This week I'll be blogging about Dave Grohl and the various bands/projects that he was/is involved with. Next up on the docket - Queens of the Stone Age.
Queens of the Stone Age began with Josh Homme in 1996. After the breakup of Kyuss in 1995, Homme had briefly joined Screaming Trees as a touring guitarist, before deciding to form a new band of his own. Originally naming his new project 'Gamma Ray', Homme changed the name in 1997, as German power metal band Gamma Ray, who have been around since 1989, was threatening to sue.
The band's second album "Rated R" garnered positive reviews and received a lot more attention than their debut, despite the fact that the lyrics to "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" were deemed by mega-retailer Wal-Mart to promote drug use, almost causing the record to get pulled from store shelves. The success of the record also earned the band notable opening slots with The Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Hole, and a place at Ozzfest 2000.
During the 2001 Rock in Rio show, bassist Nick Oliveri was famously arrested after performing on stage naked, with only his bass guitar covering his dangling genitals. Oliveri apologized to officials, saying that he did not know it was a crime in Brazil.
Dave Grohl joined the band in late 2001/early 2002 to record their third album, Songs for the Deaf. Although Songs for the Deaf gained major attention, Grohl returned to his other projects and was replaced on the European leg of the album's supporting tour by former Danzig drummer Joey Castillo, who joined the band full-time. Also featured on Songs for the Deaf for the final track Mosquito Song were former A Perfect Circle bassist Paz Lenchantin (on viola and piano) and Dean Ween on guitar.
On July 2, 2008, Queens of the Stone Age's former keyboardist Natasha Shneider died of lung cancer at the age of 52. The news broke with a message posted on the MySpace page of the band Sweethead, of which Natasha's close friend and former band-mate Troy Van Leeuwen is a member. The band performed a concert in celebration of Natasha Shneider's life at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles on August 16, 2008, . They were joined on stage by Shneider's husband Alain Johannes, Jack Black and Kyle Gass, Matt Cameron, Brody Dalle, Jesse Hughes, Chris Goss and PJ Harvey, playing a variety of QOTSA and non-QOTSA songs, including covers of songs from bands such as Cream and The Doors. Tenacious D and PJ Harvey also performed acoustic sets at the show. Proceeds from the concert went to defray the costs associated with Natasha’s illness.
In autumn 2010, Homme suffered from a botched knee operation during which his heart stopped for a short time due to asphyxiation. Following this, he was bedridden for three months and plunged into a deep depression, during which he considered giving up his music career altogether. He elaborated on this experience further 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. Homme has since said that the experience contributed greatly to the writing and recording of ...Like Clockwork.
In November 2012, Homme informed BBC's Zane Lowe that Joey Castillo had left the band and that drums on the new album would be performed by Dave Grohl. Homme also confirmed with Lowe that the album would be released prior to their performance at the Download Festival in June 2013. In addition to Grohl, other former members contributing to the album include former bassists Nick Oliveri and Johannes, and vocalist Mark Lanegan. A number of collaborations from different musicians have been announced for the new album, including Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears, Brody Dalle and Elton John.