Queens of the Stone Age

From Academic Kids

Queens of the Stone Age is a rock band from the United States. The band was formed in 1997, originally under the name Gamma Ray. Seeking to outgrow the stoner rock label that had begun to envelop previous band Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age (at the time singer/guitarist Josh Homme, and drummer Alfredo Hernandez) developed a style of riff-oriented, monotonous, heavy and repetitious sound, which Homme described as robot rock, saying that he "wanted to create a heavy sound based on a solid jam, and just pound it into your head". This label no longer holds true and has since been discarded, as the band is now widely considered one of the most eclectic and innovative bands in the often generic hard rock landscape.



Early years (1996-1999)

Queens of the Stone Age began with Josh Homme in 1996, originally called "Gamma Ray", Josh changed the name to "Queens of the Stone Age" in 1997 as another artist with the same name was threatening to sue. According to Josh and former bassist Nick Oliveri the name origins are thus:

"When we were making a record in 1992, under the band Kyuss, our producer Chris Goss, he would joke and say "You guys are like the Queens of the Stone Age." The band was originally called Gamma Ray, but we got threatened with a lawsuit because someone else had it. So we were Queens of the Stone Age." - Nick (2000)

"Kings would be too macho. The Kings of the Stone Age wear armor and have axes and wrestle. The Queens of the Stone Age hang out with the Kings of the Stone Age's girlfriends, when they wrestle. And also, it was also just a name given to us by Chris Goss. He gave us the name Queens of the Stone Age. Rock should be heavy enough for the boys and sweet enough for the girls. That way, everyone is happy and it's more of a party. Kings of the Stone Age, is too lopsided." - Josh (2000)

Their self-titled debut album, 'Queens of the Stone Age', was recorded with just Josh and drummer Alfredo Hernandez and released in the spring of 1998, at which time former Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri and guitarist Dave Catching joined and touring commenced.

Breakthrough and rising to success (2000-2004)

Over the next couple of years the line-up changed, something that would happen a lot in the band's future with Josh Homme being the consistent member, and Hernandez was no longer in the band.

"It really is more of a musical experiment.... It keeps moving and reinventing itself. That way we never get painted into a corner." - Josh (2000)

"I'd like to keep it loose, open and free, I just think that if we can expand and contract, then there's nothing we can't do, and even the old songs will never be something like, 'Oh, let's not play that anymore." - Josh (2000)

2000's Rated R featured a plethora of musicians familiar with Homme and Oliveri's work and "crew" of sorts: among others, drummers Nick Lucero and Gene Trautman, guitarists Dave Catching, Brendon McNichol and Chris Goss contributed, and even (at the time) former Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, recording next door, stepped in for a guest spot on "Feel Good Hit Of The Summer". The album was critically successful but found little commercial success, aside from notable opening slots with the Foo Fighters, Hole, and at Ozzfest 2000.

Frequent touring for 'Rated R' generated support for the band, and grew with former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl's addition in late 2001/early 2002. The release of third album Songs for the Deaf that August, brought major attention. Grohl had already been replaced by former Danzig drummer Joey Castillo (ex-Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan, a floater since Rated R, joined as well), but the infection spread by hit "No One Knows" spread to radio and even MTV as Deaf reached gold status in 2003.

Constant touring continued, culminating with a string of headline dates in Australia in January of 2004, after which Oliveri was fired for what boiled down to alleged fan disrespect and excessive partying.

Post Oliveri (2005-present)

Homme, along with Eleven multi-instrumentalist Alain Johannes, A Perfect Circle guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, and Castillo recorded a new album for 2005 called Lullabies to Paralyze (named after a lyric in the final song from Songs for the Deaf).
"I also like that the title bridges this record and the last record in that itís a lyric from Mosquito Song." - Josh (2005) [1] (http://www.universal-rock.de/artist_texte.php?artistID=1639&menu=texte)

Despite Mark Lanegan reportedly turning down an invitation to remain with the band, he recorded vocals on new tracks and is appearing with the band on tour as scheduling and his health permit.
"And, you know, like when someone was saying: Well, Mark got fired, Lanegan, you know. And I was like: Yeah, Mark is fired, too, yeah. But he was just touring his own solo record, you know." - Josh (2005, during the same interview linked above)

Lullabies to Paralyze was leaked onto the internet during Feb 2005, and then officially released on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005 in the USA, debuting in the number 5 slot on the Billboard Music Chart.

In fall 2005, the group will be supporting Nine Inch Nails on their North American tour of With Teeth.


Current lineup:

Previous Members:


  • Brendon McNichol - Guitar/Lap Steel/Keyboards/Vocals (2000-2002)
  • Dave Catching - Guitar/Lap Steel/Keyboards/Vocals (1998-2000)
  • Mario Lalli - Guitar/Lap Steel/Keyboards (Dave Catching was in Europe from April 10-27 Lalli was his replacement) (1999 for 17 days)
  • John McBain - Guitar (1997-1998)



Musical Equipment

Josh favours Ampeg amplifiers, and can be seen using both an Ovation GP while playing live. He also uses a Maton Mastersound MS520 electric guitar, which he can be seen playing in the video clip for No One Knows.

Troy has been using several guitars, among them a Yamaha AES1500, a Gibson Les Paul and also a Chandler lap steel guitar.



Studio Albums




  • untitled DVD ("the tentative release date is November" 2005, according to qotsa.com)

Related bands

External links

de:Queens of the Stone Age es:Queens of the Stone Age fr:Queens of the Stone Age sv:Queens of the Stone Age no:Queens of the Stone Age nl:Queens of the Stone Age


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