You’ve almost certainly heard the news by now, but just in case you haven’t: Queens’ seventh record, Villains, hit stores last Friday and if you’re yet to hear it then boy, you’re in for a treat.
Coming four years after …Like Clockwork, the nine-song LP sees Josh and the gang in a more upbeat, danceable and “nowist” mood and was produced, perhaps surprisingly, by pop wunderkind Mark Ronson. Speaking to NME about the unlikely collaboration, Josh explained:
In the same way that I met Mark Rankin by listening to ‘Rolling in The Deep’ and I thought, ‘man this song sounds amazing’… My kids were listening to ‘Uptown Funk’, and I thought ‘this sounds amazing, it’s really tight and dry’ and that was the direction I wanted to take this record in. “Then Ronson called me up to work on this Gaga stuff [Lady Gaga's latest record, Joanne, to which Homme contributed instrumentals] and within half an hour I was like ‘I think I’ll ask Ronson to do this’ – it will confuse and dismay people. I think one of the true joys of being in a rock’n’roll band is to define expectations just so you can defy them.”
The new album’s tracklist includes singles The Way You Used To Do and The Evil Has Landed, as well as a studio version of Villains of Circumstance, a song debuted acoustically by Josh way back in 2014.
Listen to the album now via the usual streaming services, the official YouTube playlist or by buying through Matador Records.
P.S.: A highlight of the numerous promotional clips that surrounded the release is Liam Lynch’s interrogation of each member of the QOTSA back catalogue, with the records voiced by Mr Homme himself. Check it out, yah.
Alain Johannes just shared a quick glimpse of a song that could have at some point been on the tracklist for Desert Sessions 9/10, after rooting through an old hard drive for forgotten files.
Entitled ‘Come To Me’, the track features Alain on lead vocals — and the rest of the line-up is left to our imagination, although based on the era it is likely that Josh, Joey and Dave Catching can also be heard somewhere in this tragically brief clip.
Take a listen by visiting Alain’s post on Instagram.
Fans hopeful that Queens will soon be back in the studio to follow up the universally acclaimed …Like Clockwork may be in for some unfortunate news: bassist Michael Shuman told Gigwise this week that the band will ‘take a break to do other stuff’ after the intense touring schedule that followed the 2013 release.
The news is admittedly unsurprising considering the toll that the creation of the last album took on the band, and the fact that …Like Clockwork‘s tour was their first in the best part of a decade. Yet it still stings to hear this just months after Homme promised to ‘jump in the studio and get going’ as soon as their tour wrapped up last year.
Schuman himself is busy touring with his ‘other band’, Mini Mansions, who are about to release their second full-length record. Josh meanwhile is putting the final touches on the new Eagles of Death Metal album (see image), which is due to be released imminently. Regardless of whether or not Queens release a new album, Homme has ominously predicted 2015 to be ‘a year of science and collection of ideas’, so be sure to expect something magical from the Ginger Elvis before the year is up.
Alain Johannes has just announced via Instagram that he is due to play a free gig this Thursday (March 26) with fellow ex-Queen Nick Oliveri. The show at Harvard and Stone in LA will also feature music from rising star Edith Crash, whose latest album was also produced by Johannes.
Any QOTSA fans in the area with no plans for Thursday should definitely tag along — what could be better than a free gig from some great musicians?!
This week, Rancho De La Luna’s Dave Catching teased the tracklist of his new album on Instagram. The album is likely to be released at the start of the new year and features a stunning list of guest stars, as evidenced by the tracklist:
- “Bought and Sold” – Dave Catching, Liela Moss and Joey Castillo
- “Your Daddy’s Waitin’” – Dave Catching, Chris Goss, Gene Trautmann
- “Ghost” – Dave Catching, Mark Lanegan, Chris Goss, Greg Dulli, Alain Johannes, Paz Lenchantin, Mathias Schneebeger, Johnette Napolitano, Jim Mankey
- “Overdrive” – Dave Catching, Bingo Richey, Jonathan Hischke, Barrett Martin
- “Shake Shake Shake” – Dave Catching, Serrina Sims, Troy Van Leeuwen, Joey Castillo
- “Electric Neon Feathered Hair” – Dave Catching, Sean Wheeler, Gene Trautmann
- “Big Chord” – Dave Catching, Gary Wertz, Barrett Martin, Jonathen Hischke, Hayden Scott
- “Pretty Bird” – Dave Catching, Alain Johannes, Joey Castillo, Troy Van Leeuwen
- “Shared Hallucination” – Dave Catching, Gary Wertz
- “Candy (Jaguar)” – Dave Catching, Abby Travis, Gene Trautmann, Jason Monsef, Tommy Grenas
If you’re as excited as we are to see past and present QOTSA members (we counted seven!) team up with an array of brilliant musicians then follow Dave on Instagram to learn more about the album (including a sneak peek of Alain’s riff in “Pretty Bird”).
To mark the release of their eighth album Sonic Highways, part-time Queens drummer Dave Grohl’s “other band” Foo Fighters have been documenting their creative process in a weekly HBO show of the same name. The fact that each of the album’s eight tracks was inspired by a different American city has given viewers an opportunity to follow the band as they travel the USA and uncover the rich musical history of each of their stops. This week was, according to the episode title at least, an exploration of the world-renowned Los Angeles music scene – however, to the joy of many of the frequenters here, much of the hour was spent in a cluttered little recording studio about 150 miles further inland.
Set just on the outskirts of California’s Joshua Tree National Park (and just across the road from where another Joshua grew up), the Rancho De La Luna recording studio has become a Meccah for artists who seek inspiration from its beautifully barren surroundings. Rancho was founded in 1993 by Fred Drake and Dave Catching and has played an integral part in the Palm Desert Scene, hosting bands such as Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age, earthlings? and Fatso Jetson. Josh Homme’s Desert Sessions, an entire catalogue of genre-spanning jams and future hits, was borne of the lack of distraction offered by the setting and the versatility that arose from the restricted equipment available in the studio. This week it was Foo Fighters’ turn to experience the magic of the Mojave desert as they wrote their new track, Outside.
Regardless of your feelings toward Foo Fighters, if you have any interest in the musical context surrounding Queens Of The Stone Age (or in seeing some amusing shots of Josh as a fifteen year old) then with a bunch of interviews from important Desert Scene figureheads and a touching tribute to the late Fred Drake, the episode is definitely worth catching up on.
Today marks the release of Fragments and Wholes Vol. 1, the first solo album from regular Queens collaborator Alain Johannes in four years.
Alain’s name will be familiar to many of us – having been accurately described by Josh as his own “secret weapon”, Alain has left his mark on every QOTSA album since Songs for the Deaf, made multiple appearances on Desert Sessions records and joined supergroup Them Crooked Vultures onstage for every live show.
On his new album the revered multi-instrumentalist expands on the unique sound he introduced in 2010′s heartfelt and bittersweet Spark, a record written in response to his wife and creative partner Natasha Shneider’s passing.
For an idea of what to expect from the new album, check out an acoustic version of Alain’s track Kaleidoscope below.
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To find out more about Fragments and Wholes take a look at Alain’s PledgeMusic page here.