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Queens of the Stone Age

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Masterminded by ex-Kyuss frontman Josh Homme, Queens of the Stone Age took credit for popularizing "stoner rock" as a genre. If they began as a slightly ironic take on fist-waving arena rock, they quickly became more like the real thing, a larger- and louder-than-life guitar band for the new millennium. Before it became a full-time band, Queens of the Stone Age was a vehicle for Homme to blow off some steam with musical friends at his home base of Palm Desert, CA. Initially called Gamma Ray before another band threatened to sue, the first revolving lineups included the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron and at one point, a full lineup of former Kyuss members. Homme and drummer Alfredo Hernández were the only fulltime band members on the self-titled 1998 debut. While the band's heavy riffage, arena-ready hooks and stoned-out ambiance were already in place, mainstream success didn't arrive just yet. That would come on 2000's Rated Rwhich introduced the band's first steady lineup, with ex-Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan and ex-Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri, the latter co-writing most of the songs with Homme. The initial single, "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret" got the band its first significant airplay, but it was the followup single (and album-opener) "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" that really endeared them to stoners and wannabes, as the lyric was a laundry list of recreational substances. The new fans stuck around for Songs for the Deaf which added Grohl on drums and wrapped up their first era; soon after its release Homme fired Olivieri over a personal dispute. Homme's vision remained in place as new collaborators came into the picture: Lullabies to Payalyze introduced drummer Joey Castillo and guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, both of whom joined in the songwriting. Though still high-volume, it began their move away from stoner humor and toward a more melodic, cinematic sound. 2007's Era Vulgaris added heavier electronics to the mix, though a planned collaboration with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor was relegated to a B-side. Soon after its release Homme formed the short-lived supergroup Them Crooked Vultures with Grohl and ex-Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, an association that confirmed Homme's place in the rock aristocracy. He pursued many other collaborations including Post Pop Depression, an album with Iggy Pop in 2016. The next album had a troubled birth, with Homme shaken by the cancer-related death of former Queens keyboardist Natasha Shneider; Homme also underwent knee surgery that left him bedridden for months. Nonetheless Like Clockwork proved the band's biggest album, topping the Billboard charts and reconciling the arena crunch of their early albums with the melody of the later ones ; it was also the only place listeners would find Trent Reznor and Elton John performing on the same track. Star producer Mark Ronson came along for 2017's Villains. Conceived as a more emotionally upbeat album it found them reveling in glam rock and disco, their sense of twisted fun intact.




No Score Yet 100% Austin City Limits Music Performer 2014
No Score Yet 87% Conan Music Performer,
2011 2013
No Score Yet 10% Jimmy Kimmel Live! Music Performer 2013
No Score Yet 44% Saturday Night Live Music Performer 2005