If you’re not in Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme’s address book, you’re probably not worth knowing.
He’s formed a band with one of Nirvana and one of Led Zeppelin, produced an album for the Arctic Monkeys and collaborated with — deep breath — The Strokes, Peaches, Primal Scream, Unkle, Foo Fighters, Mastodon, Trent Reznor, Scissor Sisters, Biffy Clyro, The Prodigy and, perhaps most incongruously, Elton John to name but a few.
He dated our own PJ Harvey and is now married to Brody Dalle, formerly of The Distillers and now Spinnerette. As well as Them Crooked Vultures, he was also a founding member of legendary stoner band Kyuss and Eagles of Death Metal and instigated the infamous Desert Sessions. He appeared in a Jack White video. He wrote the theme tune for a series of surreal adult cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Oh, and also he’s the brains behind Queens of the Stone Age, who release …Like Clockwork, their sixth album, and first for six years, this week. Josh Homme, who turned 40 last month, has been keeping himself busy.
(He’s also quite a well-turned-out chap, which within the questionably dressed realm of American rock is no mean feat.)
Here we join up some of the dots:
Queens of the Stone Age
The band that rose from the ashes of influential stoner outfit Kyuss. Dave Grohl played drums on their third album, but the band are still perhaps best known for “Feel Good Hit of the Summer”, the ironically titled, super-catchy celebration of narcotics that served as the opener for Rated R.
Watch the video to “Feel Good Hit of the Summer”:
Them Crooked Vultures
The supergroup formed in 2009 with Dave Grohl (again) and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. A second album has been promised by the trio.
Here's them performing “New Fang” for BBC Radio 1:
Homme co-produced the Arctic Monkey’s 2009 album Humbug, going as far as shipping the band out to the Mojave Desert to lay down tracks. In a recent interview with BBC 6Music, Homme described Arctic Monkey’s Alex Turner as “one of the most talented songwriters and lyric writers that is out there. If I'd have grown up in Sheffield, I'd have hung out with Alex.”
Here's the video for “Crying Lightning”:
Since the late Nineties, Homme has whiled away his spare time holed up in his studio in the desert. There, he jams, among no doubt other pursuits, with friends. The resulting recordings have become The Desert Sessions series. In 2003, Homme invited his then-girlfriend PJ Harvey to join the fun. The pair knocked out a few tunes, one in particular that would go on to become Queens of the Stone Age single “Make It wit Chu” (and with Harvey reportedly knocking Homme out
Here's Josh Homme and PJ Harvey perform “Make It wit Chu” on Later… With Jools Holland:
Florence + The Machine
Last year, Homme joined Florence Welch on stage to perform “Jackson”, the song best known for Johnny Cash’s version, during Florence + The Machine’s MTV Unplugged show.
Listen to “Jackson” here:
OK, so he never worked with Queen, but he did cover “Stone Cold Crazy” for the 2005 Queen tribute album Killer Queen. He also does a mean version of Tom Waits’ “Goi’ Out West”.
Listen to “Stone Cold Crazy” here:
Most unlikely of all the collaborators involved with the new Queens of the Stone Age album …Like Clockwork has to be knight of the realm Elton John. Homme says he thought it was a joke when John contacted him out of the blue. “He said, ‘The only thing missing from your band is an actual queen!’” Homme recently told Xfm. “I said, Honey, you have no idea.” The call lead to John providing piano accompaniment on the album track “Fairweather Friend”.
Here's Queens of the Stone Age’s 15-minute …Like Clockwork preview: