If you looked at just how quickly Queens of the Stone Age’s recent Splendour in the Grass sideshows sold out, it’d be easy to think that rock music is doing better than ever, but QOTSA themselves still have some concerns about the state of rock music.
Asked about whether they were aware of the wider music world around them, the band have definitely noticed the shift away from rock music in recent years, and are beginning to feel lonely at the top. But at the same time, they’re hopeful that a solid run of rock releases this year might just be able to help stop the bleeding.
“I think we notice it most when we play festivals and you look at the lineup and number one, you don’t know most of the bands on there – there used to be rock bands that used to take the reigns,” bassist Michael Schuman begins. “But like you said there are a bunch of bands, often our friends’ bands, who are putting out records this year – so hopefully, collectively, we can get something going.”
“It’s like guitars are going extinct in a lot of ways. Now it’s punk to learn upright bass or classical guitar,” adds drummer Jon Theodore, before Schuman advises new musos to “Play your computer real good…”
“Yeah it’s a new world right now, and sometimes I feel like a dinosaur,” Theodore concludes, “but most of the time I’m just grateful that we got started before this transition started – I mean we’re still firmly rooted in the world of guitar.”
While rock music is still far from dead, it did just lose its place as America’s favourite type of music for the first time in recorded history, while a band that doesn’t actually exist reigns supreme atop the iTunes metal charts, so there are some definite worrying signs.
QOTSA, however, will be trying to keep the flame burning with a rock album that is “safe from the bullshit of the day”, and you can watch the latest teaser below.