Remix/Reflix

An Interview With Josh Homme From
Queens Of The Stone Age
by Aaron Schmidt

This is an interview with Josh Homme, lead singer and guitarist for a band known to the world as Queens Of The Stone Age. I recently caught up with them when they played at the Casbah in the downtown area of San Diego, California. I missed the first attempt at an interview (due to traffic¿yeah, right! I’m a lagger) and finally hooked up with them right around the time they were going to perform. Here’s what transpired in the back of their tour bus:

You were in a band called Kyuss, and they were one of my favorite bands growing up. The next thing I knew, you guys had broken up and moved on to other things.

It’s one of those things where you kind of see the end coming, as opposed to letting it taper and start to go down. Instead it’s like, “Let’s blow it up beforehand.” It’s better to blow it up while it’s going good than it is to watch it start to sink.

What’s your interpretation of Queens Of The Stone Age?

It’s still heavy-rock music¿a little more melodic, robotic, and psychotic. We’re trying to set it up so we can play a new style of music that we like so the spectrum is a little wider. That’s the main focus¿we’re still heavy rock, but also whatever else that’s good.

I see a big difference between the last album and this one. There are so many different styles of music, it seems you’re making rock fun again.

Someone the other day said they heard the humor in it, and for some reason we thought that was going to get missed. There’s a lot of humor in the records¿not silly shit, but us having a good time. There’re a couple of jams in stoner rock that are funny to us.

I really like the melodic songs you break into toward the middle of the CD. It takes a long time to get sick of the album because it’s so diverse.

That’s the idea. Theoretically, how could something be really heavy all the time? Where’s the reference point to prove that it’s heavy? This is something we started realizing toward the end of Kyuss. You can only be heavy if there’s something soft to gauge it against. It doesn’t have to be (singing), “I love you, I gave my love a chicken.” It comes back to us playing what we’d like to play. We don’t want to be painted in a corner.

Who are your musical influences?

I think that’s why the record is diverse¿we listen to everything from The Cramps, to Johnny Cash, to Discharge, GBH, Black Flag, Björk … I mean, it’s as scattered as the record is. Some of the only stuff I don’t really like is new-school punk rock and the bulk of the hair metal.

What are your other interests beside music? What are you into when you’re not on tour?

Playing music has become such an overwhelming thing. It’s more about getting your feet back on the ground, chilling, and getting back to reality. Hutch friend of the band has a place out in Joshua Tree¿he’s always retreating there, and we’re always close behind. I think we just look for any outside pursuit that’ll take us away from music. Music is so focused, its hard to have another hobby that can take up as much time.

You grew up in the desert, right¿Palm Springs, California?

Yeah.

Did you ever skate the Nude Bowl?

Oh, yeah! I’ve been there so much, I think that’s why I’ve always had a special connection to the desert scene. The desert scene also has a connection to TransWorld and Thrasher. When we went to throw a party at the nudist colony the skaters called it the Nude Bowl and everyone else called it the nudist colony guys were getting photographed for Thrasher while the sun was going down. They’re like, “Fuck yeah!” They already have a generator, so do we, and the party starts.

There’s a connection there. It’s too bad, I heard they filled it with sand. People are digging it out already, though¿they’ll do it. I’ve had a lot of good and bad times there, played a lot there. I had friends die up there, people stabbed, and so had some of the most amazing parties. When all the walls were up, it was brilliant. People would sit on walls and in the windows, there would be a fire behind the drummer, and we’d play as loud as the generator would let us go. One time this guy was running around stabbing everyone with a pen knife. Our last show on tour with The Dwarves was at the nudist colony on Halloween. They borrowed all this equipment from another band and then destroyed it all after ten minutes laughing.

Are you still in contact with the guys who were in Kyuss, like John Garcia who’s now in the band Unida?

Oh, all the time.

Are you going to play on tour with them?

We played a show with them in Houston about a year and a half ago. I’m sure we’ll go on tour with them. I think the only reason we haven’t done it yet is because it’s too conducive to, “Are you going to play some Kyuss shit?” That’s not what really any of the bands want to hear from people who are there at this point. We’re just getting to the point where we hear that less and less. We love Kyuss, but at the same time its like seeing a comedian and saying, “Tell that one joke again.”

Who came up with your band name?

It was a joke from our friend Chris Goss who worked on the new record with us. We had this other name, Gamma Ray, and someone threatened to sue me over the name. Chris used to call Kyuss the “Queens Of The Stone Age,” and it worked on so many levels. We’re almost trying to eliminate the pissed-off angry dudes who want to hurt everyone at the show. We want it to be guys and girls partying and being mellow. It’s supposed to be fun¿not, “Why do I have a bloody f¿kin’ nose?” We thought people driving by a marquee and seeing “Queens Of The Stone Age” would make them giggle. People get used to saying it pretty fast.

Have you guys ever surfed?

I have, not as much as I would have liked, and I’m terrible. I’ve only surfed on a longboard because I’m six-four, so even to start out on a gun would be a bitch for me. I went surfing with my friend Matt Longstrenth, and he forgot to tell me a key element¿keep your tits off the board. He didn’t even bother to reveal that information to me, so I literally wore my tits away. When I came out I was like, “Why am I bleeding?”

Where do you see the band going in the next five or ten years?

We’re not setting any lofty goals. Our main goal is to try not to do anything stupid to jeopardize the reputation of the band. Just keep busy and keep playing. I feel like if we do that, any lofty side of the goal will take care of itself. We have to assume that we make ourselves happy, and people who like the band will in turn be happy as well.

CD REVIEWS

Bahamadia
BB Queen
Atomic Pop/Good Vibe

This lady right here is the best female lyricist in hip-hop. On her latest release, BB Queen, Philadelphia’s own Bahamadia is holding shit down proper. There’re so many good tracks on her new joint, it’d be virtually impossible to narrow it down¿all the tracks are my favorites. If she had to do battle with some of the more prominent names in hip-hop, she’d scrub ’em, hands down. Also, check out Bahamadia’s previous release, Kollage, for some more smooth as butter tracks from the real queen of hip-hop music.¿A.S.

A Perfect Circle
Mer de Noms
Virgin Records

A Perfect Circle is not a side project. It’s a band formed by a bunch of friends who all happen to rip on their respective equipment. The singer and guitar player from Tool, teamed up with super-drummer Josh Freese from such bands as Devo, The Vandals, and the new G. N’ R. This disc is bound to be a classic, kind of like a mix between Nine Inch Nails and Tool. This CD is rock ‘n’ roll at it’s newest¿lots of heavy cords and lots of keyboard stuff. Go get it at your local independent record store.¿C.C.

Eminem
The Marshall Mathers LP
Aftermath/Interscope

The other day at my local record store called Lou’s, I noticed two little girls about ten or twelve years old checking out the new Eminem. It made me really worried that two girls who were so young would listen to this disc. Eminem is a sick f¿ker. His rhymes are crazy, and his style is amazing, but he says some raw shit on this disc. Moms better watch out, Eminem is hanging with your daughter. You should buy her the new N’ Sync album so she turns out all right.¿C.C.

A Fistful Of Rock ‘N’ Roll
Volume Three
Tee Pee Records

Finally, an album with some real rock and f¿kin’ roll! Fifteen tracks of fueled-up mayhem¿this is true-grit rock. It’s a shame none of these bands will be exposed to the world, mainly because MTV has turned into the biggest piece of shit. What happened? I guess it’s all about money now in the 2000 era. What a f¿kin’ joke!

With bands like The Toilet Boys, The Hookers, The Fumes, Johnny Black And The Assassins, New American Mob, and Rocket 455, this newest release in a four-volume set will surely make your puny target-market brain see the light. The current commercialized state of music going on right now makes me want to puke.¿A.S.

Integrity
2000
Victory Records

You’re definitely not ready for this album¿power-packed heaviness rolled into thirteen tracks of musical devastation. These dudes are straight-up pissed off at you, your friends, and basically everyone alive and living on this island Earth. Hell yeah! I hear hints of Slayer riffology in this newest offering from these metallic sound manufacturers of death. This is very abrasive, so you should let your mommy know what you’re getting yourself into before you buy this.¿A.S.

Carly Simon
The Bedroom Tapes
Arista Records

Carly Simon. Oh, man is she a woman. I mean, any woman who sings and sounds like a man is good in my book. The album is titled, The Bedroom Tapes, so it’s bedroom music, I guess. What the f¿k? Is that really how she sings¿she sounds like a real man! Song number three is called, “Big Dumb Man,” and I couldn’t help but think of me. If I met Carly Simon, I’d probably fumble with words and make myself look like a real jerk. Song six is titled, “I Forget,” and I can also relate to this because most of the time I do.¿J.M.

Modest Mouse
The Moon And Antarctica
Epic Records

Please, please put this magazine down and go directly to the music store and buy this disc. If you like any form of good music, you’ll absolutely fall in love with this newest release by Modest Mouse. Every song just rips your heart out and jams it into your brain through your ears. Their music is a mix of indie rock with some pop, mixed with poetry, and an amazing vocal ability. I wouldn’t know who to compare this band to because they’re completely original. Just get your ass to a record store, spend the twelve bucks or whatever, and get this disc.¿C.C.

Jeru The Damaja
Heroz4hire
Knowsavage

Damn, kid. Jeru’s back in the saddle and his shit sounds ill as f¿k. He did everything himself on this album¿that means no DJ Premier, but that’s cool, it’s still hella tight. Heroz4hire marks the debut of female rapper Miz Marvel and she’s got shit l-o-c-k-e-d down. Take a special listen to Jeru’s take on Micheal Jackson’s “Billie Jean”¿the man straight freaks it! Just absorb every track and you’ll be simply amazed at the tremendous amount of flow delivered with precision. Wait up, I even heard Lil’ Dap from Group Home on this piece¿damn!¿A.S.

The Murder City Devils
In Name And Blood
Sub Pop

You’re a little wimp. A little wimp who can’t handle hard rock. Here’s some advice: You want to be tough? Listen to the Murder City Devils. They play hard punk rock for those who like hard punk rock. The music on this disc is like a mix of old school Misfits, and some hard-ass Rollins Band with some bonus keyboards. Actually, you’ve never heard rock like this, so just go get it. This CD is great for girls about ten or twelve years old checking out the new Eminem. It made me really worried that two girls who were so young would listen to this disc. Eminem is a sick f¿ker. His rhymes are crazy, and his style is amazing, but he says some raw shit on this disc. Moms better watch out, Eminem is hanging with your daughter. You should buy her the new N’ Sync album so she turns out all right.¿C.C.

A Fistful Of Rock ‘N’ Roll
Volume Three
Tee Pee Records

Finally, an album with some real rock and f¿kin’ roll! Fifteen tracks of fueled-up mayhem¿this is true-grit rock. It’s a shame none of these bands will be exposed to the world, mainly because MTV has turned into the biggest piece of shit. What happened? I guess it’s all about money now in the 2000 era. What a f¿kin’ joke!

With bands like The Toilet Boys, The Hookers, The Fumes, Johnny Black And The Assassins, New American Mob, and Rocket 455, this newest release in a four-volume set will surely make your puny target-market brain see the light. The current commercialized state of music going on right now makes me want to puke.¿A.S.

Integrity
2000
Victory Records

You’re definitely not ready for this album¿power-packed heaviness rolled into thirteen tracks of musical devastation. These dudes are straight-up pissed off at you, your friends, and basically everyone alive and living on this island Earth. Hell yeah! I hear hints of Slayer riffology in this newest offering from these metallic sound manufacturers of death. This is very abrasive, so you should let your mommy know what you’re getting yourself into before you buy this.¿A.S.

Carly Simon
The Bedroom Tapes
Arista Records

Carly Simon. Oh, man is she a woman. I mean, any woman who sings and sounds like a man is good in my book. The album is titled, The Bedroom Tapes, so it’s bedroom music, I guess. What the f¿k? Is that really how she sings¿she sounds like a real man! Song number three is called, “Big Dumb Man,” and I couldn’t help but think of me. If I met Carly Simon, I’d probably fumble with words and make myself look like a real jerk. Song six is titled, “I Forget,” and I can also relate to this because most of the time I do.¿J.M.

Modest Mouse
The Moon And Antarctica
Epic Records

Please, please put this magazine down and go directly to the music store and buy this disc. If you like any form of good music, you’ll absolutely fall in love with this newest release by Modest Mouse. Every song just rips your heart out and jams it into your brain through your ears. Their music is a mix of indie rock with some pop, mixed with poetry, and an amazing vocal ability. I wouldn’t know who to compare this band to because they’re completely original. Just get your ass to a record store, spend the twelve bucks or whatever, and get this disc.¿C.C.

Jeru The Damaja
Heroz4hire
Knowsavage

Damn, kid. Jeru’s back in the saddle and his shit sounds ill as f¿k. He did everything himself on this album¿that means no DJ Premier, but that’s cool, it’s still hella tight. Heroz4hire marks the debut of female rapper Miz Marvel and she’s got shit l-o-c-k-e-d down. Take a special listen to Jeru’s take on Micheal Jackson’s “Billie Jean”¿the man straight freaks it! Just absorb every track and you’ll be simply amazed at the tremendous amount of flow delivered with precision. Wait up, I even heard Lil’ Dap from Group Home on this piece¿damn!¿A.S.

The Murder City Devils
In Name And Blood
Sub Pop

You’re a little wimp. A little wimp who can’t handle hard rock. Here’s some advice: You want to be tough? Listen to the Murder City Devils. They play hard punk rock for those who like hard punk rock. The music on this disc is like a mix of old school Misfits, and some hard-ass Rollins Band with some bonus keyboards. Actually, you’ve never heard rock like this, so just go get it. This CD is great for road-rage incidents, and also for pumping up to go party with a messy group of friends.¿C.C.

Contact info on Murder City Devils at www.murdercity.com

Boy Sets Fire
After The Eulogy
Victory Records

This CD has a weird format; it starts with a hard screaming track, then the next is softer. It goes like that all the way through the album. I was in a band once, I stopped because my fingers got sore. I wonder how Boy Sets Fire’s fingers are¿they must hurt. One time I was in class listening to my Walkman, and I was told to give a presentation on what I didn’t do the night before. So I just sang out loud and danced. You can’t really do that to this music¿if you danced to this you would hurt yourself and those around you.¿J.M.

Polaris Mine
Lists Of Things
Beatville Records

Ever heard of math-indie-punk? If you haven’t, you should definitely check out this kick-ass band called Polaris Mine. They play some really original kick-ass indie rock, then they change and throw in some ass-kicking math shred, right into a super melodic chorus with cool singing. If you like bands like Rush, Tool, or any other hard rock¿you’ll like Polaris Mine. It’s smart music that kicks your face in.-C.C.

Contact Polaris Mine at www.beatville.com

The Mercury Program
From The Vapor Of Gasoline
Tigerstyle Records

If you’re a fan of bands like Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, or Radiohead, you’ll love this record by The Mercury Program. It’s really cool music that winds around flowing bass lines and soft vocals. This is great make-out music. Think about it, guys¿do you really want to put on the “Thong Song” when you’re with your lady? Put on something that’ll make her feel like you care, then make out with her.¿C.C.

Wheat
Hope And Adams
Sugarfree Records

I gave this CD to my lady and she immediately loved it. She said it makes her happy. Wheat is music for chill times with or without your special someone. The music they make is very passionate and true. Wheat is a perfect band to add to your collection because it’s right in the middle between rock and love. You could call it indie-love-rock. If you like to rock to Jimmy Eat World, or Sunny Day Real Estate, you’ll like Wheat.¿C.C.

For more info on Wheat, check their site at www.sugarfree.com.

Killah Priest
View From Masada
MCA Records

I just received the newest release from Killah Priest, View From Masada, and it’s not quite what I expected from the most prominent member of the Wu’s Sunz Of Man. His last album, Heavy Mental, was filled with Wu-like beats and samples. This is one is filled with mafioso-style hooks and loops. It’s still good, nonetheless¿you can’t fade the Priest’s lyricism. All in all, I was hoping for the same sound, but I guess change is good.¿A.S.

REFLIX

Electro Ember
Fluid Films

This movie is the most entertaining surf movie I’ve seen since the last Volcom surf film. The beginning starts with some surfing ad shots of statues, strange idiots, flashing colors, and music¿all with a lady talking in the background about dressing up at night and how fascinating clothes are. At first, I was definitely scared. I was thinking about when Chris said, “Be cool on this one, it’s a local guy.” I thought, “Sure.” Then I popped it in and thought, “Oh, no! Some guy got wired on some type of ridiculous drug and filmed a bunch of bullshit and got it published!”

I continued to watch and was pleased with the various types of songs and footage. The weird stage-by-stage frame edits even worked with the material displayed. The surfing shows the usual ripper guys, but there’re a few unlikely faces totally shredding the waves up. Like Troy Tecklenberg¿man, he was really getting caught up in the mix by burning up like a mad trucker doing airs and getting about four seconds on the hang-time meter. If P.T. would’ve seen this movie, he’d probably be shooting blanks in his fluorescent shorts.¿J.M.

Modus Operandi
TransWorld Media

This video is not just a skate video. It’s a piece of art that everyone should see. We know you might think we’re just reviewing it because our friends at TransWorld SKATE made it. You have to believe me¿this video has the craziest shit I’ve ever seen. A skateboarder named Marc Johnson does some of the most amazin