Nick Oliveri, founding member of Kyuss and former member of Queens of the Stone Age, has officially quit Kyuss Lives as the impending lawsuit by Josh Homme and Scott Reeder and his criminal case prove too much.

Former bandmates Josh Homme and Scott Reeder announced a few weeks ago that they had launched a lawsuit against their former bandmates alleging trademark infringement amongst others after it came out that the remaining members of Kyuss Lives had made inquiries about keeping the Kyuss name themselves.

“Josh is a key player and songwriter in what Kyuss was and is. I don’t know that without Josh there — it will be what it should be,” said Oliveri in an interview with Antiquiet. “I don’t want to let anyone down. I don’t want to let myself down. I figure walk away with my head up high and do my own thing is the respectable thing and I think I need to do that.”

“I see Josh’s point, I met with Josh and he talked to me about it. Unfortunately I heard what was happening from Josh. He told me what he was going to do and I was ‘wow dude that’s heavy man’.”

“You know I wanted to believe for a second that we were going to do this band and I had spoken with Josh and he was cool because he’s a huge fan of John and the Kyuss catalogue.”

“I don’t see John as a villain, I don’t see Brant as a villain, and I don’t see what Josh is doing as out of left field as well because I can see where he would be bummed out because he put a lot of care and a lot of time into Kyuss.”

“Unfortunately the bad thing that happens with this is that it guarantees that the band will never be together. It guarantees that those people will never play in the same room together again.”

The messy lawsuit has caught Oliveri in the middle and is the second blow for Oliveri, who is currently facing a potential jail term of 15 years if found guilty of charges that include two counts of possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, 2 counts of possession of a controlled substance, and one misdemeanour count of resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer.

The charges stem from a drug-fuelled rampage Oliveri embarked on in July last year ending in a stand off with Los Angeles SWAT following reports of domestic violence.

“Basically at the end of the day I screwed up cause I didn’t open the door,” Oliveri explained. “I was like ‘I’m not going to open, I don’t have to open the door.’ I didn’t think you have to open the door [laughs]. You have to open the door. A robot came and knocked down my door.”

Oliveri’s pre-trail date has been set for April 13th, but his exit from the band raises more questions than answers about what the future may hold for Kyuss Lives. You can watch the full video interview below.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine