Josh Homme

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Josh Homme
Queen of the Stone Edge-Josh Homme-IMG 6555.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJoshua Michael Homme III
Born(1973-05-17) May 17, 1973 (age 41)
Joshua Tree, California, United States
GenresAlternative rock, stoner rock, hard rock, heavy metal
OccupationsMusician, singer-songwriter, producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, drums, synthesizers, lap steel, pedal steel, banjo, organ, percussion
Years active1985–present
LabelsDali, Elektra, Roadrunner, Bongload, Man's Ruin, Loosegroove, Rekords Rekords, Interscope, Ipecac, Southern Lord, Matador, Beggars Banquet
Associated actsQueens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Arctic Monkeys, Eagles of Death Metal, Mondo Generator, The Desert Sessions, Screaming Trees, Mastodon, Masters of Reality, Primal Scream, Fififf Teeners, Them Crooked Vultures, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Biffy Clyro, U.N.K.L.E, Goon Moon, Mark Lanegan Band, Millionaire, Wellwater Conspiracy
Notable instruments
MotorAve BelAire
Ovation Ultra GP
Maton BB1200
Maton Mastersound
Epiphone Dot
Yamaha SA-70
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Josh Homme
Queen of the Stone Edge-Josh Homme-IMG 6555.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJoshua Michael Homme III
Born(1973-05-17) May 17, 1973 (age 41)
Joshua Tree, California, United States
GenresAlternative rock, stoner rock, hard rock, heavy metal
OccupationsMusician, singer-songwriter, producer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, drums, synthesizers, lap steel, pedal steel, banjo, organ, percussion
Years active1985–present
LabelsDali, Elektra, Roadrunner, Bongload, Man's Ruin, Loosegroove, Rekords Rekords, Interscope, Ipecac, Southern Lord, Matador, Beggars Banquet
Associated actsQueens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Arctic Monkeys, Eagles of Death Metal, Mondo Generator, The Desert Sessions, Screaming Trees, Mastodon, Masters of Reality, Primal Scream, Fififf Teeners, Them Crooked Vultures, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Biffy Clyro, U.N.K.L.E, Goon Moon, Mark Lanegan Band, Millionaire, Wellwater Conspiracy
Notable instruments
MotorAve BelAire
Ovation Ultra GP
Maton BB1200
Maton Mastersound
Epiphone Dot
Yamaha SA-70

Joshua Michael Homme III (/ˈhɒm.i/ HOM-ee,[note 1] born May 17, 1973)[1] is an American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He is the founding and only continuous member of the rock band Queens of the Stone Age, in which he sings, plays guitar and occasionally piano, and serves as the band's primary songwriter. He was also formerly a guitarist and founder of the influential stoner rock band Kyuss. He co-founded and occasionally performs with Eagles of Death Metal while playing drums for studio recordings, and continues to produce and release a musical improv series with other musicians, mostly from the Palm Desert Scene, known as The Desert Sessions. In 2009, he appeared in a new project called Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones, who released their debut album in 2009.

Early life[edit]

Homme was born in Joshua Tree, California and grew up in an affluent family in Palm Desert, California. His grandfather, Cap, moved to the desert from North Dakota while Homme's father was a child. His surname is of Norwegian origin, and is believed to come from the town of Valle. The Homme family have a local street named after them in a golfing community, and Cap has a park named after him in an exclusive enclave of the Coachella Valley.[2] Homme appeared in a 2011 episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on the area, and discussed having "to create your own fun" as a child growing up in the desert. He also stated that he didn't start playing music to "get girls or make money", and that he assumed that he would grow up to be "a good contractor like my dad".[3]

Homme also has ties in Idaho, and has talked in the past about growing up there, including his experiences such as seeing Carl Perkins perform at the Festival at Sandpoint, Idaho, and buying his first electric guitar, his Ovation Ultra GP, in a music store there.[4][5] He began playing guitar at the age of 9 after his parents denied his wishes for a drum kit. He took Polka lessons on guitar from ages 9 to 11, during which he supposedly didn't learn of a barre chord for the first two years, nor of a pick until year 3, lending to his unique playing style.[6] Homme joined his first band Autocracy in 1985, at the age of 12.

Musical career[edit]

Kyuss (1987–1995)[edit]

Main article: Kyuss

In 1987, when he was 14 years old, Homme formed a punk rock influenced heavy metal band with schoolmates John Garcia and Brant Bjork in Palm Desert called Katzenjammer; he was the band's guitarist. After changing their name a few times, first to Sons of Kyuss and releasing an EP of the same name, it was finally shortened to Kyuss. The band garnered a cult following by the early 1990s, with the band often driving for hours out to isolated locations in the desert and plugging into generators to perform. These events, known as "generator parties", became urban legend among rock subculture.[7] The band became both famous for their heavy, down tuned, groove oriented music, and infamous for their backstage fights with local LA bands when they traveled into town to play gigs. This soon brought the attention of Chris Goss, who became the bands mentor, helping the band sign to a label and producing them exclusively in an effort to preserve their sound. Because Josh was under the age of 18 at the time of the bands signing, his parents had to sign on his behalf. Kyuss released 3 major label albums, Blues for the Red Sun, Kyuss (Welcome to Sky Valley), and ...And the Circus Leaves Town, all of which are often cited as cornerstones to the development of the stoner rock genre in the 90s. Kyuss partially reformed in 2010 (now known as Vista Chino), but Homme opted to not be part of the reunion.[8]

Queens of the Stone Age (1997–present)[edit]

When Kyuss split up in 1995, Homme joined the Screaming Trees as a rhythm guitarist,[9] touring but not recording with the band. He and vocalist Mark Lanegan became close friends during this time. Disliking the band's continual disharmony, Homme left the group in just over a year. He founded Gamma Ray,[10] a group more centered to his unique style and tastes, which later became Queens of the Stone Age in 1997. The first release under this name would be the aptly named Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age compilation EP featuring tracks from both Kyuss and songs recorded from the Gamma Ray sessions. Shortly thereafter, Queens of the Stone Age released their eponymous debut album in 1998. Originally, Homme had asked a number of singers, including Lanegan, to perform as lead vocalist for Queens of the Stone Age, but ended up singing lead for the first time in his career.

Following the debut album and The Split CD with Beaver, Queens of the Stone Age released the next album, Rated R, during which the band used a wider range of instruments to achieve a more relaxed, spacious and psychedelic sound.[11] Though it differed from the band's debut, Rated R became Queens of the Stone Age's first mainstream hit. The next release, 2002's Songs for the Deaf, however, would gain even more buzz from the music community and fans alike.[12] In Songs for the Deaf, Homme continued his filtering of stoner rock and hard rock. The album centers on Homme's memories of uncomfortable rides through the California desert, where he had performed in his days with Kyuss, and where there was little else to do but listen to Spanish radio stations.[13]

Queens of the Stone Age performing at the Eurockéennes festival near Belfort, France, July 1, 2007. From left to right: Josh Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Dean Fertita, Michael Shuman

During this time, Homme had a falling out with bassist and friend Nick Oliveri. Following the release of Songs for the Deaf, their relationship deteriorated until Homme fired Oliveri from the band in 2004.[14] Homme began writing their next album, Lullabies to Paralyze, named after a lyric from the Songs for the Deaf hidden track "Mosquito Song". Lullabies to Paralyze upon release would debut at number five on the Billboard 200 and was QOTSA's best charting album on the Billboard 200 to date.

Queens of the Stone Age's fifth album, Era Vulgaris, was released in early June 2007 and received generally positive reviews from critics.[15][16][17] The album has proved to be mixed in opinions in the eyes of fans with its departure from heavy, downstroke driven guitar work in change for its angular, hard electronic influenced rhythms. Following the albums' touring cycle, the band took a break to focus on individual projects, during which Homme continued to produce and create more records outside the band. This break would unintentionally turn into a six-year gap between albums.

In 2010, following on from his work with rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, Homme confirmed he would be back into live shows with the band. Following a deluxe reissue of Rated R a re-release of their debut album was confirmed as well as a tour to follow it, during which the album was played front to back in the style of which it was recorded, with many of the songs having never been performed since the original release.

On June 4, 2013, after a tumultuous writing and recording process, Queens of the Stone Age released their sixth album, ...Like Clockwork, receiving high critical praise[18] as well as topping the Billboard 200 charts. ...Like Clockwork highlights Homme's collaborative recording process and features guests such as Sir Elton John, Dave Grohl, Alex Turner, Mark Lanegan, ex-bassist Nick Oliveri and wife Brody Dalle.

The Desert Sessions (1997–present)[edit]

Main article: The Desert Sessions

Homme founded The Desert Sessions in 1997 as a musical collective series "that cannot be defined", at the Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree. The recordings are done "on the spot", in matters of hours and the line-up is constantly changing with new contributors being added for each new recording. Artists such as Brant Bjork, PJ Harvey, Twiggy Ramirez, Dave Catching, Nick Oliveri, Mark Lanegan, Ben Shepherd, John McBain, Josh Freese, Chris Goss, Alain Johannes, Dean Ween and many others from the Palm Desert Scene have recorded with The Desert Sessions.

At Desert Sessions, you play for the sake of music. That's why it's good for musicians. If someday that's not enough anymore, or that's not the reason behind you doing it—that's not your raison d'être—then a quick reminder like Desert Sessions can do so much for you, it's amazing. It's easy to forget that this all starts from playing in your garage and loving it. – Josh Homme

So far, ten volumes of from The Desert Sessions have been released. Homme also stated in a September issue of NME that he would record more material with The Desert Sessions.

Eagles of Death Metal (1998–present)[edit]

Main article: Eagles of Death Metal

In 1998 Josh formed Eagles of Death Metal with friend Jesse Hughes. Recordings from this project first appeared on Homme's The Desert Sessions Volumes 3 & 4, released that year. Over the next few years, Homme became distracted from EoDM due to the success of Queens of the Stone Age. However, in an October 2008 interview, he re-affirmed his commitment to the band saying, "This isn't a side project for me. I'm in two bands. I have musical schizophrenia, and this is one of those personalities.[19]

So far the band has released three albums: Peace, Love, Death Metal in 2004, Death by Sexy in 2006 and most recently Heart On in 2008. Due to his commitments with Queens of The Stone Age, Homme does not regularly tour with the Eagles of Death Metal, but occasionally makes appearances during live performances.

Them Crooked Vultures (2009–present)[edit]

Main article: Them Crooked Vultures

In July 2009, it was revealed that Homme, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones were recording together for a musical project named Them Crooked Vultures.[20][21] The trio performed their first show together on August 9, 2009 in Chicago at The Metro to a crowd of approximately 1,100 ticketholders. The band has been steadily touring with live rhythm guitarist/auxiliary man Alain Johannes.[22] Their album, Them Crooked Vultures, was released by Interscope Records in the United States on November 17, 2009, and by Sony Music internationally.[23] They performed on Saturday Night Live as a musical guest on February 6, 2010, and at Austin City Limits on October 2, 2009. Them Crooked Vultures won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards on February 13, 2011.[24][25]

Other musical projects[edit]

Other acts with which Homme has collaborated include: Mondo Generator, Foo Fighters, PJ Harvey, Fatso Jetson, Mark Lanegan Band, Trent Reznor, Masters of Reality, Millionaire, Wellwater Conspiracy, U.N.K.L.E., Primal Scream, Melissa Auf der Maur, Paz Lenchantin, Death from Above 1979, Earthlings?, Mastodon, Peaches, The Strokes, Local H, Biffy Clyro and Arctic Monkeys. He also collaborated with Liam Howlett from The Prodigy for a remix of The Prodigy track "Take Me to the Hospital" in August 2009. It was re-titled Take Me to the Hospital (Josh Homme and Liam H.'s wreckage remix).

Homme, 2007

Homme contributed (along with Nick Oliveri and Brad Wilk) to the soundtrack for the 2002 film The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.[26][27]

Homme was notably featured on the compilations Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen on the song "Stone Cold Crazy" alongside Eleven, Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three, as well as the Turbonegro tribute Alpha Motherfuckers as part of QOTSA covering the song "Back To Dungaree High". The very first use of the QOTSA name was on the compilation album Burn One Up! Music For Stoners featuring a one off lineup of Homme and Dave Catching with Beaver rhythm section Milo Beenhakker and Eva Nahon recording the Catching-penned "18 A.D.".

Homme, along with friend and Kyuss/QOTSA contributor/producer Chris Goss, performed as "The 5:15ers" at the inaugural ArthurBall (an offshoot of the ArthurFest festival) in Los Angeles on January 26, 2006.[28] The two were credited as "The Fififf Teeners" when they co-produced QOTSA's second album, Rated R, and 2007 album, Era Vulgaris.

Homme produced most of the Arctic Monkeys album Humbug[29] as well as providing backing vocals to "All My Own Stunts" on their album Suck It and See. He also appears on their 5th album AM, providing vocals for the track, "Knee Socks."[30]

In June 2010 Homme appeared on the Comedy Central series Tosh.0 to do an unplugged duet version of the hit viral song What What with Internet celebrity Samwell. He also provided the theme song to Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, the show formerly known as Aqua Teen Hunger Force.[31] Homme also collaborated with Mark Lanegan to provide the theme music for Anthony Bourdain's travel show Parts Unknown.

In May 2012, it was revealed on Dean Delray's comedy podcast "Let There Be Talk" that Homme would make a guest appearance on the release from Nick Oliveri's project Mondo Generator called Hell Comes To Your Heart.[32] The album was recorded over three days at Homme's Pink Duck Studios and features Homme playing guitar on the album's final track, "The Last Train"; the first music Homme and Oliveri have collaborated with since their public falling out in 2004. "The Last Train" also features fellow former Kyuss bandmate John Garcia providing vocals, which was recorded shortly before Homme's lawsuit with Garcia regarding the Kyuss Lives! band name. It was the first time Homme had collaborated with Garcia since 1997.

In June 2012, it was revealed that Homme would be starring in Glen Campell's final music video for the song "A Better Place".[33] In the video, Homme plays a bartender that shows Campbell a photo album of his life, from his early childhood through his music career to the present day. The video marked the end of Campbell's musical career, a retrospect on his life following his decision to retire following his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

Homme made a very brief cameo at the end of Jack White's music video for "Freedom at 21", playing a police officer who intercepts White at a roadblock following White's escapades throughout the video.

In September 2012, he contributed the song "Nobody to Love" for the action-drama End of Watch.

In early 2013, Homme and fellow Queens contributors including Alain Johannes and Chris Goss recorded to the soundtrack of Dave Grohl's Sound City: Real to Reel. Goss, Johannes and Homme were on three tracks each. Josh's notably included a collaboration with Grohl and Trent Reznor called Mantra, and he was also featured in an interview segment.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Homme and his wife, musician Brody Dalle (frontwoman of Spinnerette, formerly of The Distillers), have a daughter named Camille Harley Joan Homme (born January 17, 2006), and a son, Orrin Ryder Homme (born August 12, 2011). They reside in Los Angeles, California. Homme has 17 tattoos. The most visible are on his knuckles, consisting of his grandparents' nicknames with a heart (Cam, short for Camille, on the left, and Cap on the right). His inner right arm has a straight-edge razor and the words "Born to Win" with his nickname, "Baby Duck", underneath. He has his daughter's name, Camille, tattooed over his heart.[35][36] After his son was born, he added a heart and his son's initials below his knuckles and the tattoo on his right hand.[37]

He has described himself as "very conservative politically" and "very socially liberal", and considers himself a "fallen libertarian".[38] He owns several guns, including a classic Winchester rifle, a sawed-off shotgun, and a Beretta 9mm target pistol.[38] He has only ever owned one car, a silver 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, which he has driven since he was 14 years old.[39]

In 2010, Homme said he "died" for a short time following unexpected complications during knee surgery due to asphyxiation. Following this, he was confined to bed rest for three months and plunged into a deep depression, considering giving up his music career. He has said that this experience greatly contributed to the making of ...Like Clockwork.[40] In October 2013, he elaborated on the near-death experience in an interview with Marc Maron. He said that he contracted an MRSA infection, which his immune system could not fight due to stress. Doctors eventually used a defibrillator to revive him following the asphyxiation. The experience left him weakened and unable to produce music for almost two years.[41] He credits Transcendental Meditation with helping him recover.[42]


Homme adopted the pseudonym "Carlo Von Sexron" to credit his playing of bass, keyboard, piano, and drums on such albums as The Desert Sessions Volumes 3 & 4, and Peace, Love, Death Metal from Eagles of Death Metal.[43] Homme is known as "(King) Baby Duck" to Dalle and the members of Eagles of Death Metal.[44] He is also referred to as "J.Ho.", "Joe's Hoe" and "The Ginger Elvis".[45]


Homme in 2007

In 2004, Homme was arrested for assaulting Dwarves frontman Blag Dahlia and Karl Doyle, at an L.A. club. Upon pleading no contest, Homme was ordered to remain at least 100 yards (91.44 meters) away from Dahlia and the club, was sentenced to 3 years probation with community service, and was forced to enter a rehab program for 60 days.[46]

At the 2008 Norwegian Wood festival in Oslo, Norway, Josh Homme drew criticism for his reaction to an audience member who had thrown a bottle at him during the song "3's & 7's".[47][48] Homme called the audience member a "chicken-shit fucking faggot" and "a twelve year old dickless fucking turd." The incident drew accusations of homophobia from several blogs, which were then picked up by the mainstream media.[49][50] Homme replied with a lengthy public letter denying all accusations of homophobia, and blamed the tirade on a high fever.[51][52]

Following a performance by QOTSA at the Jay Z-owned Made in America Festival in the summer of 2013, Homme made comments about the rap star during a radio interview with CBC Radio 2 's "Strombo Show." Homme explained that his band was frisked by the event's security team prior to the performance and referred to Jay Z's personal interaction with the band as a marketing stunt. Homme stated:

He has his security frisking the bands on the way in. I just told them if you open up my bag I’m not playing so I guess it’s up to you whether we are playing or not … The idea they frisked all my guys, means you’re in some different place, no-one has ever done that [to me]" ... He also gave us some champagne and wanted us to take a photo with it. And I thought that's not a gift that is a marketing tool. So I destroyed it. Because I thought it was rude overall. And you shouldn't frisk my guys, you should fuck off.[53]

Musical equipment[edit]

"I don't [share secrets] only because my sound is important to me and I've spent a lot of years just working it over with little tricks here and there, I almost feel like if you reveal too much of that you give away something that's near and dear to you. It's like you put it up on the altar and say, 'Here, everyone take a slice.'"

—Josh Homme, June 2007[54]

Homme is very evasive about his guitars and equipment, choosing to either change the subject or even lie when asked about his setup in interviews.[55] In an interview about guitars in 2008, Homme claimed to own close to 35 guitars, adding that only 3 of them were "really good". He also declared that he purposely did not have a Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul,[56] but that he's always in search of intriguing, unique guitars, which are not always generally accepted as "quality" guitars, but are nevertheless great to use. He said that he tends to buy "weird, Japanese" guitars, or guitars that are already "scarred" and thus have a story.[57]

Kyuss-era gear[edit]


All guitars were roughly tuned to C standard, as discovered by Homme by "tuning down until the strings started to flop, and then tuned up a bit."[58][59]


Queens of the Stone Age-era gear[edit]

During the tours up until Lullabies to Paralyze, Homme used his Ovation GPs while switching to first a 60s Fiberglass Airline guitar, then his Gibson Marauder, then his Matons (MS503, 520, and 524), and then finally his Epiphone Dot for songs in E. Following the Songs for the Deaf tour Homme retired his GPs from both live use and recording, and switched to almost exclusively using semihollow guitars such as his Maton BB1200s and MotorAve BelAire's while relying on his Epiphone, Yamaha TVL, Teisco Tempo, other BB1200's, and various Telecasters for tunings other than C standard. He has been listed as a user of Seymour Duncan's SH-11, SHR-1b and SH-1 guitar pickups, but has been known to use many other brands including DiMarzio and Arcane.[60]

Homme with his Maton BB1200 JH, 2007
Pedalboard Includes
Them Crooked Vultures, October 2009

During the early days of QOTSA much of his late setup from Kyuss was still being used, later Homme turned more towards Ampeg amplifers and cabinets.[68] Throughout his career Homme has experimented a lot with different combinations of amplifiers, cabinets and settings, especially in studio. Here is a list of some of the equipment he has been known to have used.[68][69][70]

Them Crooked Vultures gear[edit]


(See Above)


For a more comprehensive list, see Josh Homme discography.
1990KyussSons of KyussGuitars
1992Blues for the Red SunGuitars and co-producer
1994Welcome to Sky Valley
1995...And the Circus Leaves Town
1998The Desert SessionsVolumes 1 & 2Guitar, bass, vocals, keyboard, drums, percussion
Queens of the Stone AgeQueens of the Stone AgeVocals and guitar, bass, keyboard, and piano
The Desert SessionsVolumes 3 & 4Guitars, vocals, drums, production
1999Volumes 5 & 6Guitar, bass, vocals, Yamaha, drums, percussion, mix, "other stuff"
2000Queens of the Stone AgeRated RVocals, guitar, percussion, drums, piano, backing vocals, mixing, concept, and co-producer
KyussMuchas Gracias: The Best of KyussGuitars and co-producer
2001The Desert SessionsVolumes 7 & 8Vocals, guitar, bass, strings, piano, drums, percussion, winner
2002Queens of the Stone AgeSongs for the DeafVocals, guitars, and co-producer
2003The Desert SessionsVolumes 9 & 10Vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and percussion
2004Eagles of Death MetalPeace, Love, Death MetalDrums, percussion, bass, and producer
2005Queens of the Stone AgeLullabies to ParalyzeVocals, guitar, bass, piano, drums, percussion, and co-producer
2006Eagles of Death MetalDeath by SexyDrums, backup vocals, keyboards, bass, guitar, and producer
2007Queens of the Stone AgeEra VulgarisVocals, guitar, percussion, bass guitar, lap steel guitar, piano, organ, percussion ball, and co-producer
2008Eagles of Death MetalHeart OnDrums, guitars, bass, percussion, vocals, and producer
2009Them Crooked VulturesThem Crooked VulturesVocals, guitar, organ, lap steel, production
2013Queens of the Stone Age...Like ClockworkVocals, guitar, twelve-string guitar, piano, bass, percussion, synthesisers, drums and co-producer


  1. ^ Listen About this sound  Josh Homme pronounces his name, 647k OGG file , taken from an interview with KBZT radio station, May 19, 2005


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External links[edit]