Queens Of The Stone Age principal Josh Homme is moving ahead with plans to make the band’s next Interscope studio album, in the wake of last week’s unexpected announcement that bassist Nick Oliveri and vocalist Mark Lanegan have exited the hard rock act.
“I’m not in any f---ing massive hurry but I’m a workaholic,” Homme told Billboard.com by phone from London, where he is touring with his side band the Eagles Of Death Metal. “I don’t want to let 16 songs just sit warming in the oven until they taste sh---y.”
He said he would likely hit the studio by the end of April and would continue writing material for possible inclusion.
“Music is a great photograph of a moment in time and I’ll be damned if I’m not right in the middle of a moment,” he said. “Right now I just want to write for awhile to beat the pre-existing songs, or see if I can. I think it’s the best sh-t I’ve ever written.”
While declining to discuss specific details of his split with lifelong friend Oliveri, Homme admitted the pair’s behind-the-scenes interaction had reached a point of no return and that they nearly broke up a year ago in Barcelona. “I’ve been Nick’s shield for years,” he said. “When you’re a tornado, you never see the damage. You just move on to the next town.”
Homme responds to OliveriHomme challenged Oliveri’s recent online post (http://www.mondogenerator.com) about the split, where he wrote, “A pure idea has been polluted. It’s funny. ‘A band about an idea?’ The concept was simple: A ROCK BAND, selfless, mindless, ego-free, unprotected, about danger, sex, and no bulls--t rock ’n roll. You know what happens when a pure and original rock band gets polluted, poisoned by hunger for power, and by control issues? Things get really out of control. I’m noticing that people start fighting for control, especially when they realize they have no control. And what ever happened to loyalty?”
“Plain and simple, Nick is the most bad-ass, intense individual I’ve every played with,” Homme said. “He’s the real deal. He’s completely rock ’n roll without one ounce of fake in his whole body and I love that. I’ve always loved that and respected it but I’ve also protected it. I’m more worn down about it than anything. There’s no question whether I’ve had loyalty or not.”
“But I can’t do this in Queens with Nick anymore,” he continued. “Do I want to play with Nick? You bet your sweet ass. Do I want to go on tour with Nick for two years? No. Do I want someone to walk into my room and turn the stereo on all the way and split; that sort of idea of living? No! No. I’m sick of it. I can’t take it. Sorry.”
Chance for reconciliation?Homme wouldn’t speculate on whether the pair could reconcile at some point, but conceded, “The reason we stayed together so long is because we’ve always loved each other in the best way. There’s nothing Nick could say about me that would make me not like Nick. When all of this is said and done, Nick and I will still be alive and down the street from each other. I want to shake hands and not make fists. That doesn’t mean that is what can go on now, but in this one instance, I am thinking about the future.”
The lineup change writes an unfortunate final chapter to the band’s intense promotional effort in support of its breakthrough 2002 album “Songs for the Deaf,” which has sold more than 874,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“I worked my ass off on ‘Deaf’,” Homme said. “I worked my f---ing fingers until they were bloody and I worked my brain until it was pulsing. That’s why we’re in this conundrum, because my workaholic nature just makes me push, even if I’m pushing the edges off the square right into the round hole. It’s almost a bizarre conclusion that the band would even do well, because it is far from the main goal. It’s peripheral. That is a fantastic byproduct, but a byproduct nonetheless.”
As for Oliveri, he says he will devote his full attention to his Mondo Generator project and is prepping a recent show at Los Angeles’ Troubadour for commercial release. He has also rejoined his former bandmates in the Dwarves to record tracks for that act’s next album.