Josh Homme talks new Eagles of Death Metal, QOTSA tour
Josh Homme's band Queens of the Stone Age have played two shows in New Zealand so far, in Auckland and Wellington. Tomorrow night they finish their tour with a show in Christchurch.
Homme has been touring with his wife Brody Dale and industrial giants Nine Inch Nails, led by Trent Reznor.
Today the bands are taking a day off, taking in the sights and sounds of Wellington. Homme tells me they're all having a blast so far.
"There's a wonderful concentric overlap in the audience, but there's also these fringes of both audiences, and I keep noticing it doesn't matter if you walked in a Queens fan, or a Nails fan, or a Brody fan, everyone is kind of leaving exhausted, together. And it has a certain singularity that's grander than the bands individually," says Homme.
After this tour, Homme says he's returning to the United States to complete the next Eagles of Death Metal record.
"Jesse [Hughes, Eagles of Death Metal] is extremely contagious in a wonderful way. Ideally, everyone catches it, you know what I mean?" says Homme.
As to finishing the next EODM record, Homme says, "I intend to go home and jump right back in. It's been tough, and I feel like responsible for it not being done, because I am here! I hate being at the epicentre of what something isn't happening. So I am going to go home and jump into that."
As for another Desert Sessions record, according to Homme it's almost another year away.
"As far as Desert Sessions goes, I was going to do a Desert Sessions this year but we did some Eagles recording instead. Because Desert Sessions works best at a certain time of the year, when everything slows and everyone takes a deep breath out. At the end of the year, in that December-January timeframe, everyone has exhaled. And post-exhale is the time to do something like that.
"So if I miss that window… I miss that window".
Josh says he loves the process of making music, with any of his bands.
"It's always been where I worship. I love those moments where things become something out of nothing. So that's why it's easy for me to go home to Eagles, because where there's no Eagles of Death Metal songs, soon there will be something.
"I guess I am sort of watching eggs being laid all the time!"
Last time Homme was interviewed by 3 News (in 2010 with These Crooked Vultures), reporter Tova O'Brien asked him, "Has it been sex, drugs and rock and roll?" to which he replied, "Six drugs? There's been more than that!"
He says he recalls the moment (which went viral online) fondly, "I think I was a little out of my mind then. Dave [Grohl] will never let me forget that!"
The last time Queens of the Stone Age were in New Zealand, they were due to play Christchurch. Then, the earthquake hit.
Homme says it's a no-brainer to come back.
"For me that's so simple. I come from earthquake territory too, and we were going to go there and something major happened there and it just seemed mandatory to go there. Do you know what I mean? Why would you pass that up?
"That seems like a really natural move to me. And it's a beautiful city that any attention there for any reason. I think the short-term memory of the world is terrible. So anything that focuses a little bit of something there, even if it's only nationally - you can only cover a great distance by making one little step at time".
Homme says touring with a band like Nine Inch Nails keeps him and his band on their toes.
"It's great touring with a band that sets its own bar at such a high level. It keeps you in a state of total-awareness. And I think for playing music, that's where you want to be, is standing right in the centre of your own feet.
"I've always been a now-ist. I don't care what already happened."
Homme says there was some discussion with Nine Inch Nails about perhaps doing some band-member crossovers during the tour, but it was decided against. Each band will just do their thing.
"You can appreciate something without having to finger it all the time." Homme laughs, and gives me a look. "You know what I mean?"
This tour has also seen both Reznor and Homme travelling with their young children. Homme says he finds their energy invigorating, and it ties in with the process of playing music.
"I've always been a family person, so I don't really need much else. It's so hard to have 2 or 3 things that you really like. And to maintain those things. Plus with my own intellect size I need to keep it very simple!"
Simple is the key to his success, he reckons. "It's like I have bananas on my feet. I slip constantly," he laughs.
Watch my full video interview with Homme.