Queens Of The Stone Age performed in Toronto this week, and founder/frontman Josh Homme, and keyboardist/guitarist Dean Fertita (also a member of The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather!!!) took the time to stop by for a chat with G. QOTSA are currently on tour promoting their latest album, ... Like Clockwork, released June 4th in North America. This is the sixth studio album for the band, which was recorded and produced after a tumultuous time in their personal and professional lives. According to Homme, Like Clockwork is an album "documenting the journey of moving forward ... It was a tough time and I thought, 'I can run away from this, or I can run into it.'"
In 2010, routine knee surgery left Homme hospitalized for fourteen days, and completely bedridden for four months. Awakening from the surgery, he was told "Shit .. we lost you". The experience led him into a period of deep depression. Bandmates Fertita, Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar), Michael Shuman (bass) and Joey Castillo (drums) convinced Homme to begin work with them on the album. It was a difficult but healing time for the band, which also saw the release of long time drummer Castillo who was replaced by none other than Dave Grohl. Both drummers are featured on different tracks on the album. The album was released to widespread critical acclaim, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 Music Chart, and at #2 on The Canadian Albums Chart. It sold 91,000 in the US and 11,000 in Canada in its first week alone. Stop in this week to hear more of the story, as well as the trials and tribulations Homme has encountered on the road this time around.
This week, the Nod To The Gods goes to Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones for their 1972 classic hit, Happy. Recorded in one afternoon while the Stones were holed up in Keef's own villa in France to avoid taxes, the tune has become Richards' own signature tune. Busy cutting tracks with Bobby Keys for Exile On Main Street, Richards decided then and there to lay down the guitar tracks with Keys on baritone sax. Producer Jimmy Miller later laid down drum tracks, and the horns were dubbed in later. The tune ended up being on the record. Says Richards of the song: It's "a strange song, because if you play it you actually become happy, even in the worst of circumstances. It has a little magical bounce about it." "Happy" was the first song featuring Richards on vocals to chart. Oh, and that line "I need a love to make me happy" is actually a play on "Anita's love will keep me happy", referring to Anita Pallenberg, Keef's lady love at the time. This is a song that definitely deserve a nod. Just go ahead and listen to it without getting happy. ;)
Also featured will`be "The Magnificent 7" the top seven tracks of the week,
"Ten O'Clock With Tom" (Waits), the weekly tribute to the gravel-voiced troubadour,
and finally winding down with G tucking us all into bed to the soothing sounds of "The Big Lie Down", or The Collective Horizontal.
You can hear The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2 on Sunday nights, from 8 to 11 pm. See you there. ;)