Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) are an American hard rock band formed in Palm Desert, California 1997. Following the break up of former band Kyuss and a brief stint touring with the Screaming Trees, Josh Homme decided to start his own band, initially named Gamma Ray. Following potential copyright infringement the name was changed to QOTSA, which has consisted of a host of different members over the years. Homme on Lead vocals and guitar, is supported by current long-time members Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, pedal steel), Joey Castillo (drums, percussion), Michael Shuman (bass guitar) and Dean Fertita (keyboards, backing vocals). Although carrying with them the stoner rock moniker from previous band Kyuss, Homme prefers to describe their music as robot rock due to the structured, repetitive guitar riffs featuring on each of their albums. More commonly referred to as hard rock however, QOTSA are characterised by dirty, blunt, riffs that can be felt cascading across your body, finding you writhing in appreciation. Screaming Trees front man Mark Lanegan, who has featured on several albums as a member or guest star, has a rustic bluesy voice which offers an alternative to Hommes more youthful whine.
With the release of their self titled debut, QOTSA found moderate success and ex Kyuss member Nick Oliveri ,completing what was a line-up exclusive of ex-Kyuss members. However things soon changed with Mark Lanegan joining the band for their next release, Rated R, which was a greater commercial and artistic success than their previous release. Homme has been quoted saying “There's a robotic element to our albums, like the repetition of riffs. We also wanted to do a record that had a lot of dynamic range.”, so was born Rated R. Following its release the band found themselves in support slots for Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, and The Foo Fighters.For the recording of their next studio album Songs for the Deaf, QOTSA recruited ex Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, several new members from the band A Perfect Circle and again, Mark Lanegan. Songs for the Deaf was a critical and commercial success with album sales reaching upwards of 900,000 and the album heralding them as one of the premier rock acts in the industry. Constant radio play of lead singles Know One Knows, and Go with the Flow saw the album headlining festivals across Australia and other parts of the world. Following the completion of the Australian tour Bassist Nick Oliveri was fired from the band due to, later to be revealed, alleged physical abuse toward his girlfriend. QOTSA moved on however and have since released two more albums, 2005’s Lullabies to Paralyze and 2007’s Era Vulgaris to impressive reviews.
QOSTA are one of the most impressive hard rock outfits of the last decade and are a mainstay on any heavy guitar enthusiast’s playlist. Homme’s undeniable talent and passion for the industry will ensure they are here for a time to come with future with plans for a new album in the works.