It’s easy to look at Josh Homme swaggering around the stage as the frontman of QOTSA, magnetic as can be, and think that he was born to play that role – and maybe he was.
But according to Homme he never had his eye on that job, having stuck to guitar in Kyuss, and only fell into it when he couldn’t find someone to take it on.
It was really a trial by fire… I could liken it to doing stand-up for the first time
With nobody keen to take the frontman spot, apparently, it was left to Homme to learn as he went – and he didn’t slip into it as comfortably as you’d expect.
“I had to learn in front of everybody – it was really a trial by fire,” he says. “I could liken it to doing stand-up for the first time, ’cause you think you know it, but then you go to do it, and it’s not easy.”
While Homme is an overwhelming presence in QOTSA, oozing a moody rock charisma on stage and off, he was never fussed about being the centre of attention, he claims.
The size of the role that I have never mattered to me. If the thing is good – who cares?
“The size of the role that I have never mattered to me. If the thing is good – who cares?” he says. “I would kinda say it’s like being on a ship in the ocean. If the cook fails, you die; if the rigor fails, you die; if the captain fails, you die.
“They are all equally important. The only problem is if the cook wants to be the captain, or if the captain wants to be the… That role envy is a problem. That’s where mutiny comes from.”
“And why live in a world where… ‘I wish I could do that, but I’m not!’ That’s just your own fucking excuse, just fuckin’ go ahead and do it.
What if Mark Lanegan had been in Josh’s spot instead?
If Homme’s original ideas for QOTSA had come to fruition, we’d be looking at a very different band, too.
“I wasn’t in love with singing,” he explains. “I thought, ‘What if there was a band that’s just rotating all the time?’ These flavors all in one, like going to a festival, but it’s in one band.”
I thought, ‘What if there was a band that’s just rotating all the time?
He took the opportunity to point out a couple of the other members who maybe could have taken a bigger role in that rotation if things had worked out differently.
“[Mark] Lanegan’s like… If he was the voice on your phone, fuck that Siri shit! And then Nick [Oliveri] has his own reality that’s totally alien and wonderful too.
“I would love to be in that environment with multiple people that have that skill. It’s great to just watch them. Like on the Iggy tour, I got to just play guitar and dance for the first time since Lanegan and Nick. That’s why I love being in Eagles of Death Metal!”
While we’re glad Josh gets some time occasionally to dance (which seems to be his big priority at the moment, especially on the new album), we can’t imagine not having him front-and-centre, getting into hilarious fights with hecklers.