Queens of the Stone Age

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Queens of the Stone Age is an American rock band, formed in 1996 in Palm Desert, California. The band is well-noted for their signature style of heavy, riff-oriented hard rock music. Since their foundation, the only constant member of the band has been Josh Homme, while other current band members include Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, lap steel, keyboard, percussions, backing vocals), Michael Shuman (bass guitar, keyboard, backing vocals), Dean Fertita (keyboards, guitar, percussions, backing vocals) and recent addition Jon Theodore (drums).


Queens of the Stone Age formed in 1996, and were originally named Gamma Ray, until a band in Germany which had the same name threatened to sue. Gamma Ray's original line up included Van Conner of The Trees, Matt Cameron of Soundgarden, as well as Dinosaur Jr's Mike Johnson. They released a 7" EP on vinyl, which included the track "If Only Everything", which would later appear on their self titled debut album as "If Only". After the lawsuit, Homme rechristened the band to "Queens of the Stone Age", a moniker given to his former band Kyuss by producer Chris Goss, and added Alfredo Hernandez, former Kyuss drummer, to the line up. Together, with Homme taking over both guitar and bass duties, they recorded the self-titled debut album just under a month in 1998 in Palm Springs, California. It was released shortly thereafter, and was greeted with a warm reception. Following the release, former bass player of Kyuss and close friend of Homme Nick Oliveri joined the band, and performed on bass for the tour accompanying he release of the LP. Hernandez left the band shortly after the completion of the tour, and the band, fresh with a record deal with Interscope, went back into the studio from December 1999 to February 2000 To record their second LP, Rated R. Jointly produced by Chris Goss and Josh Homme, also known as The Fiffiff Teeners, and joined by a variety of guests such as Mark Lanegan, Nick Eldorado, and a tag-team drummer combo of Nick Lucero and Gene Trautmann, Rated R took a stylistic turn for the band down a more modern, mainstream rock route while still being heavily influenced by their stoner rock past. The band achieved some commercial success with the lead single off of the album, "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret". Rated R was positively rated by critics, and the band earned opening slots with bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, Food Fighters,and a place at Ozzfest for that year. The touring lineup also changed drastically, with Trautmann taking over the drums, Brandon McNichol on lapsteel,keys, and backing guitar, and with Mark Lanegan becoming a full time member of the band. At the famous Rock in Rio festival, Oliveri was famously arrested for performing in the nude. He later apologized to the authorities, saying that he did not know that it was a crime in Brazil. In the end of the tour, Homme and Oliveri both cited their performance at Rock am Ring 2001 to be the worst concert that the band has had, which lead to Lanegan, Homme, Oliveri, and Hutch, the band's sound man, getting Frietag 4.15 tattooed on themselves, to signify the start time of the show (Friday at 4:15). In 2002, the band went back to the studio to work on their third LP.