Queens of the Stone Age contributors

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Left to right: Josh Homme, Dean Fertita and Michael Shuman performing at the Eurockéennes festival, 2007

Queens of the Stone Age (also known as QOTSA or simply Queens) are a rock band from Palm Desert, California, United States, formed in 1997. The band frequently changes its line-up, and its records often include guest appearances. The only permanent member of the band is founder Josh Homme, with guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen having been a member since the release of the band's third studio album, Songs for the Deaf, in 2002. Bassist Michael Shuman and keyboardist and guitarist Dean Fertita both joined the band in 2007 to tour in support of its fifth studio album, Era Vulgaris (2007). In 2013, Queens of the Stone Age added drummer Jon Theodore during the recording of the album ...Like Clockwork (2013).

Core members[edit]

Current line-up[edit]

The band's current core line-up is as follows:

Joshua Homme
Active: 1996–present
Instruments: lead vocals, guitar, slide guitar, keyboards, occasional bass guitar, various other instruments during recording.
Release contributions: all Queens of the Stone Age releases
As the sole founding member of Queens of the Stone Age, Homme has performed and recorded with the band since its inception in 1996 and has been the only constant member of the band.
Troy Van Leeuwen
Active: 2002–present
Instruments: guitar, backing vocals, lap steel, keyboards, vibes (percussion), occasional bass guitar, various other instruments during recording.
Release contributions: Lullabies to Paralyze (2005), Over the Years and Through the Woods (2005), Era Vulgaris (2007), ...Like Clockwork (2013)
Has been the band's second guitarist and multi-instrumentalist since 2002, joining the band for the tour preceding the release of Songs for the Deaf. Van Leeuwen has contributed to all subsequent recordings and tours.
Michael Shuman
Active: 2007–present
Instruments: bass guitar, backing vocals
Release contributions: Era Vulgaris-era b-sides (2007), ...Like Clockwork (2013)
Joined the band in 2007 as bassist and backing vocalist for the tour following the release of Era Vulgaris.
Dean Fertita
Active: 2007–present
Instruments: keyboards, guitar, backing vocals, percussion
Release contributions: Era Vulgaris-era b-sides (2007), ...Like Clockwork (2013)
Replaced the late Natasha Shneider as the band's keyboardist and backing vocalist in 2007, also plays guitar and various percussion instruments. Fertita joined the band at the same time as Michael Shuman.
Jon Theodore
Active: 2013–present
Instruments: drums, percussion
Release contributions: ...Like Clockwork (2013)
Joined after the departure of Joey Castillo, and interim drummer Dave Grohl, contributing to the final track on ...Like Clockwork and its subsequent tour.

Former Core Members[edit]

Joey Castillo
Active: 2002–2012
Instruments: drums, percussion
Release contributions: Lullabies to Paralyze (2005), Over the Years and Through the Woods (2005), Era Vulgaris (2007), ...Like Clockwork (2013)
Initally called in to replace drummer Dave Grohl for the European leg of the Songs for the Deaf tour, Castillo remained a member of the band until November 2012, when he was fired by Homme during the recording of ...Like Clockwork. Castillo recorded drums on Lullabies to Paralyze, the live album, Over the Years and Through the Woods, Era Vulgaris, and contributed to four tracks on ...Like Clockwork before his dismissal.
Alain Johannes
Active: 2005–2007 (as a full member); 2000-present (as a recording engineer, co-producer and session musician)
Instruments: bass guitar, electric guitar, piano, organ, various instruments
Release contributions: Songs for the Deaf (2002), Lullabies to Paralyze (2005), Over the Years and Through the Woods (2005), Era Vulgaris (2007)
Johannes has been a close collaborator of the band since 2000, initially co-producing three of Rated R's b-sides, under the moniker "The Exotic Pets", with Josh Homme. Jonhannes subsequently appeared on Songs for the Deaf, performing on four of the album's tracks, and made significant contributions to Lullabies to Paralyze, following Nick Oliveri's departure. Johannes toured with the band throughout 2005, appearing on the live album, Over the Years and Through the Woods, and recorded both guitar and bass on Era Vulgaris. Johannes is credited with providing "additional engineering" on ...Like Clockwork, and is also a live member of Homme's side-project, Them Crooked Vultures.
Natasha Shneider (deceased)
Active: 2005 (as a full member); 2000, 2002 (as a session musician)
Instruments: keyboards
Release contributions: Rated R-era b-sides ("Never Say Never" & "Who'll Be the Next in Line"), Songs for the Deaf (2002), Over the Years and Through the Woods (2005)
Formerly of the band Eleven - alongside her husband Alain Johannes - Shneider first recorded the b-sides, "Never Say Never" and "Who'll Be the Next in Line", with the band, providing keyboards and piano. Schneider subsequently appeared on Songs for the Deaf, performing on three of the album's tracks, and joined the band as a full member in 2005 during the Lullabies to Paralyze tour, appearing on the live album, Over the Years and Through the Woods. On July 2, 2008, Shneider died following a battle with cancer. The band performed a concert in celebration of her life on August 16, 2008 at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles.
Mark Lanegan
Active: 2001–2005 (as a full member); 2000, 2007 and 2013 (as a session vocalist); one off live appearances in 2007 and 2010
Instruments: lead vocals, backing vocals, live keyboards in 2005
Release contributions: Rated R (2000), Songs for the Deaf (2002), Lullabies to Paralyze (2005), Era Vulgaris (2007), ...Like Clockwork (2013)
Founding member Josh Homme had previously performed as a live guitarist for Lanegan's band Screaming Trees in 1996, with Homme subsequently wanting to include Lanegan's vocals on the band's debut album, Queens of the Stone Age (1998). Lanegan, however, did not make a vocal contribution until the recording Rated R, singing lead vocals on the track, "In the Fade", and backing vocals on three other songs. Following the album's release, Lanegan became a full-time member of the band, becoming its third lead vocalist, alongside Homme and Nick Oliveri. The trio, alongside drummer Dave Grohl, recorded the band's third studio album, Songs for the Deaf, with Lanegan remaining in the band until the release of Lullabies to Paralyze in 2005. During the tour that preceded the album's release, Lanegan also provided live keyboards but eventually left the road citing exhaustion. Lanegan eventually returned to live performances, but left the band as a full-time member upon the tour's close. Lanegan subsequently appeared as a backing vocalist on the Era Vulgaris track, "River in the Road", on the ...Like Clockwork tracks, "If I Had a Tail" and "Fairweather Friends", and made live appearances in 2007 and 2010.
Nick Oliveri
Active: 1998–2004 (as a full member); 2013 (as a session vocalist); one-off live appearance in 2014
Instruments: bass guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals, guitar
Release contributions: Rated R (2000), Songs for the Deaf (2002), ...Like Clockwork (2013)
Oliveri had previously played alongside Josh Homme in the band Kyuss, and joined Queens of the Stone as its permanent bass guitarist and co-lead vocalist, in 1998, upon the release of its debut album, Queens of the Stone Age (1998). Oliveri and Homme became the band's core two members, and the duo recorded the breakthrough albums, Rated R and Songs for the Deaf, together before Homme fired Oliveri in 2004 for excessive partying and an alleged incident of domestic abuse. The duo repaired their friendship shortly afterwards. Oliveri, however, did not return to the band. In 2013, upon hearing that former contributor Dave Grohl was recording drums for the band's sixth studio album, ...Like Clockwork, Oliveri asked Homme if he too could return on bass guitar. Homme ultimately did not grant Oliveri's request. He does, however, appear on backing vocals on the album track, "If I Had a Tail". Oliveri made a live appearance singing "Millionare" in 2014.
Dave Grohl
Active: 2002, 2012–2013; one-off live appearances in 2007 and 2014
Instruments: drums, percussion, backing vocals
Release contributions: Songs for the Deaf (2002), ...Like Clockwork (2013)
Grohl replaced Gene Trautmann during the recording of the band's third studio album, Songs for the Deaf, performing drums, percussion and backing vocals on the majority of the album's tracks. Grohl remained within the band during its initial tour dates in support of the album, before returning to his primary project, Foo Fighters, later that year. In 2007, Grohl made a one-off guest appearance with the band to perform "Make It wit Chu", and subsequently replaced his successor Joey Castillo, in late 2012, recording drums on ...Like Clockwork.

Past members and contributors[edit]

"It really is more of a musical experiment… It keeps moving and reinventing itself. That way we never get painted into a corner."

Josh Homme, 2000

Guitarists[edit]

Core Guitarists
  • Chris Goss – A long time collaborator with the band throughout their career, contributing on every album previous to ...Like Clockwork with various instruments, mainly guitars, and co-producing Rated R and Era Vulgaris together with Josh Homme as the Fififf Teeners. Has also made several live appearances throughout the band's career.
  • Brendon McNichol – Replaced Dave Catching playing guitar, lap steel and piano during live performances and also recorded parts of Songs for the Deaf before leaving the band. (2000–2002)
  • Dave Catching – Contributed guitar, lap steel and keyboards, has also been featured on the first four albums. (1998–2000)
Session Guitarists
  • Billy Gibbons – Recorded "Burn the Witch", as well as the bonus tracks, "Precious and Grace" and "Like a Drug" for Lullabies to Paralyze. Also made live appearances in 2005 which can be seen in the bonus footage on the Over the Years and Through the Woods DVD.
  • Dean Ween (aka Mickey Melchiondo) – Played guitar and provided backing vocals during the recording of Songs for the Deaf.
Live Guitarists

Bassists[edit]

Oliveri was a major contributor to Queens from 1998 to 2004
Core Bassists
  • Alain Johannes – Has been a collaborator with the band since Rated R, has contributed with various instruments including Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Flute and others during recordings. Also made an appearance in 2008 at the Natasha Shneider benefit concert. (toured 2005–2007)
  • Nick Oliveri – Joined the band after their debut album and performed on Rated R and Songs for the Deaf before being fired by Homme. Makes an appearance singing backing vocals on ...Like Clockwork and made a live appearance singing "Millionare" in 2014. (1998–2004)[1]
Session Bassists
  • Van Conner – Performed on the Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age split EP and the Gamma Ray EP and played live with the band from 1997 to 1998.
  • Milo Beenhakker – Performed on the track "18 A.D" which appeared on the Burn One Up! album in 1997.[2]
Live Bassists
  • Dan Druff – Was a longtime guitar tech for Queens since Rated R and replaced Oliveri on bass throughout 2004 to early 2005.
  • Mike Johnson – Made a live appearance in 1998, was credited for sitting on a sofa during the recording of the self-titled record and provided the falsetto backups on the track "Leg of Lamb" on Rated R.

Drummers[edit]

Dave Grohl, shown here drumming with Josh Homme side project Them Crooked Vultures has recorded and toured with Queens of the Stone Age
Core Drummers
  • Joey Castillo – Was called in to replace drummer Dave Grohl for the European leg of the Songs for the Deaf tour, and remained a member until he was fired by Homme in November 2012. Castillo recorded most drums on Lullabies to Paralyze, all drums on Era Vulgaris, and contributed to ...Like Clockwork before being fired. (2002–2012)
  • Dave Grohl – Recorded drums, percussion and backing vocals on Songs for the Deaf and toured in support of the album in 2002 before returning to the Foo Fighters.[3] Grohl also made a live appearance in 2007 and 2014, and recorded tracks on ...Like Clockwork, following Joey Castillo's departure. (2002, 2012–2013)
  • Gene Trautmann – toured and recorded drums and percussion on Rated R, and on two tracks on Songs for the Deaf. (1999–2001)
  • Alfredo Hernández – Recorded the band's debut album, Queens of the Stone Age, and toured in support of the album, leaving the band prior to the recording of Rated R. (1997–1999)
Session Drummers
  • Nick Lucero – Played drums on six tracks and percussion on two tracks in session during the recording of Rated R.
  • Matt Cameron – Recorded on "Born to Hula" on the Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age split and played drums during live appearances 1997 and 2008[verification needed]
  • Vic the Stick – Recorded on the Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age split and the Gamma Ray EP. (1997)
  • Eva Nahon – Recorded drums for the track "18 A.D" which appeared on the Burn One Up! album in 1997.[2]
Session Percussionists
  • Barrett Martin – Recorded percussion on two tracks and vibes on two tracks as well as steel drums on one track on Rated R.

Keyboardists[edit]

  • Natasha Shneider (deceased)– Recorded various instruments for Songs for the Deaf and toured with the band playing keyboards and providing backing vocals in 2005.
  • Hutch – Queens sound engineer since its inception in 1998. Also recorded piano for "I Was a Teenage Hand Model" from their self-titled album.
  • Sir Elton John – Recorded piano and vocals on the track, "Fairweather Friends", on ...Like Clockwork.
  • Trent Reznor – co-wrote the bonus track, "Era Vulgaris", and contributed to the song "Kalopsia" on ...Like Clockwork. Played keys on My God Is the Sun live at the Grammy Awards in January 2014.

Vocalists[edit]

  • Mark Lanegan – Has long been an on/off vocalist for the band, toured from 2001 to 2005 and made live appearances in 2007 and 2010. Has also recorded with the band on all albums except for their self-titled debut album. Lanegan has also played keyboards in live performances during the tour preceding the release of Lullabies to Paralyse, before Natasha Shneider joined the band.
  • Bobby Gillespie – Sang lead vocals on the Brian Eno cover Needles in the Camel's Eye, which is the B-side to Make it Wit Chu

Backing Vocalists[edit]

  • Brody Dalle - contributed backing vocals to two of the band's studio albums: Lullabies to Paralyze and Era Vulgaris.
  • Alex Turner – contributed backing vocals to the track, "If I Had A Tail", on ...Like Clockwork, and co-wrote the lyrics to "Kalopsia" on the same album.
  • Jake Shears - provided backing vocals to the track, "Keep Your Eyes Peeled", on Like Clockwork.
  • Julian Casablancas – provided backing vocals to Sick, Sick, Sick on Era Vulgaris, and played casio guitar on the same track.. Casablancas also performed the song with the band at the PJ20 festival on September 4, 2011
  • Serrina Sims - contributed backing vocals to the track Make It wit Chu on Era Vulgaris.
  • Liam Lynch - contributed backing vocals to the track, "Make It wit Chu" on Era Vulgaris.
  • Shirley Manson – contributed backing vocals to the track, "You Got a Killer Scene There, Man...", on Lullabies to Paralyze.
  • Peter Stahl - contributed backing vocals to the track, "Lost Art of Keeping A Secret", on Rated R, and the b-sides, "Ode to Clarissa" and "Born to Hula". Stahl also toured with the band from 1998 to 1999 to perform backing vocals on various songs and performed lead vocals on Desert Sessions songs that were played, including "Cake (Who Shit in The)" and "At the Helm of Hells Ships". He made a further live appearance on September 25, 2000 to perform "Nova".
  • Wendy Ray Moan - contributed backing vocals to the tracks, "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" and "Quick and to the Pointless", on Rated R.
  • Nick Eldorado - contributed backing vocals to the tracks, "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" and "Quick and to the Pointless", on Rated R.
  • Rob Halford - contributed backing vocals to the track, "Feel Good Hit of the Summer", on Rated R.
  • John Garcia - contributed backing vocals to 1997's Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age Split EP and made a live appearance on December 20, 2005 performing Kyuss songs with QOTSA.

Recurring contributors[edit]

Musician Queens of the
Stone Age

(1998)
Rated R
(2000)
Songs for the Deaf
(2002)
Lullabies to Paralyze
(2005)
Era Vulgaris
(2007)
...Like Clockwork
(2013)
Alain Johannes NoN NoN NoN NoN
Brody Dalle NoN NoN
Chris Goss NoN NoN NoN NoN NoN
Dave Catching NoN NoN NoN NoN
Dave Grohl NoN NoN
Gene Trautmann NoN NoN
Jesse Hughes NoN NoN
Joey Castillo NoN NoN NoN
Mark Lanegan NoN NoN NoN NoN NoN
Mike Johnson NoN NoN
Nick Oliveri NoN NoN NoN NoN
Trent Reznor NoN NoN
Troy Van Leeuwen NoN NoN NoN

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (2005-07-06). "Homme Comes Clean On Oliveri Firing". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  2. ^ a b "Beaver Family Tree". 13eaver.nl. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  3. ^ YouTube – QOTSA – Behind the scenes (Songs for the Deaf) 3 of 4

External links[edit]