Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme has opened up about the first time he met BFF Alex Turner and his band Arctic Monkeys, saying that a less-than-stellar 300 person audience at their own gig made sure there was no “cool-guy BS”.
Speaking with BBC Radio 6‘s Matt Everitt, Homme reminisced on the 2007 Houston concert which marked the two bands’ first performance on the same stage, making light of the rather limited crowd numbers along the way.
“We first met in Houston, playing a gig together in front of about 300 people,” Homme said. “It was fun and empty. I think we were both sort of like ‘yeah sorry’ to each other that there’s no one here. But having been in Kyuss, where no one really liked it either, I was like ‘no, this means we’re doing the right thing, when no one’s here’,” he continued.
“It was a humble beginning, for us both. It sort of put a cap on any potential cool-guy BS.” Homme then suggested that the idea of Arctic Monkeys ever attaining any cool-guy BS “wasn’t a possibility”.
“You couldn’t be around a more down-to-earth, earnest group of people that grew up together and somehow made a bubble to protect themselves from the explosion that is their band,” Homme said.
He continued to sing the band’s praises as he mused on the real goals of making music. “They’ve been playing this most dangerous game of changing every record and reaching like a rock climber for the next grip,” he said.
“I just love that and I just love them as people, individually and as a group that’s just weathered all these storms together.”
Homme spoke of Arctic Monkey’s longevity, before citing that such longevity can produce its own brand of “cool”
“It’s not so much about firsts than lasts. Can your last record be your best record? How many people traverse this crazy mixed-up circus of a way to live and make their best stuff towards the end?” Homme asked.
“Bands peel away and artists peel away or tie sweaters around their shoulders but that’s just what happens, but who can make it through all the way and be as cool as Leonard Cohen? Who can navigate those waters like that? That’s the real goal.”
Homme helped produce Arctic Moneys’ 2009 album Humbug. Arctic Monkeys’ bassist Nick O’Malley told Music Feeds in 2013 that the band “don’t want to hide under Josh Homme’s wing“.
Watch Queens Of The Stone Age cover Arctic Monkeys’ Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? below, in the ultimate display of musical bromancing.
Watch: Queens Of The Stone Age – Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge)