Queens of the Stone Age

Origin: Palm Desert, California

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Genres: alternative rock, art rock, grunge

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The California desert can be inspirational, for example: Queens of the Stone Age started there and became part of the Palm Desert stoner rock scene in 1996.

Founder Josh Homme sings lead vocals, (guitar, piano), alongside longtime members Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, lap steel, keyboard, percussion, backing vocals), Michael Shuman (bass guitar, keyboard, backing vocals), Dean Fertita (keyboards, guitar, percussion, backing vocals), and recent addition Jon Theodore (drums, percussion).

Formed after the dissolution of Homme’s previous band, Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age developed a style of riff-oriented, heavy rock music. Their sound has since evolved to incorporate a variety of different styles and influences, including working with ZZ Top member Billy Gibbons and steady contributor Mark Lanegan.

Josh Homme has been the only consistent member of the band since its formation, and the group’s lineup has changed many times.

After Kyuss folded, Homme abandoned Palm Desert and relocated to the growing Seattle rock scene and after recruiting the initial lineup, recorded their first self-titled album in 1998. In the mid 2000’s the QOTSA issued their second album, Rated R and promptly went on to play in that year’s Ozzfest Tour.

Ex-Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl was very vocal in the press about his admiration of the Queens, which led to an invitation for him to join the group for the third album’s recording and, subsequently, supporting tour. Surprisingly, Grohl accepted, putting the Foo Fighters on hold. One of the year’s most eagerly anticipated hard rock albums, Songs for the Deaf was issued in August 2002.

QOTSA reconvened for the March 2005 LP Lullabies to Paralyze, and in 2007, released the excellent Era Vulgaris, which also included contributions from the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, among others. At this point, Homme pursued other projects such as Them Crooked Vultures, a power trio also featuring Dave Grohl and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

QOTSA began recording a new album in 2012, bringing Grohl back into the fold and also finding spots for Mark Lanegan, Trent Reznor, Jake Shears, and Elton John, as well as Nick Oliveri. Queens of the Stone Age signed with Matador in 2013 and the …Like Clockwork album was released in June of that year.

…Like Clockwork topped the Billboard 200 debuting at #1, as well as the Alternative, Digital, Hard Rock, Independent, and Top Rock charts. Self-produced by the band, it is the first Queens of the Stone Age album to feature full contributions from bassist Michael Shuman and keyboardist and guitarist Dean Fertita. The album debuted in the number one position in the US and is the first QOTSA album to achieve this ranking. Following the success of …Like Clockwork, Homme and various Queens members participated in the Sound City documentary project and Iggy Pop’s 2016 Post Pop Depression album and tour.

QOTSA’s seventh set, Villains, arrived in August 2017, preceded by the single “The Way You Used to Do.” Hear it on Sacramento’s K-ZAP 93.3 FM and streaming. Get our free app! K-ZAP.org/apps/

Artist Web Site



Queens of the Stone Age (1998)
Rated R (2000)
Songs for the Deaf (2002)
Lullabies to Paralyze (2005)
Era Vulgaris (2007)
…Like Clockwork (2013)
Villains (2017)