Rag’n’Bone Man: “You shouldn’t hesitate to tell your story in front of others”

Josh Homme, one of rock’s last stalwarts, just released a terrific new album – and has a lot to say

Don’t even try to tell Josh Homme that rock is dead. Really. Don’t. Because otherwise, he will sincerely think about hitting you, and it will hurt you. He is, at 44, still as big, intense and red-haired (in a wilder way than Ed Sheeran, we hear). It would seem that an unwise man – “ someone in high position – has already said these words in front of him. It was a few years ago, before the prodigy group of Homme, the Queens of the Stone Age left Insterscope Records for the indie Matador (which released on August 25, the album Villainsdeliciously groovy, produced by Mark Ronson).

Shortly before 11 a.m. on a Monday in early July, Josh Homme takes a sip of high-end tequila at the main offices of his Los Angeles company, and reminisces about the altercation with Interscope without hiding his pleasure. ” I was kind of like, “You probably think nothing is ever going to happen to you, you can say whatever you want. But let me tell you one thing. Everything can change in a second, depending on what you say next. Isn’t that crazy? »

Crazy or not, Josh Homme makes you pretty good at things when you’re about a yard shorter than him. That’s kind of how he once persuaded me to join him for a morning drink (or rather three) – this tequila is so sweet, he says, it’s almost like eating breakfast. Man is good when it comes to doing things his way. And if that means getting rid of a few bandmates – or rather, most of his bandmates, at least for the first few years – he doesn’t mind. ” I fired my best friend, he said, referring to Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri, who had also played alongside Homme in the band Kyuss. ” Is you could do it? It’s hard. But to preserve my group, sometimes I have to sacrifice other things. Once in a while you have a knack for doing something that you don’t like to do. I have a knack for saying things that are hard to say. »

He pauses. ” I digress, » he remarks « because I’m still very drunk from yesterday. » Yesterday was held the preview ofAmerican Valhallaa documentary about Homme’s journey to producing Iggy Pop’s brilliant 2016 album, Post-Pop Depression (in short: Iggy Pop really wanted him with him). But he’s still not that bad? ” I know when I’m hungover. And there, I can tell you that I’m right in it. But back to rock. ” I rock even when rock is supposedly dead, because we’re the perfect band for that time. The record industry is dead on the other hand. But rock is doing well. The music too. frankly, I really like that era. »

Josh Homme avoided all distractions, managing to live his rock ‘n’ roll existence without dying or getting sober (Olivieri claims that the Queens’ most famous lyrics – “Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, Ecstasy and alcohol/Cocaine” – actually referred to the daily consumption of the two companions). ” You don’t know your limits until you cross them, says Josh Homme. ” And then you adapt, and you don’t bother anyone with that… Do you want more? »

He has a very rock’n’roll wife – Brody Dalle, Distillers – and children (“ the little people of the house“) that he elevates in the rockiest way possible: “ Find your personal goal, and put all your energy into achieving it. Basically, find a life that works for you and don’t let anyone take it away from you. There’s a whole list of things not to do – and more are being added every day. Follow them only if someone is watching you. And then go back to your life and live it as intensely as possible. I don’t think people should impose their truths on you – “My face is making noise, do as I say” I’m giving birth to little monsters that will terrorize normalcy. »

So. With Villainsthe Queens of the Stone Age have released what could certainly be called one of their best albums, whether it’s “Fortress” written for Josh Homme’s daughter, or the energetic ” The Way You Used to Do which is inspired by ZZ Top, Cab calloway, Shirley Bassey and the Misfits. ” Anyway it was. If anything suggested that I was inspired by someone, I wouldn’t have played it. Now I don’t worry about anything, but it’s true that copyright laws are really screwed up, because of that jerk Robin Thicke. What a jerk. Now copyright law is ‘If it tastes like deja vu, you stole it.’ Thanks asshole. »

Most of the albums made by musicians at the dawn of their forties are, without doubt, less good. A fact that Josh Homme finds irritating. ” The least you can do, if you’re lucky enough to be in a band and you’ve been doing it this long, is to give it your all for every record. And it really is lesser things. »

Josh Homme is chasing something in his music – something he describes as the rear bumper of a car on the horizon, or a “ inner voice… inspiration“. Working with Iggy Pop, he felt like he hit that bumper. During a moment ” I stopped looking,” he said, “ hoping that I had finally succeeded. »

By Brian Hiatt – Translated and adapted by Louise-Camille Bouttier

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Rag’n’Bone Man: “You shouldn’t hesitate to tell your story in front of others”

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