Video Breakdown: Queens Of The Stone Age – No One Knows

Queens Of The Stone Age get into a fight with a deer

Oh deer, oh deer, oh deer. It’s a 2002 banger from Queens Of The Stone Age, with a revolving lineup, a famous pal on drums and some quite brutal animal-on-rockstar violence. Hooray!


Look, it’s Queens of the Stone Age! They’re surrounded by a glow that’s first orange, then blue – possibly a source of inspiration a few years later for the makers of the game Portal, who knows? Then it goes white, which the portals don’t do, so maybe not.


Hey, isn’t that the guy from Probot? Dave Grohl played drums on all of Songs For The Deaf, albeit as a guest rather than a fully-fledged member of QOTSA. Throughout this video he does the extremely clever trick of looking facially like he’s not quite sure how to drum, and then drumming fucking amazingly.


Wait, what? We’ve cut from the four-piece performing band with the multicoloured Ready Brek glows to three fellas in a car. Two of the fellas are in both groups. What? The No One Knows video is two videos smashed together – two filming sessions, two directors, two lineups. Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri are in both, and then there’s the performance in the black room featuring Grohl and touring guitarist (and later full QOTSA member) Troy Van Leeuwen, and the deer-based desert adventure featuring occasional member and longtime collaborator Mark Lanegan. It’s all very confusing, but at the same time it doesn’t really matter. Things are about to get tasty.


Here’s a joke. Who is Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri’s favourite Battlestar Galactica character? Kyuss Baltar. Thanks.


Oh no! There’s a deer right in the path of QOTSA’s jeep… No, it’s under it now. Much like the new five pound note, this video is not suitable for vegetarians.


At this point, when the breathy whisper comes in over the vocals, we should probably acknowledge the hunky elephant in the room: look how sexy Josh Homme is. He’s like Elvis if Elvis was 6’4” of sweaty ginger sex machine. He’s a hunk! He’s a robo-hunk. If he was a mostly-forgotten 2003 Chow Yun-Fat movie he’d be Bulletproof Hunk. If he was a reasonably obscure 2010 psychological thriller he’d be Hunkyard Dog.


The deer! It moves! It moves… weirdly! One of the directors on the video was Michel Gondry, and the eerie, unreal deer really feels like it’s fallen out of his strange-ass mind. The band sought him out to work with as they were big Björk fans.


Biff, right in the mush, Homme! Right in the handsome, pouting mush!


If Josh Homme was called John Homme, and the jeep was a different vehicle, we could make a really great joke about a ‘John Deer Tractor’, but no.


Is it us or has someone just cranked the heating right up?


So this is odd. It’s a burlesque club in the middle of the desert and it seems to have one customer in it. Terrible business model. The deer smashes through the white fence and spoils the club’s ambience. You never really see deer behind the wheel, do you? Hooves are notoriously difficult to steer with.


Nick Oliveri’s an intense dude, isn’t he? He always looks like he’s going to angrily sell you a stolen air conditioner from the boot of a car. He once got arrested for fighting Terrorvision. And had a stand-off with a SWAT team in Los Angeles.


It feels like this shot owes something to the old Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones head-to-head sketches, but it probably doesn’t. It’s the high-pitched moany singy part! It’s all very close and intimate, isn’t it?


Ah, it’s the garden gnomes and sexy female deer statue part that not enough music videos have these days.


So, the deer is, like, doing it with a statue, and has beheaded the official members of Queens Of The Stone Age. It’s a dance as old as time itself.

What we learned from No One Knows

The desert is a weird, scary, weird place. There are deer who pay no heed to the line between this world and the next, and garden gnomes, and ladies of the night. Don’t live there.

The Story Behind The Song: No One Knows by Queens Of The Stone Age

Freelance writer

Mike Rampton is an experienced London-based journalist and author, whose writing has also featured in Metro, Maude, GQ, Vice, Men's Health, Kerrang!, Mel, Gentleman's Journal, NME, and Mr Hyde. He enjoys making aggressively difficult puns, drinking on trains and pretending to be smarter than he is. He would like to own a boat one day but accepts that he probably won't.