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Intimate Portrait – Josh Homme

Youprobably know Josh Homme as the six-foot-five-inch singer and guitaristfor Queens of the Stone Age. However, Homme is also thesix-foot-five-inch drummer for Eagles of Death Metal, a side projectwith childhood friend Jesse “the Devil” Hughes and Belgian guitaristTim Vanhamel. We swooped in for a lively debate with the Don Henley ofdesert rock.

Is it true you guys named this band Eagles of Death Metal because you met some dude who thought Poison was a death metal band?
No, not really. We met this guy in a local bar who was missing teethand had been drinking endlessly for years, and that was his belief. Butthe larger truth is that we’re the Eagles ofDeath Metal, so we’re neither death metal nor the Eagles. We’re thatmissing link between them. We were listening to this band, Vader, lateat night, and someone said: “We should play death metal, but like theEagles.” And we started to conceive of what that music would soundlike. We knew one thing would happen for sure: When you heard thatmusic, your ass would jiggle.

That’s interesting, because neither death metal nor theEagles tend to generate a lot of ass-jiggling music. Why would theunion of those aesthetics prompt ass-jiggling?
Because it’s not a union. It’s what’s between them. We’re sort of thegatekeeper. We keep the Eagles and death metal from waging an all-outrock war.

But wouldn’t the musical space between the Eagles and death metal be pretty much everything? I mean, wouldn’t a band like Yes fit into that category?
Sure, absolutely. Yes and no. Why hasn’t there been a band called No?

There may have been, actually.
There probably has. It’s too easy.

You guys cover “Stuck in the Middle With You.” Is thatbecause you like Stealers Wheel, or because you like to chop the earsoff of cops?
It’s because we want to put a new face on such a lovely song. That songhas a sexy vibe to it, and I don’t know if you know the Eagles of DeathMetal’s motto, but we’re trying to commit everyone to “death by sexy.”That’s what we say before every show: “All right, people, death bysexy.”

Your other band, Queens of the Stone Age, wasessentially a group with two permanent members. Bassist Nick Oliverihas now departed. How can a two-member band still exist after one guyleaves?
That’s a good question. Let me try to answer this carefully, so that Idon’t get fucked: I don’t feel like the issue here is anything musical.The issue is more personal. It is about my relationship with my friendNick. The band started with me having this idea of working with peopleand trying to take their best songs. I’ve done it by myself, and I’vedone it with other people, and I’ve done it a lot with Nick.

So Queens of the Stone Age is an idea.
That’s it.I already miss Nick, but I can’t be someone’s babysitter for theirlife. There’ve just been too many incidents where Nick is the tornadowho goes on to the next city and expects everyone to clean up his mess.Keeping him out of trouble is a full-time job. And then I got my owntrouble, because I like to party and fuck around, too.

So, would it be accurate to say that the issue with Nick was wholly behavioral?
Fuckin’ A.

If there was literally an eagle of death metal–and I meanan actual warm-blooded bird representing that genre of music–would itbe able to defeat a Probot, if a Probot existed?
Yes. I think we’d be able to soar high above and shit on the Probot until all its gears were jammed up with crap.

Good strategy.We’re all about getting high and then coming down low. But we wouldnever want to attack a Probot. We would use mind control to haveProbots do all of our work for us because, quite honestly, that’s asexier way to go to war.