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Joshua Homme

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Joshua Homme

Josh Homme
Eurockéennes de Belfort 2011
Background information
Birth name Joshua Michael Homme III
Born (1973-05-17) May 17, 1973 (age 41)
Joshua Tree, California, U.S.
Genres Alternative rock, stoner rock, hard rock, heavy metal, garage rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, drums, synthesizers, lap steel, pedal steel, banjo, organ, percussion
Years active 1985–present
Labels Dali, Elektra, Roadrunner, Bongload, Loosegroove, Rekords Rekords, Interscope, Southern Lord, Matador
Associated acts Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Eagles of Death Metal, Mondo Generator, The Desert Sessions, Screaming Trees, Mastodon, Masters of Reality, Fififf Teeners, Them Crooked Vultures, Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, U.N.K.L.E, Goon Moon, Mark Lanegan Band, Millionaire, Wellwater Conspiracy
Website
Notable instruments
Josh Homme signature Maton
Ovation Ultra GP
Maton BB1200
Motor Ave Bel Aire
Epiphone Dot

Joshua Michael Homme III (/ˈhɒm.mi/ ,[note 1] born May 17, 1973)[1] is an American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He is the founding and only continuous member of the rock band Queens of the Stone Age, in which he sings, plays guitar and occasionally piano, and serves as the band's primary songwriter. He also was the guitarist and a former member of the stoner rock band Kyuss. He co-founded and occasionally performs with Eagles of Death Metal while playing drums for studio recordings, and continues to produce and release a musical improv series with other musicians, mostly from the Palm Desert Scene, known as The Desert Sessions. In 2009, he appeared in a new project called Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones. Them Crooked Vultures released their debut album in 2009.

Early life

Homme was born in Joshua Tree, California and grew up in Palm Desert. Homme's surname is of Norwegian origin, and is believed to come from the town Valle, Norway.

Josh began playing guitar at age nine after his parents denied his wishes for a drum kit. He joined his first band, Autocracy, at age 12.

Musical career

Kyuss (1987–1995)

Main article: Kyuss

In 1987, when he was 14 years old, Homme formed a heavy metal band with school mates John Garcia and Brant Bjork in Palm Desert called Sons of Kyuss (originally known as Katzenjammer, and then as Sons of Kyuss, which was then shortened to Kyuss after the release of their eponymous EP). Homme was the band's lead guitarist. The band garnered a cult following by the early 1990s. The band often drove for hours out to isolated locations in the desert and plugged into generators to perform, and these events, known as "generator parties" became urban legend among rock subculture.[2] As of November 2010, Kyuss is back together (as Vista Chino!), but Homme is not part of the reunion.[3]

Queens of the Stone Age (1997–present)

When Kyuss split up in 1995, Homme joined the Screaming Trees as a rhythm guitarist,[4] touring but not recording with the band. He and vocalist Mark Lanegan became close friends during this time. Disliking the band's continual disharmony, Homme left the group in just over a year. He founded Gamma Ray,[5] a group more centered to his unique style and tastes, which later became Queens of the Stone Age in 1997. Queens of the Stone Age released their eponymous debut album in 1998. Originally, he had asked a number of singers, including Lanegan, to perform as lead vocalist for Queens of the Stone Age, but ended up singing lead for the first time in his career.

Following their debut, the band released several singles and EPs. With the next album, Rated R, the band used a wider range of instruments to achieve a more relaxed, spacious and psychedelic sound.[6] Though it differed from the band's debut, Rated R became Queens of the Stone Age's first mainstream hit. The next release, 2002's Songs for the Deaf, however, would gain even more buzz from the music community and fans alike.[7] In Songs for the Deaf, Homme continued his filtering of stoner metal and hard rock. The album centers on Homme's memories of uncomfortable rides through the California desert, where he had performed in his days with Kyuss, and where there was little else to do but listen to Spanish radio stations.[8]


During this time, Homme had a falling out with bassist and friend Nick Oliveri. Following the release of Songs for the Deaf, their relationship deteriorated until Homme fired Oliveri from the band in 2004.[9] Homme began writing their next album, Lullabies to Paralyze, named after a lyric from the Songs for the Deaf hidden track "Mosquito Song". Lullabies to Paralyze upon release would debut at number five on the Billboard 200 and is QOTSA's best charting album on the Billboard 200 to date.

Queens of the Stone Age's fifth album, Era Vulgaris, was released in early June 2007 and received generally positive reviews from critics.[10][11][12]

In 2010, following on from his work with rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, Homme confirmed he would be back into live shows with the band. A re-release of their debut album was confirmed as well as a tour to follow it and the band had been booked to play many late summer 2010 festivals; the highlight being England's Reading and Leeds festivals, with the band supporting Guns N' Roses.[dated info] Homme commented on the festivals, saying, "we have nothing to promote so we're just gunna go out and play a hardcore rock show".

On June 4, 2013, Queens of the Stone Age released their sixth album, ...Like Clockwork, receiving high critical praise[13] and featuring guests such as Sir Elton John, Dave Grohl, Alex Turner, Mark Lanegan, ex-bassist Nick Oliveri and wife Brody Dalle.

The Desert Sessions (1997–present)

Main article: The Desert Sessions

Homme founded The Desert Sessions in 1997 as a musical collective series "that cannot be defined", at the Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree. The recordings are done "on the spot", in matters of hours and the line-up is constantly changing with new contributors being added for each new recording. Artists such as Brant Bjork, PJ Harvey, Twiggy Ramirez, Dave Catching, Nick Oliveri, Mark Lanegan, Ben Shepherd, John McBain, Josh Freese, Chris Goss, Alain Johannes, Dean Ween and many others from the Palm Desert Scene have recorded with The Desert Sessions.

At Desert Sessions, you play for the sake of music. That’s why it’s good for musicians. If someday that’s not enough anymore, or that’s not the reason behind you doing it—that’s not your raison d’être—then a quick reminder like Desert Sessions can do so much for you, it’s amazing. It’s easy to forget that this all starts from playing in your garage and loving it. – Josh Homme

So far, ten volumes of from The Desert Sessions have been released. Homme also stated in a September issue of NME that he would record more material with The Desert Sessions.

Eagles of Death Metal (1998–present)

Main article: Eagles of Death Metal

In 1998 Josh formed Eagles of Death Metal with friend Jesse Hughes. Recordings from this project first appeared on Homme's The Desert Sessions Volumes 3 & 4, released that year. Over the next few years, Homme became distracted from EoDM due to the success of Queens of the Stone Age. However, in an October 2008 interview, he re-affirmed his commitment to the band saying, "This isn't a side project for me. I'm in two bands. I have musical schizophrenia, and this is one of those personalities.[14]

So far the band has released three albums: Peace, Love, Death Metal in 2004, Death by Sexy in 2006 and most recently Heart On in 2008. Due to his commitments with Queens of The Stone Age, Homme does not regularly tour with the Eagles of Death Metal, but occasionally makes appearances during live performances.

Them Crooked Vultures (2009–present)

Main article: Them Crooked Vultures

In July 2009, it was revealed that Homme, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones were recording together for a musical project named Them Crooked Vultures.[15][16] The trio performed their first show together on August 9, 2009 in Chicago at The Metro to a crowd of approximately 1,100 ticketholders. The band has been steadily touring with live rhythm guitarist/auxiliary man Alain Johannes.[17] Their album, Them Crooked Vultures, was released by Interscope Records in the United States on November 17, 2009, and by Sony Music internationally.[18] They performed on Saturday Night Live as a musical guest on February 6, 2010, and at Austin City Limits on October 2, 2009. Them Crooked Vultures won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards on February 13, 2011.[19][20]

Other musical projects

Other acts with which Homme has collaborated include: Mondo Generator, Foo Fighters, PJ Harvey, Fatso Jetson, Mark Lanegan Band, Trent Reznor, Masters of Reality, Millionaire, Wellwater Conspiracy, U.N.K.L.E., Primal Scream, Melissa Auf der Maur, Paz Lenchantin, Death from Above 1979, Earthlings?, Mastodon, Peaches, The Strokes, Local H, Biffy Clyro and Arctic Monkeys. He also collaborated with Liam Howlett from The Prodigy for a remix of The Prodigy track "Take Me to the Hospital" in August 2009. It was re-titled Take Me To The Hospital (Josh Homme and Liam H.'s wreckage remix).


Homme contributed (along with Nick Oliveri and Brad Wilk) to the soundtrack for the 2002 film "The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys".[21][22]

Homme was featured on Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen in the song "Stone Cold Crazy", on Blood Mountain by Mastodon, in the song "Colony of Birchmen", and on Impeach My Bush by Peaches in the song "Give 'Er".

Homme, along with friend and Kyuss/QOTSA contributor/producer Chris Goss, performed as "The 5:15ers" at the inaugural ArthurBall (an offshoot of the ArthurFest festival) in Los Angeles on January 26, 2006.[23] The two were credited as "The Fififf Teeners" when they co-produced QOTSA's second album, Rated R, and their 2007 album, Era Vulgaris.

He also produced most of the Arctic Monkeys album Humbug[24] as well as providing backing vocals to All My Own Stunts on their album Suck It and See. He also appears on their 5th album AM, providing vocals for the track, 'Knee Socks.'[25]

In June 2010 Homme appeared on the Comedy Central series Tosh.0 to do an unplugged duet version of the hit viral song What What (In the Butt) with Internet celebrity Samwell. He also provided the theme song to Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, the show formerly known as Aqua Teen Hunger Force.[26]

In August 2011 Homme appeared on an episode of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" on the Travel Channel. A Zinky Mofo amplifier can be seen in his studio.

In May 2012, it was revealed on Dean Delray’s comedy podcast "Let There Be Talk" that Homme will be making a guest appearance on the upcoming release from Nick Oliveri's project Mondo Generator called "Hell Comes To Your Heart".[27]

In June 2012, it was revealed that Homme would be starring in Glen Campbell's final music video for the song "A Better Place".[28]

Homme has recently made a very brief cameo in Jack White's music video for Freedom At 21.

In September 2012, he contributed the song "Nobody to Love" for the action-drama End of Watch.

In early 2013, Homme and fellow Queens contributors including Alain Johannes and Chris Goss recorded to the soundtrack of Dave Grohl's Sound City: Real to Reel. Goss, Johannes and Homme were on three tracks each. Josh's notably included a collaboration with Grohl and Trent Reznor called Mantra, and he was also featured in an interview segment.[29]

Personal life

Homme and his wife, musician Brody Dalle (frontwoman of Spinnerette, formerly of The Distillers), have a daughter named Camille Harley Joan Homme, born January 17, 2006, and a son, Orrin Ryder Homme, born August 12, 2011. The couple resides in Palm Springs.

He has 17 tattoos. The most commonly seen ones are the ones on his knuckles—they are his grandparents' nicknames with a heart (Cam (short for Camille) on the left, and Cap on the right). His inner right arm has a straight-edge razor and the words 'Born to Win', with his nickname 'Baby Duck' underneath. He also has his daughter's name, Camille, tattooed over his heart.[30][31] After his son was born he added a heart and his son's initials ORH below his knuckles and the tattoo on his right hand.[32]

Homme appeared in a 2011 episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. During the episode, Homme discussed having "... to create your own fun" as a child growing up in the desert. Homme also stated that he didn't start playing music to "get girls, or make money" and that he assumed he would grow up to be "a good contractor, like my dad.".[33]

Homme has described himself as "very conservative politically", explaining further that he is "very socially liberal" and considers himself a "fallen libertarian."[34]

Homme owns several guns, including a classic Winchester repeating rifle (like the type used in the Old West), a sawed-off shotgun, and a Beretta 9mm target pistol.[34]

In 2010, Homme said he "died" for a short time following unexpected complications during knee surgery due to asphyxiation. Following this, he was confined to bed rest for three months. Homme has said that this experience greatly contributed to the making of ...Like Clockwork.[35]

In October 2013, Homme elaborated on the near-death experience in an interview with Marc Maron. He told Maron he contracted a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection which his immune system could not fight due to stress. Doctors eventually had to use a defibrillator to revive him following the asphyxiation. The experience left him weakened and unable to produce music for almost two years.[36] Homme credits Transcendental Meditation with helping him recover mentally. "There's no dogma," he said of practicing meditation. "No one's telling you anything."[37]

Pseudonyms

Homme adopted the pseudonym "Carlo Von Sexron" to credit his playing of bass, keyboard, piano, and drums on such albums as The Desert Sessions Volumes 3 & 4, and Peace, Love, Death Metal from Eagles of Death Metal.[38] Homme is known as "(King) Baby Duck" to Dalle and the members of Eagles of Death Metal.[39] He is also referred to as "J.Ho.", "Joe's Hoe" and "The Ginger Elvis".[40]

Controversy

In 2004, Homme was arrested for assaulting Dwarves frontman Blag Dahlia and Karl Doyle, at an L.A. club. Upon pleading no contest, Homme was ordered to remain at least 100 yards (91.44 meters) away from Dahlia and the club, was sentenced to 3 years probation with community service, and was forced to enter a rehab program for 60 days.[41]

At the 2008 Norwegian Wood festival in Oslo, Norway, Josh Homme drew criticism for his reaction to an audience member who had thrown a bottle at him during the song "3's & 7's".[42][43] Homme called the audience member a "chicken-shit fucking faggot" and "a twelve year old dickless fucking turd." The incident drew accusations of homophobia from several blogs, which were then picked up by the mainstream media.[44][45] Homme replied with a lengthy public letter denying all accusations of homophobia, and blamed the tirade on a high fever.[46][47]

Following a performance by QOTSA at the Jay Z-owned Made In America Festival in the summer of 2013, Homme made comments about the rap star during a radio interview with CBC Radio 2 ’s “Strombo Show.” Homme explained that his band was frisked by the event's security team prior to the performance and referred to Jay Z's personal interaction with the band as a marketing stunt. Homme stated:

He has his security frisking the bands on the way in. I just told them if you open up my bag I’m not playing so I guess it’s up to you whether we are playing or not … The idea they frisked all my guys, means you’re in some different place, no-one has ever done that [to me]” ... He also gave us some champagne and wanted us to take a photo with it. And I thought that’s not a gift that is a marketing tool. So I destroyed it. Because I thought it was rude overall. And you shouldn’t frisk my guys, you should fuck off.[48]

Musical equipment

"I don’t [share secrets] only because my sound is important to me and I’ve spent a lot of years just working it over with little tricks here and there, I almost feel like if you reveal too much of that you give away something that’s near and dear to you. It’s like you put it up on the altar and say, "Here, everyone take a slice"

Josh Homme, June 2007[49]

In an interview about guitars in 2008, Homme claimed to own close to 35 guitars, adding that only 3 of them were "really good". He also declared that he purposely did not have a Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul,[50] but that he's always in search of intriguing, unique guitars, which are not always generally accepted as "quality" guitars, but are nevertheless great to use. He said that he tends to buy "weird, Japanese" guitars, or guitars that are already "scarred" and thus have a story.[51]

Kyuss-era gear

Guitars

Homme owns three 1984 Ovation GPs[52] and often downtunes his guitar to C standard. He is very evasive about his guitars and equipment, choosing to either change the subject or even lie when asked about his setup in interviews.[53]

Amplifiers
  • Peavey amplifiers – Used during the early days of Kyuss.
  • Marshall amp with Ampeg bass cabinet – Used on Blues for the Red Sun.
  • Tube Works amplifiers with Ampeg bass cabinets – Used during the later years of Kyuss.

Queens of the Stone Age-era gear

During the tours up until Lullabies to Paralyze, Homme mainly relied on his Gibson Marauder, his Epiphone Dot, Maton M503 and M524 along with his Ovation GPs and Ovation VXT. For the Lullabies to Paralyze and Era Vulgaris recording sessions and tours, Homme retired his GPs, and almost exclusively plays semihollow guitars. He is also listed as a user of Seymour Duncan's SH-11, SHR-1b and SH-1 guitar pickups.[55]

Guitars
  • Motor Ave BelAire – The first ever BelAire model was sold to Homme's longtime collaborator Alain Johannes. A few weeks later Homme ordered one for himself in a black finish and with a silver scratchplate.[56] The guitar became Homme's primary guitar during the recording of Era Vulgaris. Used for songs in E standard tuning since 2010, and used for songs in Drop A tuning while touring with Them Crooked Vultures.
  • Ovation Ultra GP – These guitars were Homme's main choice for songs in C standard tuning after the band's formation. Since the end of the Songs for the Deaf tour, however, these guitars have been retired and haven't been used live since.
  • Ovation VXT
  • Ovation Preacher
  • Maton MS503
  • Maton MS524
  • Maton MS520
  • Maton BB1200 – "Betty Blue" in Black, Blue, Red Wine and a Tobacco sunburst with Scroll Tailpiece.[57]
  • Maton BB1200JH – The new Josh Homme signature guitar based on his favorite Maton, fitted with custom wound "Hommebuckers" and a trapeze tailpiece.[58]
  • Maton MS500 12 string – Developed by Maton in collaboration with Homme, available in standard[59] and deluxe[60] versions.
  • Maton MS526 – Equipped with Bigsby vibrato.
  • Gibson Barney Kessel signature guitar, produced between 1961 and 1974.
  • Yamaha SA503 TVL – Bandmate Troy Van Leeuwen's signature semihollow guitar in black finish, equipped with three P-90 pickups and two three way switches.[61]
  • Teisco '68 V-2 – An unusual Japanese guitar that "wishes it was a Fender" originally purchased by a friend of Homme in Boise, Idaho.[62]
  • Epiphone Dot – A cheaper version of the Gibson ES-335. Used for songs in E Standard tuning from 2002 to 2007, but has since been retired.
  • Gibson Marauder Custom – A short-lived solid body produced from 1974 to 1979, designed to compete with Fenders single coil guitars.[63] Used for songs in E standard tuning from the band's formation until the beginning of the Songs for the Deaf tour.
  • Gibson SG
  • Ampeg Dan Armstrong – A Plexiglass guitar featured in the "Sick, Sick, Sick" video.
  • Hagström HJ-500 – A reissue of the jazz box originally designed by Jimmy D'Aquisto and Hagström.
  • Gretsch Corvette – Used during the recording of Lullabies to Paralyze. Also used with the Desert Sessions.
  • Gretsch Spectra Sonic – Also used during recordings.
  • Burns Double Six - A 12 string guitar that Homme used occasionally for songs in E standard tuning during the Songs for the Deaf tour.
  • Christocaster – A crucifix-shaped guitar. Built from church organ pipes and a neck salvaged from a pawnshop fire. Built by Chicago guitar builder Fred Mangan.[64]
  • Andy Manson Lotus archtop guitar – Purchased during the recording sessions for Them Crooked Vultures
  • Casio Digital Guitar - Homme claims to own one and calls it the ugliest guitar he's ever seen and that it "doesn't look good on anybody".
Pedalboard includes

Amplifiers

During the early days of QOTSA much of his late setup from Kyuss was still being used, later Homme turned more towards Ampeg amplifers and cabinets.[54] Throughout his career Homme has experimented a lot with different combinations of amplifiers, cabinets and settings. Here is a list of some of the equipment he has been known to have used.[54][65][66]

  • Ampeg VT-22 120 watt amplifiers with V212 4x12 cabinets (x3)
  • Ampeg V-4 amplifer (x2)
  • Ampeg V-4B – Owns both an amplifer and a combo version.
  • Ampeg VT-40 – One top mounted, pre 1972 and one panel mounted circa 1974.
  • Ampeg VL502
  • Ampeg 4x12 ST-42L Colossus cabinets
  • Vintage Fender Black Face Bassman
  • VOX AC30
  • Gibson Amplifiers – Homme is known to own at least three.
  • 1939 Gibson EH-150 12"
  • Supro Sportsman head
  • Klear Sound plexiglass 4x12 cab with Celestions.
  • Sunn Model T

In addition to guitar, Homme frequently plays a Yamaha SA-70 semihollow body bass on songs such as on "Burn the Witch" and "Long Slow Goodbye," as well as every track on QOTSA's debut album except for "Give the Mule What He Wants" as well as piano and keyboards under the pseudonym "Carlo Von Sexron". Homme also plays the drums with Eagles of Death Metal, on The Desert Sessions as well as on some QOTSA tracks. He has also occasionally played lap steel during the Desert Sessions.

Them Crooked Vultures-era gear

Guitars

In video of TCV on Jonathon Ross and fan-created tour footage, Homme can be seen playing:

  • Fender 2006 / 2007 Chambered Mahogany FSR Telecaster, with a clear, red finish & black/white/black pickguard.[67]

Homme also endorses Maton, specifically:

Homme plays an Epiphone called The Dot for the song "New Fang".

Discography

Year Artist Album Role
1990 Kyuss Sons of Kyuss Guitars
1991 Wretch
1992 Blues for the Red Sun Guitars and co-producer
1994 Welcome to Sky Valley
1995 ...And the Circus Leaves Town
1998 The Desert Sessions Volumes 1 & 2 Vocals, guitar, keyboard, drums, and bass
Queens of the Stone Age Queens of the Stone Age Vocals and guitar, bass, keyboard, and piano
The Desert Sessions Volumes 3 & 4
1999 Volumes 5 & 6
2000 Queens of the Stone Age Rated R Vocals, guitar, percussion, drums, piano, backing vocals, mixing, concept, and co-producer
Kyuss Muchas Gracias: The Best of Kyuss Guitars and co-producer
2001 The Desert Sessions Volumes 7 & 8
2002 Queens of the Stone Age Songs for the Deaf Vocals, guitars, and co-producer
2003 The Desert Sessions Volumes 9 & 10 Vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and percussion
2004 Eagles of Death Metal Peace, Love, Death Metal Drums, percussion, bass, and producer
2005 Queens of the Stone Age Lullabies to Paralyze Vocals, guitar, bass, piano, drums, percussion, and co-producer
2006 Eagles of Death Metal Death by Sexy Drums, backup vocals, keyboards, bass, guitar, and producer
2007 Queens of the Stone Age Era Vulgaris Vocals, guitar, percussion, bass guitar, lap steel guitar, piano, organ, percussion ball, and co-producer
2008 Eagles of Death Metal Heart On Drums, guitars, bass, percussion, vocals, and producer
2009 Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures Vocals, guitar, organ, lap steel, production
2013 Queens of the Stone Age ...Like Clockwork Vocals, guitar, and co-producer

Notes

References

External links

  • Queens of the Stone Age official website
  • Internet Movie Database

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