“I’ll be your vil­lain, doesn’t bother me…”

Josh Homme talks to Keith Cameron.

Mojo (UK) - - Filter Albums -

Do we hear resid­ual traces of your Iggy Pop al­bum [Post-Pop De­pres­sion] on this one? “Feet Don’t Fail Me was one of the songs we be­gan to work on for the Iggy record. We just felt we had enough songs [done] in enough time, it didn’t ever get fully formed. In fact, Iggy wrote the lyrics, ‘feet don’t fail me now’. So I said, Is it cool that I use that song and take that lyric? He was like, ‘Go for broke’. So, in that re­spect there is a ba­ton passed from the Iggy record to this.”

Mark Ron­son pro­duces – were you look­ing to do some­thing de­ci­sively new with the Queens sound? “Yeah, be­cause if you’re lucky enough to have found a sound for your­self that’s in­di­vid­ual, you need to be care­ful by the time you have seven records, you could eas­ily be­come a par­ody or a car­toon char­ac­ter. Not ev­ery­one is blessed enough to be AC/DC or the Ramones. It was time to look hard at what was im­por­tant about how we sound. In the be­gin­ning, I thought if all else fails Ron­son could just serve as a tal­is­man to re­mind me to be mod­ern, our way.”

How did you hook up with him? “I knew him ca­su­ally and I knew he was a fan of the band. If noth­ing else, I thought, This will con­fuse and dis­may peo­ple. My son was re­ally into the song Up­town Funk, it’s so tight and vac­u­ous and beat-cen­tric. I thought, Man that could be a re­ally good idea.”

Where you sur­prised to dis­cover no­body had yet taken the ti­tle The Evil Has Landed? “(Laughs) It was a tem­po­rary ti­tle. The other ti­tles were: Go­ing On A Liv­ing Spree, Near Life Ex­pe­ri­ence, The Last Float On Pa­rade. For some rea­son we kept com­ing back to The Evil Has Landed, which is never men­tioned once in the song. Those other ti­tles are not half bad but they didn’t en­cap­su­late it. That song is like you’re on a bus that some­one hi­jacks and takes you some­where else. Some­how it all makes sense.”

It seems very apt that you’ve made Vil­lains 40 years af­ter Bowie re­leased “He­roes”. “Ha! I guess there were no vil­lains af­ter “He­roes”, right? We’ve al­ways been a band that re­volts and unites a lot of dif­fer­ent scenes to­gether – we’re not al­ter­na­tive or metal or mel­low or rock­a­billy but we’re a lit­tle bit of all that shit. If you have a mo­hawk guy and his chick with her lib­erty spikes next to a bunch of hip­pies, you have a Queens show. We’ve al­ways been the vil­lain to some­one else. I’ll be your vil­lain, that doesn’t bother me.”

Evil eyes: Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme (cen­tre), with Jon Theodore (left) and Michael Shu­man.

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