Dean Fertita

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Dean Fertita
Fertita performing with Queens Of The Stone Age in 2014.
Fertita performing with Queens Of The Stone Age in 2014.
Background information
Born (1970-09-06) September 6, 1970 (age 50)
OriginRoyal Oak, Michigan, United States
GenresHard rock, alternative rock, indie rock, Blues rock, Garage rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, lap steel guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, organ, piano, synthesizer
LabelsInterscope Records, Rekords Rekords, Third Man Records, Schnitzel Records
Associated actsQueens of the Stone Age, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, Beck, Brendan Benson, The Waxwings, Hello=Fire, Eagles of Death Metal, Iggy Pop, Jack White, Reigndance

Dean Anthony Fertita (born September 6, 1970) is an American rock multi-instrumentalist.[1] He is best known as a member of the hard rock band Queens of the Stone Age, and as the guitarist and keyboardist for the Dead Weather.

Fertita was the lead singer and guitarist of the Waxwings from the band's formation in 1997 to its breakup in 2005. Fertita then moved on to collaborate with Brendan Benson, playing keyboards and guitar on Benson's solo releases and as a touring keyboard player for the Raconteurs. In 2007, Fertita joined Queens of the Stone Age to replace the late Natasha Shneider on keyboards and occasionally guitar on some songs. In 2009, Fertita released his debut album as a solo artist.

In 2015, Fertita collaborated with his Queens of the Stone Age bandmate Josh Homme in recording Iggy Pop's studio album, Post Pop Depression (2016).

Recording career[edit]


Fertita was a member of the band Reigndance from 1989–97 and appeared briefly on the first season of MTV's The Real World.

The Waxwings[edit]

In 1997 Fertita formed the power pop band The Waxwings[1] along with bassist Kevin Peyok, drummer James Edmunds and guitarist Dominic Romano. The band's name, as well as the name of their debut record, was derived from the first line of a poem in Vladimir Nabokov's novel Pale Fire:[2] In 2000 The Waxwings signed with Bobsled Records and began work on their debut album, Low to the Ground, recorded at Terrarium Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota with Bryan Hanna. The albums was featured in Magnet Magazine's Top 20 albums of 2000–2001.[3] In 2002 the band released their second album Shadows Of... After the band's release party a letter surfaced, in which Bobslead Records head, Bob Salerno, ridiculed the band for what he considered to be a poor live performance. The letter gained notoriety after being posted on the internet entertainment forum the Velvet Rope.

After the controversy with Salerno the band released their third album – recorded with Brendan BensonLet's Make Our Descent on Rainbow Quartz Records in 2004.[4] In 2005 the band stated on its official website that work had begun on songs for a fourth studio album.[5] Since then members of the band have been involved with other projects and no information regarding the band's status have been released.

Brendan Benson collaboration[edit]

After The Waxwings broke up in 2004, Fertita was recruited by Brendan Benson to play keyboard on Benson's two-man British acoustic tour[6] Fertita and Benson first met each other via mutual friends in high school, and soon established a working relationship.[7] Fertita cites Benson as a big influence, inspiring him to focus more energy on song writing instead of loud riffs.[7] When Benson formed The Raconteurs Fertita was recruited to play keyboards and organ on the tour in support of the Broken Boy Soldiers album.[1] Fertita also recorded clavinet parts for the band's second studio album Consolers of the Lonely in 2008.[8] Benson also produced and made several contributions to Fertita's debut solo album.

Queens of the Stone Age[edit]

Homme, Fertita and Shuman in 2007.

During the tour with the Raconteurs, Fertita got to know the band's sound man Hutch, who is also the long time sound man of Queens of the Stone Age.[9] In 2007, Hutch asked Fertita to join the Queens of the Stone Age as their new keyboardist and additional guitarist, replacing the late Natasha Shneider. Fertita accepted and along with newly recruited bassist Michael Shuman[10] recorded later bonus tracks. Era Vulgaris was released on June 12, 2007 and was followed by the Duluth Tour, which was named due to the fact that the band was scheduled to perform in many small towns and cities they had never played before, such as Duluth, Minnesota.[11] On August 16, 2008, Queens of the Stone Age performed a concert in celebration of Natasha Shneider's life at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. They were joined on stage by Alain Johannes, Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Matt Cameron, Brody Dalle, Jesse Hughes, Chris Goss and PJ Harvey, playing a variety of QOTSA and non-QOTSA songs. Proceeds from the concert went to defray the costs associated with Natasha’s illness. In 2009 the members of the band took time off and were involved in a variety of other projects, but reconvened in the summer of 2010 to play a number of shows in support of a reissue of Rated R which was released on August 3. They released a remastered version of their first self-titled album early 2011 which was supported with performances of the album in its entirety.

In 2013, Queens of the Stone Age released ...Like Clockwork, their first full album since Fertita joined the band. On the album, Fertita plays piano, guitar, slide guitar, synthesizers, clavinet and provides background vocals. The album was the first Queens album to reach number one on the Billboard 200. It also reached number two on the UK Albums Chart and was nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album.

The Dead Weather[edit]

Dean Fertita (far left) along with The Dead Weather.

In 2009 Fertita along with Jack White on drums, Alison Mosshart on lead vocals, and Jack Lawrence on bass formed The Dead Weather.[12] The group originally only intended to record a 7-inch single but plans changed and the band wrote and recorded their debut album in fifteen days.[13] The band's debut album – Horehound – was released July 14, 2009 and was followed by a supporting tour. In October 2009 lead vocalist Mosshart confirmed that a second album was "halfway done".[14] Later, White revealed in an interview that the band is hoping to have 20 to 25 songs ready for their Australian tour in March 2010.[15] It was later confirmed that the first single from the new album – Sea of Cowards – would be called "Die by the Drop" which was released March 30. The Sea of Cowards Tour began on March 19, 2010, is ended on August 3, 2010. It included 42 shows over four legs. On September 25, 2015, the Dead Weather released their third studio album Dodge and Burn.

Eagles of Death Metal[edit]

In June 2010, it was announced that Fertita would fill in on bass playing duties for Brian O'Connor, whilst the Eagles of Death Metal bass player undergoes treatment for cancer.[16] Prior to O'Connor's illness Fertita also made a guest appearance playing keyboards during a performance of "Wannabe In L.A". After returning to the Queens of the Stone Age Fertita was replaced by Abby Travis.

As a solo artist[edit]

In 2009 Fertita released his first solo effort under the moniker Hello=Fire, the album was recorded over a period of a year and a half and was recorded when Fertita along with friends found available time in studios, however some songs were written as early as 2005 and 2006 while touring with Brendan Benson.[7] The album includes performances by fellow Queens of the Stone Age bandmates Troy Van Leeuwen, Joey Castillo and Michael Shuman, as well as Brendan Benson and the Afghan Whigs' Michael Horrigan. The self-titled album was released October 26, 2009 on Schnitzel Records.[17] And the song "Nature of Our Minds" was its first single. Fertita had plans to play a number of concerts in support of the album during the break from Queens of the Stone Age however after joining The Dead Weather the planned live performances were canceled.[7] In 2010, Fertita re-recorded the Waxwings song "Different Plane" for the Novalis radiosurgery "Shaping Cancer Care Around You” national television commercial, currently running in the United States.[18] In 2011 Fertita revealed that he had begun working on a second solo album, but his main focus was to write and record the sixth record with the Queens of the Stone Age.[19]

Fertita recorded guitar and keyboards on Post Pop Depression, written by Iggy Pop and Josh Homme, which was released in March 2016. He will tour with them to support the album.[20]

Musical equipment[edit]

Fertita playing a Gibson SG

While playing with The Raconteurs Fertita primarily played a Fender Rhodes electric piano and a Korg synthesiser as well as a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar. Fertita is also credited for playing clavinet on the band's second album, Consolers of the Lonely. With Queens of the Stone Age Fertita has been seen playing a Moog Little Phatty Synthesizer and a Clavia Nord Electro 2 through a set of Peavey amplifiers.[21] However more recently he has been seen playing a Korg SV-1 and an unidentifiable electric piano as well as the Little Phatty. For guitars, he has used a Gibson SG and Maton BB1200 through an Ampeg combo, but was seen playing a Yamaha hollowbody through a Fender Twin Reverb amplifier on their most recent tour. With The Dead Weather, Fertita plays a custom built Gretsch White Falcon originally built for a number of live performances by Jack White and Alicia Keys to perform the theme song for the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, "Another Way to Die".[22] For keyboards, he uses The Moog Little Phatty, A Wurlitzer Electric Piano, and a vintage Korg CX-3 organ.[23] Fertita's pedalboard includes a Dunlop Rotovibe, a white painted DigiTech Whammy, a Voodoo Lab Tremolo, an Electro-Harmonix nano Bassballs, a white painted Big Muff, Micro POG, a Boss TU-2 Tuner, and a MXR Micro Amp.[24] For amplification Fertita uses two Fender Twin Reverbs.

Personal life[edit]

In 2009, Fertita got married. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.



  1. ^ a b c Brian McCollum Metro Detroit musician Dean Fertita moves to the front lines with the Dead Weather Retrieved: 2009-07-25
  2. ^ "The Waxwings: Bio". 2008-09-17. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  3. ^ "The Waxwings: Bio". 2008-09-17. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  4. ^ "Rainbow Quartz Records: The Waxwings". 2008-09-17. Archived from the original on 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  5. ^ "The Waxwings: News". Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  6. ^ a b Ian Gormely Stone Age keyboardist Dean Fertita speaks Retrieved: 2009-07-21
  7. ^ a b c d Dean Fertita interview Archived 2012-02-20 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved: 2010-02-12
  8. ^ (2008) Album note for Consolers of the Lonely by The Raconteurs
  9. ^ Queens of the Stone Age band profile Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine at Drowned In Sound. Retrieved on November 15, 2007.
  10. ^ "QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Films 'Sick, Sick, Sick' Video". 2007-04-28. Archived from the original on 2007-05-06. Retrieved 2007-05-09.
  11. ^ "Queens of the Stone Age: The "Duluth Tour" Details". Ultimate Guitar. 2007-06-03. Retrieved 2007-10-03.
  12. ^ "Jack White launches new band with The Kills' Alison Mosshart | News". Nme.Com. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  13. ^ Nicole Keiper Jack White Debuts New Band the Dead Weather: A Full Report From Private Nashville Show Retrieved: 2009-02-11
  14. ^ Greg Cochrane (October 16, 2009). "New Dead Weather LP 'half done'". BBC.
  15. ^ Dead Weather: New Disc In Early 2010 Retrieved: 2010-01-21
  16. ^ Young, Alex. "Them Crooked Vultures, Dean Fertita lend hand to cancer-stricken Brian O'Connor". Archived from the original on 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
  17. ^ "Schnitzel Records London UK News". 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  18. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
  19. ^ Fink, Sally. "Interview: Dean Fertita (The Dead Weather, Queens Of The Stone Age)". Retrieved 2011-05-11.
  20. ^ "Iggy Pop and Josh Homme Team Up for Secret Album". The New York Times. January 24, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  21. ^ Dean Fertita – Back Stage, After Show Interview – Impromptu and uncut Retrieved: 2010-02-11
  22. ^ Jack White: Dead Weather Use James Bond Equipment Retrieved: 2010-02-12
  23. ^ Organ label seen in The Dead Weather – "Bone House" – Live from The Roxy at 2:12 (1080p quality). Retrieved: 2010-09-23.
  24. ^ Jack White's Pedalboards: From White Stripes to The Dead Weather Retrieved:2010-02-12

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