Queens of the Stone Age is a rock band from Palm Desert, California, United States. The band is frequently labeled stoner rock, although they reject the label. They developed a style of riff-oriented, heavy music which the band's founder and mastermind Josh Homme described as "robot rock", saying that he "wanted to create a heavy sound based on a solid jam, just pound it into your head". Since then, their sound has evolved to incorporate a variety of different styles and influences.
While in high school, Homme got together with locals Brant Bjork, Chris Cockrell (later replaced by Nick Oliveri) and John Garcia resulting in the formation of Kyuss (firstly known as "Sons of Kyuss"). Queens of the Stone Age formed in 1997, rising from the ashes of Kyuss and began playing together during the now legendary Desert Sessions. Homme has drawn all of the members from that diverse group of musicians for Queens of the Stone Age. The band originally formed under the name Gamma Ray, but almost faced a lawsuit from the European metal band of the same name.
Queens of the Stone Age have gone through many line-up changes since first breaking into the hard rock scene. Their most recent line-up includes: Josh Homme (guitar, vocals), Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, lap steel, keyboards, backing vocals), Jon Theodore (drums, percussion), Michael Shuman (bass, backing vocals), and Dean Fertita (keyboards, guitar, backing vocals).
Former core members include Joey Castillo, Alain Johannes, Natasha Shneider, Mark Lanegan, and Nick Oliveri, among other members and contributors. In 2002, regarding the band line-up, Homme said: "It really is more of a musical experiment… It keeps moving and reinventing itself. That way we never get painted into a corner."
Dave Grohl recorded drums, percussion and backing vocals on Songs for the Deaf and toured in support of the album in 2002 before returning to the Foo Fighters. Grohl also made a live appearance in 2007, to play Make It wit Chu, and recorded tracks on …Like Clockwork, following Joey Castillo's departure.
Mark Lanegan has long been an on/off vocalist for the band, toured from 2001 to 2005 and made live appearances in 2007 and 2010. He has recorded with the band on all albums except for their self-titled debut album. Lanegan has also played keyboards in live performances during the tour preceding the release of Lullabies to Paralyze, before Natasha Shneider joined the band.
Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri were seen as the only two consistent Queens of the Stone Age members. Oliveri had previously played alongside Homme in the band Kyuss and joined Queens of the Stone Age as its permanent bass guitarist and co-lead vocalist, in 1998, upon the release of its debut album, Queens of the Stone Age. Being friends since childhood, the two meshed well together. Oliveri's punk background brought an element of danger and attitude to the Queens' live shows. As the band's two core members, the duo recorded the breakthrough albums, Rated R and Songs for the Deaf, together. Oliveri's unique "howling" singing style made him easily distinguishable on songs such as Six Shooter from the album Songs for the Deaf; he also displays a more melodic singing style in Rated R songs such as Auto Pilot.
However, Homme fired Oliveri in 2004 for excessive partying and an alleged incident of domestic abuse (an accusation which Oliveri strongly denies). The duo repaired their friendship shortly afterwards. Oliveri, however, did not return to the band. In 2013, upon hearing that former contributor Dave Grohl was recording drums for the band's sixth studio album, …Like Clockwork, Oliveri asked Homme if he too could return on bass guitar. Homme ultimately did not grant Oliveri's request. He does, however, appear on backing vocals on the album track, If I Had a Tail.
1997 - Kyuss / Queens of the Stone Age
1998 - Queens of the Stone Age / Beaver Split
1998 - Queens of the Stone Age
2000 - Rated R
2002 - Songs for the Deaf
2002 - Sample This School Boy
2002 - 2002-10-29: Rock City, Nottingham, UK
2002 - 2002-11-06: Stockholm, Sweden
2003 - Songs For The Deaf Tour Edition
2004 - Stone Age Complication
2005 - Lullabies to Paralyze
2005 - Lullabies To Paralize Tour Edition
2005 - MTV Unplugged (Berlin 2005-06-10)
2005 - Over the Years and Through the Woods
2006 - 2005-12-20: Los Angeles, CA, USA
2006 - Over The Years And Through The Woods
2007 - The Definitive Collection Of B-sides & Rarities
2007 - Era Vulgaris
2008 - Era Vulgaris Tour Edition
2013 - ...Like Clockwork
2017 - Villains
2023 - In Times New Roman...