If you were wondering where some of the tripped out concepts riddled throughout Queen’s Of The Stone Age’s latest album …Like Clockwork come from, a recent interview with frontman Josh Homme might bring you some answers. Speaking to the Irish Independent, Homme explains that a lot of the influence for the record was drawn from a near-death experience that almost put him off making more music.
What was meant to be routine knee surgery ended up as a life-or-death situation, with Homme waking up to a doctor informing him, “Shit, we almost lost you.” The effects weren’t too quick to fade either, as he “couldn’t get up for four months”.
But rather than dwelling on his issues, Homme chose to learn from his “last couple of years of failure and anguish”. At his lowest point, the frontman thought back to the Rocky-esque advice from his grandfather:
“My grandpa used to say, ‘Everyone gets knocked down, but it’s the style in which you get up that matters.’ Well, it feels like I got to stand up my way. Does my grandpa mean a lot to me? Well, his name is tattooed on my fingers.”
That isn’t to say that there wasn’t doubt creeping into his mind. “I didn’t want to play music anymore because I died on an operating table,” he admits. “I didn’t give a shit about little things anymore, and music had become a little thing.”
But after a coffee and chat with his pal Trent Reznor about “other things” and his engagement to wife Brody Dalle, Homme soon found his passion once more:
“The wife and I have a little shack out the back of our house, so I put a little studio in there. She encouraged me to go in there as much as possible and told me not to worry about what I wrote.
“So, I went in and the first song I wrote was ‘The Vampyre of Time and Memory’. I hated it. I thought, ‘Who wants to hear this?’ Then Brody reminded me, ‘Who fucking cares?’ You got to start somewhere and the bottom can be a really great place.”
In the full interview, Homme details his experiences working with the likes of Scissor Sisters, Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and Sir Elton John.