July 26 2005 - the Age: Queens' love-hate feelings for Australia
by Andrew Murfett
Australia is not just another country for US rock supergroup Queens of the Stone Age, who are in Melbourne as part of a year-long world tour.

Brody Dalle, girlfriend of frontman Josh Homme and lead singer of punk act the Distillers, was raised in Geelong. And, more controversially, it's rumoured that a hedonistic binge by former bassist Nick Oliveri in Perth was the last straw before he was fired from the band last year.

Yesterday, as one of the most notorious rock bands drank bloody marys in their hotel ahead of their two sold-out Melbourne shows, Homme was adamant there would be no reconciliation with Oliveri.

"We don't talk any more," he says. "There was a moment where there was an attempt, but that didn't last. I was trying."

Homme, 31, who was raised in California, was signed to a major label at just 18, leading the heavy-rock collective Kyuss. He formed Queens in 1997 and they have released four albums.

In 2002 they crossed over to the mainstream with hit single No One Knows, which was nominated for a Grammy, although Homme did not attend the ceremony. "I was drying my hair that night," he deadpans. AdvertisementAdvertisement

"I didn't know you could win stuff by playing music; that's crazy. Music has a way of keeping you at the age of which you started. It's good for the managers and record companies to be able to keep you at age 18."

The departure of Oliveri was just one event in a tumultuous 18-month period for Homme that included a lung infection, a new album, Lullabies to Paralyze, and a gig brawl that landed him on probation and required him to attend anger-management classes.

Dalle remains off the agenda in interviews, Homme politely but firmly deflecting inquires with a cross-bat. "It's easy to say something, but it's hard to keep your mouth shut and have a little respect," he says.

Of Oliveri-fuelled rumours that he is a tough task master, Homme answers: "We're supposed to mess up. We don't go for perfection. Perfection sucks, it's the sound of boring . . . Some bands just play their record exactly back to you . . . We don't do that - what you see is what you get."

Queens of the Stone Age will play their last Melbourne show tonight at the Palace, in St Kilda.

go back
main songs and releases the band tour history articles and gallery qotsa online