Josh Homme

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Josh Homme
Queen of the Stone Edge-Josh Homme-IMG 6555.jpg
Homme performing with Queens of the Stone Age in 2011
Background information
Birth name Joshua Michael Homme
Also known as
  • Baby Duck
  • Carlo Von Sexron
  • J.Ho
  • Ginger Elvis
Born (1973-05-17) May 17, 1973 (age 42)
Joshua Tree, California, United States
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • actor
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active 1985–present
Associated acts
Notable instruments

Joshua Michael "Josh" Homme (/ˈhɒm.i/ HOM-ee;[note 1] born May 17, 1973)[6] is an American musician. He is the founder and only continuous member of the rock band Queens of the Stone Age, in which he sings and plays guitar, as well as occasionally playing piano, drums, and bass. He also serves as the band's primary songwriter.

Homme was formerly a guitarist and founder of the influential stoner rock band Kyuss. He co-founded and occasionally performs with Eagles of Death Metal, playing drums and bass for their studio recordings, and produces a musical improv series with other musicians, mostly from the Palm Desert Scene, known as The Desert Sessions. In 2009, he formed a new project called Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones, who released their debut album that same year. In 2016, he will release Post Pop Depression, an album with Iggy Pop.[7]

Early life[edit]

Homme was born in Joshua Tree, California, and grew up in an affluent family in Palm Desert, California. His grandfather, Cap, moved to the desert from North Dakota when Homme's father was a child. His surname is of Norwegian origin, and is believed to come from the town of Valle. The Homme family have a local street named after them in a golfing community, and Cap has a park named after him in an exclusive enclave of the Coachella Valley.[8] Homme appeared in a 2011 episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on the area, and discussed having "to create your own fun" as a child growing up in the desert. He also stated that he did not start playing music to "get girls or make money", and that he assumed that he would grow up to be "a good contractor like my dad".[9]

Homme also has ties in Idaho, and has talked in the past about summering there, including experiences such as seeing Carl Perkins perform at the Festival at Sandpoint and buying his first electric guitar (an Ovation Ultra GP) in a Sandpoint music store.[10][11] He began playing guitar at the age of nine, after his parents denied his wishes for a drum kit. He took polka lessons on guitar from ages nine to 11, during which he supposedly did not learn of a barre chord for the first two years, nor of a pick until his third year, lending to his unique playing style.[12] Homme joined his first band Autocracy in 1985, at the age of 12.

Musical career[edit]

Kyuss (1987–1995)[edit]

Main article: Kyuss

In 1987, when he was 14 years old, Homme formed a punk rock-influenced heavy metal band with schoolmates John Garcia and Brant Bjork in Palm Desert called Katzenjammer; he was the band's guitarist. After changing their name a few times, first to Sons of Kyuss (they released an EP of the same name), they finally shortened it to Kyuss. The band garnered a cult following by the early 1990s, with the band often driving for hours out to isolated locations in the desert and plugging into generators to perform. These events, known as "generator parties", became urban legend among rock subculture.[13] The band became both famous for their heavy, down tuned, groove oriented music, and infamous for their backstage fights with local LA bands when they traveled into town to play gigs. This soon brought the attention of Chris Goss, who became the band's mentor, helping the band sign to a label and producing them exclusively in an effort to preserve their sound. Due to Josh being younger than 18 at the time of the band's signing, his parents had to sign on his behalf. Kyuss released three major-label albums, Blues for the Red Sun, Welcome to Sky Valley, and ...And the Circus Leaves Town, all of which are often cited as cornerstones to the development of the stoner rock genre in the 1990s. Kyuss partially reformed in 2010 (now known as Vista Chino), but Homme opted to not be part of the reunion.[14]

Queens of the Stone Age (1997–present)[edit]

Queens of the Stone Age performing at the Eurockéennes festival near Belfort, France, July 1, 2007. From left to right: Josh Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Dean Fertita, Michael Shuman

When Kyuss split up in 1995, Homme joined the Screaming Trees as a rhythm guitarist,[15] touring but not recording with the band. He and vocalist Mark Lanegan became close friends during this time. Disliking the band's continual disharmony, Homme left after just over one year with them. He founded Gamma Ray,[16] a group more centered to his unique style and tastes, which later became Queens of the Stone Age in 1997. The first release under this name would be the aptly named Kyuss/Queens of the Stone Age compilation EP featuring tracks from both Kyuss and songs recorded from the Gamma Ray sessions. Shortly thereafter, Queens of the Stone Age released their eponymous debut album in 1998. Originally, Homme had asked a number of singers, including Lanegan, to perform as lead vocalist for Queens of the Stone Age, but ended up singing for the first time in his career.

Following the debut album and The Split CD with Beaver, Queens of the Stone Age released the next album, Rated R, during which the band used a wider range of instruments to achieve a more relaxed, spacious and psychedelic sound.[17] Though it differed from the band's debut, Rated R became Queens of the Stone Age's first mainstream hit. The next release, 2002's Songs for the Deaf, however, would gain even more buzz from the music community and fans alike.[18] In Songs for the Deaf, Homme continued his filtering of stoner rock and hard rock. The album centers on Homme's memories of uncomfortable rides through the California desert, where he had performed in his days with Kyuss, and where there was little to do but listen to Spanish radio stations.[19]

During this time, Homme had a falling out with bassist and friend Nick Oliveri. Following the release of Songs for the Deaf, their relationship deteriorated until Homme fired Oliveri from the band in 2004.[20] Homme began writing their next album, Lullabies to Paralyze, named after a lyric from the Songs for the Deaf hidden track "Mosquito Song". Lullabies to Paralyze debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 and was QOTSA's best charting album on the Billboard 200 to date.

Queens of the Stone Age's fifth album, Era Vulgaris, was released in early June 2007 and received generally positive reviews from critics.[21][22][23] The album has provoked mixed opinions in the eyes of fans with its departure from heavy, downstroke driven guitar work in favor of angular, hard electronic-influenced rhythms. Following the album's touring cycle, the band took a break to focus on individual projects, during which Homme continued to produce and create more records outside the band. This break would unintentionally turn into a six-year gap between albums.

In 2010, following his work with rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, Homme confirmed that he would be performing more live shows with QOTSA. Following a deluxe reissue of Rated R, a re-release of their debut album was confirmed as well as a tour to follow it, during which the album was played front to back in the style in which it was recorded; this was the first time many of the songs had been performed live since the album's original release.

On June 4, 2013, after a tumultuous writing and recording process, Queens of the Stone Age released their sixth album, ...Like Clockwork, receiving high praise from critics[24] as well as topping the Billboard 200 charts. ...Like Clockwork highlights Homme's collaborative recording process and features guests such as Sir Elton John, Dave Grohl, Alex Turner, Jake Shears, Trent Reznor, Mark Lanegan, Nick Oliveri, and Homme's wife Brody Dalle.

The Desert Sessions (1997–present)[edit]

Main article: The Desert Sessions

Homme founded The Desert Sessions in 1997 at the Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, California, describing it as a musical collective series "that cannot be defined". He stated:

The recordings are done "on the spot" in a matter of hours, and the line-up constantly changes, with new contributors being added for each new recording. Artists such as PJ Harvey, Twiggy Ramirez, Dave Catching, Nick Oliveri, Mark Lanegan, Ben Shepherd, John McBain, Josh Freese, Chris Goss, Alain Johannes, Dean Ween, and many others from the Palm Desert Scene have contributed to The Desert Sessions recordings.

So far, ten volumes from The Desert Sessions have been released. Homme has stated to NME, among others, that he would record more material with The Desert Sessions.

Eagles of Death Metal (1998–present)[edit]

Main article: Eagles of Death Metal

In 1998, Homme formed Eagles of Death Metal with friend Jesse Hughes. Recordings from this project first appeared on Homme's The Desert Sessions Volumes 3 & 4, released that year. Over the next few years, Homme became distracted from EoDM due to the success of Queens of the Stone Age. However, in an October 2008 interview, he re-affirmed his commitment to the band saying, "This isn't a side project for me. I'm in two bands. I have musical schizophrenia, and this is one of those personalities.[25]

So far the band has released four albums: Peace, Love, Death Metal in 2004, Death by Sexy in 2006, Heart On in 2008 and most recently Zipper Down in 2015. Due to his commitments with Queens of the Stone Age and other projects, Homme does not regularly tour with Eagles of Death Metal, but occasionally makes appearances during live performances.

Them Crooked Vultures (2009–present)[edit]

Main article: Them Crooked Vultures

In July 2009, it was revealed that Homme, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones were recording together for a musical project named Them Crooked Vultures.[26][27] The trio performed their first show together on August 9, 2009 in Chicago at The Metro to a crowd of approximately 1,100 ticketholders. The band has been steadily touring with live rhythm guitarist/auxiliary man Alain Johannes.[28] Their album, Them Crooked Vultures, was released by Interscope Records in the United States on November 17, 2009, and by Sony Music internationally.[29] They performed on Saturday Night Live as a musical guest on February 6, 2010, and at Austin City Limits on October 2, 2009. Them Crooked Vultures won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards on February 13, 2011.[30][31]

Other projects[edit]

Homme in 2007

Other acts with which Homme has collaborated include Mondo Generator, Foo Fighters, PJ Harvey, Fatso Jetson, Mark Lanegan Band, Trent Reznor, Masters of Reality, Millionaire, Wellwater Conspiracy, U.N.K.L.E., Primal Scream, Melissa Auf der Maur, Paz Lenchantin, Death from Above 1979, Earthlings?, Mastodon, Peaches, The Strokes, Local H, Biffy Clyro, and Arctic Monkeys. He also collaborated with The Prodigy's Liam Howlett for a remix of The Prodigy track "Take Me to the Hospital" in August 2009. It was re-titled "Take Me to the Hospital (Josh Homme and Liam H.'s wreckage remix)".

Homme contributed (along with Nick Oliveri and Brad Wilk) to the soundtrack for the 2002 film The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.[32][33]

Homme was notably featured on the compilations Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen on the song "Stone Cold Crazy" alongside Eleven, Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three, as well as the Turbonegro tribute Alpha Motherfuckers as part of QOTSA covering the song "Back To Dungaree High". The very first use of the QOTSA name was on the compilation album Burn One Up! Music For Stoners featuring a one off lineup of Homme and Dave Catching with Beaver rhythm section Milo Beenhakker and Eva Nahon recording the Catching-penned "18 A.D.".

Homme, along with friend and Kyuss/QOTSA contributor/producer Chris Goss, performed as "The 5:15ers" at the inaugural ArthurBall (an offshoot of the ArthurFest festival) in Los Angeles on January 26, 2006.[34] The two were credited as "The Fififf Teeners" when they co-produced QOTSA's second album, Rated R, and 2007 album, Era Vulgaris.

Homme produced most of the Arctic Monkeys album Humbug[35] as well as providing backing vocals to "All My Own Stunts" on their album Suck It and See. He also appears on their 5th album AM, providing vocals for the tracks, "One For the Road" & "Knee Socks."[36]

In June 2010 Homme appeared on the Comedy Central series Tosh.0 to do an unplugged duet version of the hit viral song What What with Internet celebrity Samwell. He also provided the theme song to Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, the show formerly known as Aqua Teen Hunger Force.[37] Homme also collaborated with Mark Lanegan to provide the theme music for Anthony Bourdain's travel show Parts Unknown.

In May 2012, it was revealed on Dean Delray's comedy podcast "Let There Be Talk" that Homme would make a guest appearance on the release from Nick Oliveri's project Mondo Generator called Hell Comes To Your Heart.[38] The album was recorded over three days at Homme's Pink Duck Studios and features Homme playing guitar on the album's final track, "The Last Train"; this is the first music Homme and Oliveri have collaborated with since their public falling out in 2004. "The Last Train" also features fellow former Kyuss bandmate John Garcia providing vocals, which was recorded shortly before Homme's lawsuit with Garcia regarding the Kyuss Lives! band name. It was the first time Homme had collaborated with Garcia since 1997.

In June 2012, it was revealed that Homme would be starring in Glen Campell's final music video for the song "A Better Place".[39] In the video, Homme plays a bartender that shows Campbell a photo album of his life, from his early childhood through his music career to the present day. The video marked the end of Campbell's musical career, a retrospect on his life following his decision to retire following his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

Homme made a very brief cameo at the end of Jack White's music video for "Freedom at 21", playing a police officer who intercepts White at a roadblock following White's escapades throughout the video.

In September 2012, he contributed the song "Nobody to Love" for the action-drama End of Watch.

In early 2013, Homme and fellow Queens contributors including Alain Johannes and Chris Goss recorded to the soundtrack of Dave Grohl's Sound City: Real to Reel. Goss, Johannes and Homme were on three tracks each. Josh is notably included in a collaboration with Grohl and Trent Reznor called Mantra, and he was also featured in an interview segment.[40]

Homme has appeared in a number of television comedies. In December 2014, Homme made an appearance on Channel 4 sitcom Toast of London. The star of the show, Matt Berry, had been working alongside Morgana Robinson (the half-sister of Homme's wife, Brody Dalle,) in the BBC sitcom House of Fools (2014–15), in which both had prominent roles. Earlier in the year, Homme also made appearances on IFC's Comedy Bang! Bang! and Portlandia.

In July 2015, Homme began hosting a weekly hour-long show called The Alligator Hour with Joshua Homme on Apple Music's newly debuted 24-hour streaming internet radio station Beats 1.[41][42] The show features a highly eclectic selection of songs personally selected by Homme, interspersed with his own (often wry) introductions of, and commentary about, the various tracks on that particular week's playlist.[43] The Alligator Hour's musical selections typically have some sort of thematic, stream-of-consciousness-type relationship to each other.

Homme will release an album with Iggy Pop titled Post Pop Depression in March 2016, with a small tour to follow. The nine-track album recorded at Homme's home studio in Joshua Tree, as well as his Burbank space called Pink Duck. Their backing band included Dean Fertita of QOTSA and Dead Weather on guitar and keyboards, and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders; those two will join Pop and Homme on tour, along with Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar and Matt Sweeney on bass. The Pop/Homme band made their first live appearance on Thursday January 21, 2016 on the late show with Stephen Colbert.[44]

Personal life[edit]

Homme married singer and musician Brody Dalle in 2007. They have a daughter named Camille Harley Joan Homme (born January 17, 2006) and a son named Orrin Ryder Homme (born August 12, 2011). They reside in Palm Springs, California. In August 2015, Dalle announced that they are expecting their third child.

Homme has 17 tattoos. The most visible are on his knuckles, consisting of his grandparents' nicknames ("Cam", short for "Camille", on the left, and "Cap" on the right) with a heart. His inner right arm has a straight-edge razor and the words "Born to Win" with his nickname, "Baby Duck", underneath. He has his daughter's name tattooed over his heart.[45][46] After his son was born, he added a heart and his son's initials below his knuckles and the tattoo on his right hand.[47]

Homme has described himself as "very politically conservative" and "very socially liberal", considering himself a "fallen libertarian".[48] He owns several guns, including a classic Winchester rifle, a sawed-off shotgun, and a Beretta 9mm target pistol.[48] He has only ever owned one car, a silver 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, which he has driven since he was 14 years old.[49]

Homme said that he "died" for a short time in 2010, following unexpected complications during knee surgery due to asphyxiation. He contracted an MRSA infection, which his immune system could not fight due to stress. Doctors eventually used a defibrillator to revive him following the asphyxiation. The experience left him weakened and unable to produce music for almost two years.[50] Following this, he was confined to his bed for three months and plunged into a deep depression, considering giving up his music career. He has said that this experience greatly contributed to the making of the Queens of the Stone Age album ...Like Clockwork.[51] He credits Transcendental Meditation with helping him recover.[52]


Homme adopted the pseudonym "Carlo Von Sexron" to credit his playing of bass, keyboard, piano, and drums on such albums as The Desert Sessions Volumes 3 & 4, and Peace, Love, Death Metal from Eagles of Death Metal.[53] Homme is known as "(King) Baby Duck" to Dalle and the members of Eagles of Death Metal.[54] He is also referred to as "J.Ho.", "Joe's Hoe" and "The Ginger Elvis".[55]


Homme in 2007

In 2004, Homme was arrested for assaulting Dwarves frontman Blag Dahlia and Karl Doyle, at an L.A. club. Pleading no contest, Homme was ordered to remain at least 100 yards (91.44 meters) away from Dahlia and the club, was sentenced to 3 years probation with community service, and was forced to enter a rehab program for 60 days.[56]

At the 2008 Norwegian Wood festival in Oslo, Norway, Homme drew criticism for his reaction to an audience member who had thrown a bottle at him during the song "3's & 7's".[57][58] Homme called the audience member a "chicken-shit fucking faggot" and "a 12-year-old dickless fucking turd". The incident drew accusations of homophobia from several blogs, which were then picked up by the mainstream media.[59][60] Homme replied with a lengthy public letter denying all accusations of homophobia, and stated that the tirade was aggravated by a high fever.[61][62]

Following a performance by QOTSA at the Jay Z-owned Made in America Festival in 2013, Homme made comments about Jay Z during a radio interview with CBC Radio 2's Strombo Show. He explained that his band was frisked by the event's security team prior to the performance and referred to Jay Z's personal interaction with the band as a marketing stunt:

Musical equipment[edit]

Homme has in the past been very evasive about his equipment, choosing to either change the subject or even lie when asked about his setup in interviews and objecting to official photos of his pedal board. Although as of recent times Homme has loosened his attitude on the subject, much of Homme's known equipment has been compiled through amateur photos and screenshots performing live and in studio.[65]

In his approach to choosing his equipment, Homme tends to look for the odd or unique, opting to stay away from the typical choices of other guitar players. In an interview about guitars in 2008, Homme claimed at the time to own close to 35 guitars, saying that only 3 of them were "really good". He declared that he purposely did not have a Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul, but that he's always in search of intriguing, unique guitars, which are not always generally accepted as "quality" guitars, but are nevertheless great to use. He said that he tends to buy "weird, Japanese" guitars, or guitars that are already "scarred" and thus have a story.[66][67]


For a more comprehensive list, see Josh Homme discography.
Year Artist Album Role
1990 Kyuss Sons of Kyuss Guitars
1991 Wretch
1992 Blues for the Red Sun Guitars and co-producer
1994 Welcome to Sky Valley
1995 ...And the Circus Leaves Town
1998 The Desert Sessions Volumes 1 & 2 Guitar, bass, vocals, keyboard, drums, percussion
Queens of the Stone Age Queens of the Stone Age Vocals and guitar, bass, keyboard, and piano
The Desert Sessions Volumes 3 & 4 Guitars, vocals, drums, production
1999 Volumes 5 & 6 Guitar, bass, vocals, Yamaha, drums, percussion, mix, "other stuff"
2000 Queens of the Stone Age Rated R Vocals, guitar, percussion, drums, piano, backing vocals, mixing, concept, and co-producer
Kyuss Muchas Gracias: The Best of Kyuss Guitars and co-producer
2001 The Desert Sessions Volumes 7 & 8 Vocals, guitar, bass, strings, piano, drums, percussion, winner
2002 Queens of the Stone Age Songs for the Deaf Vocals, guitars, and co-producer
2003 The Desert Sessions Volumes 9 & 10 Vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and percussion
2004 Eagles of Death Metal Peace, Love, Death Metal Drums, percussion, bass, and producer
2005 Queens of the Stone Age Lullabies to Paralyze Vocals, guitar, bass, piano, drums, percussion, and co-producer
2006 Eagles of Death Metal Death by Sexy Drums, backup vocals, keyboards, bass, guitar, and producer
2007 Queens of the Stone Age Era Vulgaris Vocals, guitar, percussion, bass guitar, lap steel guitar, piano, organ, percussion ball, and co-producer
2008 Eagles of Death Metal Heart On Drums, guitars, bass, percussion, vocals, and producer
2009 Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures Vocals, guitar, organ, lap steel, production
2013 Queens of the Stone Age ...Like Clockwork Vocals, guitar, twelve-string guitar, piano, bass, percussion, synthesisers, drums and co-producer
2015 Eagles of Death Metal Zipper Down Drums, guitars, bass, percussion, vocals, and producer
2016 Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression vocals, guitar, keyboards, production


  1. ^ Listen About this sound  Josh Homme pronounces his name, 647k OGG file , taken from an interview with KBZT radio station, May 19, 2005


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External links[edit]