Hollywood, CA, June 2017 – It’s been four years since Queens of the Stone Age released “...Like Clockwork,” which featured Elton John, Alex Turner, Trent Reznor, Mark Lanegan, and Dave Grohl in the band’s most star-studded record to date. In this new album, “Villains,” the band returned to their stripped-down roots and camped out at United Recording in Hollywood for nearly two months.
The Queens worked in both Studio B with its classic Neve console and in Studio A with its renowned and rare Focusrite console. Founder Josh Homme is notoriously secretive when it comes to gear and the microphones he uses, but United’s staff engineer, Wesley Seidman, reports that they scheduled string dates alongside lengthy sessions tracking their signature sound of drums, guitars, bass, synths and vocals. Seidman worked as an assistant with recording engineer Mark Rankin, who also manned the ProTools rig.
Queens of the Stone Age was formed in 1996 in Palm Desert, Calif. The band's current line-up includes founder Josh Homme (lead vocals, guitar, piano), alongside longtime members Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, lap steel, keyboard, percussion, backing vocals), Michael Shuman (bass guitar, keyboard, backing vocals), Dean Fertita (keyboards, guitar, percussion, backing vocals), and recent addition Jon Theodore (drums, percussion).
After announcing plans to ‘take a break’ back in 2015, members splintered off to focus on their own projects. Homme played on Eagles Of Death Metal’s 2015 album, “Zipper Down,” while he and multi-instrumentalist, Dean Fertita joined Arctic Monkeys’ drummer Matt Helders on Iggy Pop’s album, “Post Pop Depression.” Guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen linked up with At the Drive-In and Mastodon members for the new project “Gone is Gone.” Their self-titled debut album was released in January.
For the new album, Queens founder Joshua Homme has promised that fans can expect a collection of songs that “aggressively takes risks.”
Pictured in United Recording’s Studio B control room are (L-R) Dean Fertita, guitar; Joshua Homme, vocals, guitar, Mark Ronson, producer; Mark Rankin, recording engineer; Troy van Leeuwen, guitar; Michael Shuman, bass. Article and Photo by David Goggin.