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Stone Interviews Josh Homme

RAT!RAT! Posts: 115
edited December 2007 in The Porch

Shortly after returning from the respective 2007 European Tours, Stone Gosssard hopped on the phone with the Queens of the Stone Age front man Josh Homme to recap some antics from the Werchter festival in Belgium where Josh joined PJ on stage and to catch up on old times.

Josh Homme : What’s up Stone how are you doing bro?

Stone Gossard: Josh thanks so much for taking the time out to do this, this is really great.

JH: My pleasure man, you know me.

SG: We have this magazine, that we have been doing and we are trying to make it good so, you have to have good people who want to do interviews.

JH: Yes, dude you are so a year ahead of me, I can't stand it.

SG: Oh how is that?

JH: Because I have been wanting to take my label record and make it into like this, you know, have engaging conversations. I love Interview magazine except for how they only scratch the surface. It is a chance to get into something and hear about something that people would really dig.

SG: I want to talk to you about the new record and maybe we could go back and talk a little bit about your history too and then feel free to, if you've got a question for me.

JH: You know I'm going to turn this around on you.

SG: I can only hope so, I would be honored to have you turn it around on me, so to speak.

JH: Because I have got a couple of questions that need answers.

SG: That one question that has be answered off the bat is to find out what it exactly was that you snorted before the show we played with you (Werchter Festival, Belgium 6/29/07). Ed came in talking about some herbal something that you were snorting, but yet somehow you managed to talk our singer into snorting it as well.

JH: You know, I talked him into the way the devil would, I didn't say a word. I just gave him a look that said "If you are unable to, I totally understand."

SG: Yes, yes. He is going to really use that becxause he tells sucha great story and the way he told that particular story was, he is going to get a lot of mileage out of it because he really described the look on your face after you did the initial blast and I think he said something like "Oh, I think that wasn't a good idea."

JH: There are a few ironic twists here and thrue, in actual ironic fashion that first of all I have been such a good boy for a long time and a friend of mine...

SG: Yes, congratulations on that, by the way, that's really great.

JH: Piece of cake you know. I love being myself and I love to go to extremes but I don't like to live there. And so a friend of mine from Amsterdam, you know, Ephederin has been made illegal here in the states now.

SG: Yes, right because they turn in into Meth right?

JH: Yes because it is so easy to go back to my home town and reconstitute it. And so a friend of mine, a couple of years ago turned me onto these things, which I will leave nameless, but they are Ephederin and Cayenne Pepper.

SG: Oh, right that's what it was. The Cayenne.

JH: And it was all these herbs and what happened is, is I said you know what, watch this, you want to see something nuts and I'm joking with my band and I open one of these capsules and I am going to snort this herbal thing. And you know it had been a long time since anything had ventured its way in that direction and right as I'm kind of finishing up the presentation part about to do this, in walks Ed.

SG: Oh no, the pressure was on. You're just faced with this situation where you had to make a choice.

JH: Well I mean I was going to do it regardless, but what I was really face with was the fact that, what an evil pig I looked like as he walks in and I'm about to hork something down that looks unnatural you know.

SH: Totally. Except it looks like dried lawn.

JH: Well, and I said to him, I go, "I swear to god this is healthy", that was all I could muster. I had no idea how much Cayenne Pepper was in there.

SG: That is what he said, he said your eyes swelled up and your face got...

JH: Yes, I am trying to hold it together but my insides are like "I hate you."

SG: Were you thinking at all about, I have to go on stage and sing in about 45 minutes, or was ths after you guys played?

JH: Man, I love to gamble. You know that.

JH: I was going to say that there is one thing that should be added to that, the Eddie portion, you know, ultimately what he found from, is that all gnarly drugs come from nature anyways, so just because someone says it is natural... Because I have seen you guys a bunch of times, I saw you guys at the forum when you were here last he was really energetic...he was really energetic.

SG: You know, he told me, by the time we got up on stage that night, he had been there and seen so many bands and he had probably had a few beers, and I know he had some of your herbal, you know what ever it was, and at the end of our show, he said he had nothing left in the tank.

JH: when I left you guys in your area and wen tot say hi, he didn't see me at first and I looked and he was jumping up and down like a jitter bug, like a back up singer in Geroge MIchael's band and I looked at him and I was like "you all right there buddy" because I was totally fine. Well, you know, I got a little bit of an experience and I was riding it out and he was like, "wow that stuff is working" and I was like working, it is really working.

SG: Ok, well I will probably have to get at least one comment from Ed if he wants to add anything more to this interview. So I promise that I will let him see the transcript before we send it out and make sure that there's not another bit of information that he wants to add.

(Eddie Vedder: I didn't snort, I swallowed.)

JH:Well, I can tell you this, you guys were great that night. It was amazing.

SG: Oh, thank you.

JH: It has been a long time since I have watched a full hour and a half plus show before.

SG: Wow. That is great, the band kind of feels like we are playing better than we have, I think everybody is, we are gettign better but it is like we are slow in how we progress, but it is starting to kind of do something brand new for us lately.

JH:You touched on one of those things that I've got to ask you which is-- and also the right word for me personall which is slow, there is no need to ever be in a rush and I think a lot of bands miss that.

SG: Yes.

JH:And it feels like you only get a few phases as a song writer and a band and if you rush through them you probably made a mistake and you guys have done such a great job of exhausting each phase that you are in, but to me that's the best thing that you could do and you have built up an almost grateful dead like following. Like what it is with your relationship with your kids that so endears you to each other, you guys are galvanized.

SG: Everybody actually believes that they have some sort of special connection to the artistic universe and God damn it they are going to share it. And so in the best possible sense I just think that we have been stubborn with sticking with each other and stubborn in dealing with each other and the payoffs are so slow sometiems in those situations that you don't recognize something really great until 10 years later or something and you wake up and go, "oh my God", that song that I hate five years ago is now my new favorite song.

JH:Right, well I mean when the payouts take a while longer to show up it stays a lot longer and, you know, it's hard in the moment to realize that, but I, you know, I always felt like that you guys have always stood up properly. Every band and every person takes shots and that get knocked down, but i have always felt -- I wonder if it's just the fact that you stand up with respect and pride --you should do that again you know, sort of an attitude, although that's stubborn shit you are talking about.

SG: That means a lot, coming from you, and I know that the band respects your path and just from my own experience with working with you and kind of watching and listening to what you have kind of done, I think that you have informed that as well. So I really feel the same way and listening to your new record you can continue to hear the sort of music that is coming from your band and your song writing. It's an amalgamation of things -- some of which are real -- that I really can identify with because I am a child of the seventies and the eighties and nineties but I think the blending that you do in terms of the characters that you create and the musical style that you are touching on has a real unique blend which is one of the great things about rock. You can take two things and jam them together. But I have to got to start out with the first song, "Turning on the Screw" which is such a freaking great song and there was a bunch of stuff I was thinking about it, but the first thing I noticed about it was -- who played the bass on that one?

JH: That's me on bass.

SG: Nice bass line.

JH: Well, you know, ever since Nick and I have parted ways all we have ever really done, Troy and Joey and Alain and myself, is fight over who plays bass.

SG: Yes right, of course.

JH: Because it turns out that you know, that's the instrument that we are all running for.

SG: That's where the action is.

JH: Well it's just there is something so rude, so pleasantly rude about it that I think you know for this record I really think of it like wicker rattan. Its in the weave. It's in the criss-cross. Every song almost in unplayable on acoustic by itself.

SG: Right. That's good, I love it. One thing I noticed about the bass is that you know particularly when you are hammering on a guitar riff, how a bass can subtlety make small changes in terms of its rhythmic impulses. It kind of dances around underneath there and when you start to get some real interesting movement that happens, particularly in the rhythms, I did notice that I just love the bass line on that. It's a classic kind of Queens song in the sense that the vocal melody is just really simple and big and strong ant he syncopation I know there are a lot of different rhythms going on beneath it, but its simplicity is so key to it and then of course with just the most insane outro. It might be one of the more insane outros, you know. I am trying to think of songs that turn into chaos yet they don't turn into mush, they keep sort of splitting the beat around and changing rhythmic impluse and sort of doing all the stuff that leaves you gasping in a sense, so really great song. Is that a gong on the front?

JH: No, that just me six times you know doing my version, it's not an onm as much as ov.

SG: Oh wow, that's cool. What, is there a cymbal mized in with it or is it just a voice.

JH: IT is just vocals.

SG: Wow, that fucking great.

JH: Yes and you know that center section there - on this record there is a lot of examination of one note because it is just one note and that's what happens when you dont' mess with anything. You know I always call that sort of stiffness the white man's groove, that's why I love Devo so much. If everyone played stiff all of a sudden we would get something.

SG: If everyone hands on to their own rhythm, it can create some pretty amazing things.

JH: There is something to playing the same part and trying to stick the accents in exactly the same spot and it's actually so difficult to try and do yourself let alone getting someone to please just play it as stiff as you humanly can, it's the hardes tthing.

SG: Talking about simplicity, I was thinking about that because I think from the very beginning you had an affinity towards simplistic and I think that that's been one of your strongest things. Just by the way you naturally want to lay your vocal over something and the way you want to play, two chords or three chords, you are immediately identifiable as Josh Homme because you have this style, this fingerprint, this way and I thought about some other greats in music that have that sort of thing and I wrote down Neil Young and Kurt Cobain because they are two people who have embraces simplicity with such an abandon. They certainly helped me rediscover the beauty of one note, two notes, three notes, particularly if you lay the vocal across it in the right way and the drummer is swinging it in the right way, how powerful that can be. In your pantheon, what do those guys mean to you?

JH: Well I mean, I will never forget the first time I heard Nirvana and when I heard some singles and then Bleach I thought what the hell is this and why has it destroyed everybody else that I am involved in. And with Neil Young, you know, with both guys I have learned over th years that when someone says that you sound a big weird really what that means is that we are headed in the right directiong because I know that if it is going to sound different then just the definition of that, is that it will sound awkward to someone at first. It's about acclimating someone's ears to understand, to make weird comfortable. Forget about comfortably numb, how about comfortably weird.

SG: Do you feel ever that you sort of almost have to fight off letting it get too hooky?

JH: Well no because...

SG: Come on, you do to too! You write hooks in your sleep!

JH: No, but I love hooks. The punk rock I grew up listening to, I feel like there are huge hooks in GBH, English Sub-Humans, the Mistfits. For me to listen to someone else's record, I need more hooks than a bait shop. It can't just be dissonant or I don't care.

SG: Right exactly . And it seems like that's really -- at least from my perspective -- your dance that you do between the biggest sign along vocal melody and the syncopation, the time signature and the ability for you to destroy it, to crush it in front of the listener. Whereas some people might say if AC/DC or to a certain degree Nirvana, would destroy their songs a little bit.

JH: With Nirvana I always feel like here is a series of choruses in less than three minutes, where you are just thinking "dear God here is another rat hook again?" like you are almost annoyed because it makes you want to go home you know and for me it's a bit like the Green party thing that they are doing right now where you like buy credits back, like I have always, maybe some would say the bigger the hook the more I buy credits back by say...

SG: Yes right it allows you to experiment more sometime in the future because you know, we have got that hook so lets just stay in there for awhile.

JH: It allows me to experminet in that very song by saying " all right this a huge hook so we can be really freaky."

SG: Yes right, beautiful.

JH: It's this allowance to pleasurably poke people.

SG: Great I think that is fantastic. It's worked so well and it continues to work and I think you are taking people places and at the same time you are delivering what you need to deliver in terms of making sure you are getting
Post edited by Unknown User on


  • PART I

    Shortly after returning from the respective 2007 European Tours, Stone Gosssard hopped on the phone with the Queens of the Stone Age front man Josh Homme to recap some antics from the Werchter festival in Belgium where Josh joined PJ on stage and to catch up on old times.

    Josh Homme : What’s up Stone how are you doing bro?

    Stone Gossard: Josh thanks so much for taking the time out to do this, this is really great.

    JH: My pleasure man, you know me.

    SG: Shut the fuck up bitch, this was a trap. I am going to assrape you.
  • Marie CurieMarie Curie Posts: 1,250
    PART I

    Shortly after returning from the respective 2007 European Tours, Stone Gosssard hopped on the phone with the Queens of the Stone Age front man Josh Homme to recap some antics from the Werchter festival in Belgium where Josh joined PJ on stage and to catch up on old times.

    Josh Homme : What’s up Stone how are you doing bro?

    Stone Gossard: Josh thanks so much for taking the time out to do this, this is really great.

    JH: My pleasure man, you know me.

    SG: Shut the fuck up bitch, this was a trap. I am going to assrape you.

    I believe you got a very different version of the last Deep magazine :D
    “Life is life everywhere. Life is in ourselves and not outside us. There will be men beside me, and the important thing is to be a man among men and to remain a man always, whatever the misfortunes, not to despair and not to fall - that is the aim of life, that is its purpose.”
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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