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Josh Homme

Josh Homme
Homme performing in December 2017
Joshua Michael Homme

(1973-05-17) May 17, 1973 (age 45)
ResidencePalm Springs, California, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • record producer
  • actor
Brody Dalle
(m. 2005)
Musical career
Also known as
  • Baby Duck
  • Ginger Elvis
  • J.Ho
  • Mr. Lucky
  • DP Pete
  • Carlo Von Sexron
  • Zombie Zebra
OriginPalm Desert, California, U.S.
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • drums
  • bass
  • piano
Years active1985–present
Associated acts

Joshua Michael Homme (/ˈhɒmi/ HOM-ee;[8] born May 17, 1973) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. He is best known as the founder and only continuous member of the rock band Queens of the Stone Age, in which he sings, 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 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 released Post Pop Depression, an album with Iggy Pop.[9] He has been involved with numerous other projects, including Arctic Monkeys and Biffy Clyro.

Early life

Joshua Michael Homme was born in Joshua Tree, California, on May 17, 1973.[10] He grew up in an affluent family in Palm Desert, California. His paternal grandfather, Cap, moved to the area from North Dakota. His surname is believed to come from the Norwegian town of Valle, and he also has English, French-Canadian, German-Jewish, and Swedish ancestry.[citation needed] 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.[11] In 2011, Homme discussed having to "create your own fun" as a child growing up in the desert, stating that he did not start playing music to "get girls or make money" and that he assumed he would grow up to be a contractor like his father.[12]

Homme also has ties in Idaho and has talked in the past about spending summers there, including shaping experiences such as seeing Carl Perkins perform at the Sandpoint Music Festival and buying his first electric guitar (his Ovation Ultra GP) in a Sandpoint music store.[13][14] 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 for the next few years, during which he supposedly did not learn of a barre chord or a pick until his third year, lending to his unique playing style.[15] Homme joined his first band, Autocracy, in 1985, at the age of 12.


Kyuss (1987–1995)

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, often driving for hours to isolated locations in the desert and plugging into generators to perform. These events, known as "generator parties", became urban legend among rock subculture.[16] 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 Homme 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 out of the reunion.[17]

Queens of the Stone Age (1996–present)

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,[18] 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,[19] 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 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 their debut album, 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.[20] 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.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23] 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.[24][25][26] 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 began performing more live shows with QOTSA. Following a deluxe reissue of Rated R, a 2011 re-release of their debut album and corresponding tour followed, featuring the album 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[27] 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.

Their seventh album, Villains, was released on August 25, 2017.

The Desert Sessions (1997–present)

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, 10 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 in the future.

Eagles of Death Metal (1998–present)

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.[28]

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)

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.[29][30] 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.[31] Their album, Them Crooked Vultures, was released by Interscope Records in the United States on November 17, 2009, and by Sony Music internationally.[32] 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.[33][34]

Other projects

Homme in 2007

Homme has collaborated with acts such as 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.

Homme contributed (along with Nick Oliveri and Brad Wilk) to the soundtrack for the 2002 film The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.[35][36] He and Alain Johannes were originally meant to develop a score for the video game Spec Ops in 2005, however the project was cancelled (before it would become Spec Ops: The Line in 2012) and any work done on the game would go unused.[37] Homme was also to provide music including a cover of Joe Walsh's In the City for the 2005 video game adaption of the classic film The Warriors, which also went unused.[38]

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 collaborator Chris Goss, performed as The 5:15ers at the inaugural ArthurBall (an offshoot of the ArthurFest festival) in Los Angeles on January 26, 2006.[39] The two were credited as "The Fififf Teeners" when they co-produced QOTSA's second album, Rated R, and 2007 album, Era Vulgaris.

In August 2009, Homme also collaborated with The Prodigy's Liam Howlett for a remix of the Prodigy track "Take Me to the Hospital". It was re-titled "Take Me to the Hospital (Josh Homme and Liam H.'s Wreckage Remix)".

Homme produced most of the Arctic Monkeys album Humbug,[40] as well as providing backing vocals to "All My Own Stunts" on their album Suck It and See. He also appears on their album AM, providing vocals for the tracks "One For the Road" and "Knee Socks".[41]

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 Samwell. He also provided the theme song to Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1, formerly known as Aqua Teen Hunger Force.[42] 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.[43] 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.

Homme at the Eurockéennes de Belfort in 2011

In June 2012, it was revealed that Homme would be starring in Glen Campbell's final music video for the song "A Better Place".[44] In the video, Homme plays a bartender who 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 after 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.[45]

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 (2014–2015), 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.[46][47] 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.[48] The Alligator Hour's musical selections typically have some sort of thematic, stream-of-consciousness-type relationship to each other.

Homme released a surprise album with Iggy Pop titled Post Pop Depression in March 2016. The nine-track album was recorded at Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree, as well as his Homme's Burbank studio Pink Duck. Their backing band included Dean Fertita of QOTSA and Dead Weather on guitar and keyboards, and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders; the two joined Pop and Homme on tour, along with Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar and Matt Sweeney on bass. The band made their debut on January 21, 2016 on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, announcing the album, and proceeded on a North American and European theatre tour that March, culminating in a performance at the Royal Albert Hall, filmed and released as a concert DVD. The album's recording was also filmed and compiled into the 2017 documentary American Valhalla.[49]

In October 2016, the Homme produced debut album from The Strokes' Nick Valensi's new band, CRX, titled New Skin was released.[50]

In 2017, he composed the score for Fatih Akin's German-language drama In the Fade, named after the QOTSA song on Rated R.[51]

Personal life

Homme met Australian singer and musician Brody Dalle of The Distillers during her separation from Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong, and the two began dating. He said of the beginning of their relationship, "We had to be very secretive, because she was just starting a divorce process. I went back to do those Desert Sessions, and you can tell what I was going through [...] I was so in love, I was totally revelling in it so much, I was a little paralysed."[52] Homme claims he received multiple death threats from Armstrong to stay away from Dalle: "I got all kinds of threats. They were saying, 'We're gonna kill you.' And I was saying, 'I'm six-foot-five and I have red hair and I'm not hiding. Go ahead.' I didn't steal anybody's anything."[53] Homme and Dalle were married on December 3, 2005. They reside in Palm Springs, California, and have three children: daughter Camille Harley Joan Homme (born January 17, 2006) and sons Orrin Ryder Homme (born August 12, 2011) and Wolf Dillon Reece Homme (born February 13, 2016).[54]

Homme has over 20 tattoos. On his knuckles, he has his grandparents' nicknames ("Cam" for "Camille" on the left and "Cap" on the right) with hearts and his two sons' names ("ORH" for "Orrin Ryder Homme" and "Wolf"). He has his daughter's name, also Camille, tattooed over his heart. His left arm has a switchblade with "Stay Sharp" underneath, while his inner right arm has a straight-edge razor with "Born to Win" inscribed; underneath, his nickname, "Baby Duck", is a shared tattoo with his Eagles of Death Metal bandmate Jesse Hughes, who has his nickname "Boots Electric" in the same location. Homme also shares a tattoo that says "Freitag 4:15" with former Queens of the Stone Age bandmates Nick Oliveri and Mark Lanegan and their sound engineer Hutch, commemorating their "worst show ever" at the Rock Am Ring Festival in Germany on Friday, June 1, 2001, at 4:15 pm. They all got the tattoo on their ribs so that it would hurt the most and serve as a reminder.[55][56][57]

Homme has described himself as "very politically conservative" and "very socially liberal", considering himself a "fallen libertarian".[58] He owns several guns, including a classic Winchester rifle, a sawed-off shotgun, and a Beretta 9 mm target pistol.[58] He has only ever owned one car, a silver 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, which he has owned since he was 14.[59]

Homme said that he "died" of asphyxiation for a short time in 2010, following unexpected complications during knee surgery. He contracted a 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.[60] 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.[61] He credits Transcendental Meditation with helping him recover.[62] In June 2016, he alluded that the story about his knee surgery may have been created by "somebody else", adding that he went "in too deep" involving drugs and sank into a depression.[63]


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, Queens of the Stone Age, and Peace, Love, Death Metal.[64] Homme is known as "(King) Baby Duck" to Dalle and the members of Eagles of Death Metal.[65] He is also referred to as "J.Ho." and "The Ginger Elvis".[66] In an interview, Nick Oliveri referred to Homme as "Mr. Lucky".[67]

Legal issues and controversy

Homme in July 2007

In 2004, Homme was arrested for assaulting Dwarves frontman Blag Dahlia and Karl Doyle at the Dragonfly club in Los Angeles. Pleading no contest, he was ordered to remain at least 100 yards (91.44 meters) away from Dahlia and the club, was sentenced to three years' probation with community service, and was forced to enter a rehab program for 60 days.[68]

At the 2008 Norwegian Wood festival in Oslo, Homme drew criticism for his reaction to an audience member who had thrown a shoe at him during the song "3's & 7's".[69][70] 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.[71][72] Homme replied with a lengthy public letter denying all accusations of homophobia, and stated that the tirade was aggravated by food poisoning and a high fever.[73][74]

Following a 2013 performance by QOTSA at Jay-Z's Made in America Festival, 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: "[Jay-Z] has his security frisking the bands on the way in. I just told them if you open up my bag I'm not playing so I guess it's up to you whether we are playing or not. [...] He also gave us some champagne and wanted us to take a photo with it. And I thought, 'That's not a gift, that is a marketing tool.' So I destroyed it."[75]

In 2016, Homme was involved in a verbal altercation with autograph seller Jason Leckrone, who eyewitnesses said was taunting Homme for not signing autographs. Homme began to argue with Leckrone and called him an "entitled, spoiled motherfucker".[76] In 2017, Leckrone filed a lawsuit against Homme for assault and battery.[77]

In December 2017, Homme was captured on video kicking the camera of Shutterstock photographer Chelsea Lauren into her face during KROQ's Almost Christmas concert in Los Angeles.[78] After staying through the show and photographing subsequent bands, Lauren went to Cedars-Sinai for treatment.[79] In a statement, Homme claimed that he had been kicking over lighting equipment and was unaware that he had kicked Lauren until he was informed of it the next day. Lauren disputed this, stating that Homme had made eye contact with her before kicking her.[80] Homme later issued a video response in which he admitted to kicking Lauren and apologized to her.[81]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 Metallimania Himself Documentary
2005 American Dad! Himself Voice
Episode: "Francine's Flashback"
2007 Hot Rod Gown
2007–2012 Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Himself 3 episodes
2008–2012 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Various Characters Voice
2 episodes
2010 Tosh.0 Himself
2011 Truckfighters Himself Documentary
2013 Sound City Himself Documentary
The Gorburger Show Himself Episode: "Jack Black, Eagles of Death Metal"
Comedy Bang! Bang! Dale Episode: "Clark Gregg Wears a Navy Blazer & White Collared Shirt"
2014 Toast of London Himself Episode: "Fool in Love"
Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways Himself Episode: "Los Angeles"
Portlandia Carrie's Brother Episode: "Late in Life Drug Use"
2015 Lo Sound Desert Himself Documentary
The Redemption of the Devil Himself Documentary
2016 The Man from Mo'Wax Himself Documentary
Gutterdämmerung Himself
Desert Age: A Rock and Roll Scene History Himself Documentary
Talking Dead Himself
Unfinished Plan: The Path of Alain Johannes Himself Documentary
2017 Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis Himself Documentary
American Valhalla Himself Documentary
Bedtime Stories Himself Episode: "Zog"
For BBC CBeebies


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External links