give 'em a heavy show so...
DV: As far as the songwriting for the material went, was it everyone throwing ideas around or was it more one person than another?
NO: On this album a lot of the stuff is Josh, and the new stuff there's a lot of songs that I wrote, and a lot of songs I mean Josh both co-wrote, so its' uh... And Alfredo does a big part with ideas for drum stuff, so we all contribute, you know what I mean. It isn't any one person. It's definitely a band effort... yeah I'd say it's more a band effort than anything. And we've all.. me and Josh played together years ago so when we started playing again it worked, you know what I mean, and we felt real comfortable. And Alfredo was there in Kyuss as well, so we're all real comfortable playing together so when we write something it kinda comes together pretty easily. That's a good thing to.
DV: Are you doing any of the upcoming Desert Sessions with Josh?
NO: I just did Vol. 4 with him, and I know he's gonna do twelve volumes so I'm sure I'll get to work with him again on it. I mean we live at the same place. I rent a room at his house so... (laughs).
DV: What about working with John? I mean I know he was on the second volume doing some backing vocals.
NO: I'm sure John'll be on some of 'em, doing some leads and stuff (lead vocals). We just saw John today. Me and Josh went over to the old bass player Scott Reeder's, he has a pet store here in Palm Springs and John was in there today so we stopped in to say hi to the guys.
DV: Yeah, isn't John a vet?
NO: Yeah he is (laughs) .... He's got a new band now called Unida.
DV: Is there anyone you want to work with in the future or are you totally cool with what you've got now? NO: Right now, we're all pretty serious and focused on this. We're obviously all gonna be doing different things but, as something serious we've all got the Queens and stuff so... But I'm sure we're all gonna be playing with other people just like side stuff and one-off recordings and stuff. But as a serious bands we're all pretty.. very focused on this right now so. We're gonna be doing this for a while, for sure.
DV: What about the rumours of a Kyuss reunion; is that a definite negative?
NO: Yeah, right now that's something that none of us are even thinking about. I mean as far as this band is concerned there's three members from Kyuss from different times so I mean, it's as close as you're gonna get right now (laughs). But uh, I'm sure we'll do something with Johnny in the future I mean if not, as a band Kyuss. But we'll definitely do some work with him doing something else you know. You know, I can't rule anything out for sure, but right now this is what we're doing. So we're pretty happy with what we're doing right now, and I know John's happy with what he's doing with his band so. Yeah, I wouldn't count on anything like that, you know.