This Friday, Queens Of The Stone Age will release their seventh album, Villains. I will have a review of Villains later in the week, but before then, I thought it would be fun to delve into the history of one of the more interesting rock bands of the last 20 years.
Originally formed in 1996, QOTSA has been an anomaly in the past few decades: A smart, critically acclaimed hard-rock band that’s not really indie, not really metal, and nowhere close to mainstream rock groups such as Nickelback and Five Finger Death Punch. Instead, QOSTA exists in the shadows of those genres, drawing on punk and new wave iconoclasts like Iggy Pop and the Cramps while also keeping the spirit of all-time riff-rock mainstays like Black Sabbath and Cream alive.
I invited super-fan Zoe Camp — a writer for Pitchfork, Spin, and the Village Voice, among other places — to help me assess QOTSA’s various incarnations, all of which are anchored by the band’s eternally cool frontman, Josh Homme. We debate whether Rated R or Songs For The Deaf is QOTSA’s best album, whether “middle period” records like Lullabies To Paralyze and Era Vulgaris are underrated, whether Eagles Of Death Metal can hold a candle to Them Crooked Vultures, and if this band belongs with the very best rock acts of the modern era.