"People who want to tell you what to do?They should shut the f**k up": Josh Homme on Queens Of The Stone Age providing a "safe space" for personal expression

Josh Homme, November 2023
(Image credit: Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns)

Given the turmoil in his personal life, his heartache over losing some of his closest friends (Mark Lanegan, Taylor Hawkins) and his own battle with cancer, it's little wonder that Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme says that the past years - "the darkest four years" of his life - found him "busy hanging on for dear life."

But despite all the turbulence which has shaken the foundations of his world, QOTSA's vocalist/guitarist says that his band - and their live shows - will always provide a safe haven for those who dare to follow their own heart and conscience rather than fall meekly into line with convention and consensus.

"In a world that is hell-bent on telling you what to do, and moreover, micromanaging you on how to do it: here at Queens At Queens Of The Stone Age Corporation, we don’t do that," Homme tells Metro. "I turn the lights out, I turn the music up, so you can whisper in your friend’s ear about what you really want to do. We provide a safe space to not be told what to do, because I believe escapism is an undervalued resource, like a diamond. People who want to tell you what to do? They should shut the fuck up."

Having recently completed a short UK and Ireland tour, QOTSA will return to Europe next summer to headline a number of prestige festivals, including Download and Hellfest. Naturally, Homme isn't about to give any spoilers ahead of their return.

"You never know what to expect with Queens Of The Stone Age," he says, "and being kept on your toes is half of the fun."

In a recent interview with ITV News, Homme revealed the cheeky dig that Elton John shared with him at this summer's Glastonbury festival, when he discovered that Queens Of The Stone Age would be headlining the site's Other Stage at the same time as he was headlining the Pyramid Stage.

"I saw him right before the show, and he very lovingly looked into my eyes and said, [puts on approximation of an English accent] 'Josh, enjoy playing to all three of those people'."

You can watch the ITV interview below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.