Josh Homme: I'm Singing in QOTSA Because I Couldn't Find Anyone Else to Do It

"The size of the role that I have never mattered to me."

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Josh Homme: I'm Singing in QOTSA Because I Couldn't Find Anyone Else to Do It

Josh Homme talked about the beginnings of QOTSA and taking on the role of a singer after playing guitar only in Kyuss, telling Rob Delaney via Noisey (transcribed by UG):

"I tried to find the singer.

It's hard. It's like, 'Will you make sounds with your face and do it here with us?' It's hard to find somebody.

"I had to learn in front of everybody - it was really a trial by fire. I could liken it to doing stand-up for the first time, 'cause you think you know it, but then you go to do it, and it's not easy.

"The size of the role that I have never mattered to me. If the thing is good - who cares?

"I would kinda say it's like being on a ship in the ocean. If the cook fails, you die; if the rigor fails, you die; if the captain fails, you die.

"They are all equally important. The only problem is if the cook wants to be the captain, or if the captain wants to be the... That role envy is a problem. That's where mutiny comes from.

"And why live in a world where... 'I wish I could do that, but I'm not!' That's just your own fucking excuse, just fuckin' go ahead and do it.

"I wasn't in love with singing. I thought, 'What if there was a band that's just rotating all the time?' These flavors all in one, like going to a festival, but it's in one band."

Focusing on other musicians who contributed vocals to QOTSA music over the years, Josh noted:

"[Mark] Lanegan's like... If he was the voice on your phone, fuck that Siri shit! And then Nick [Oliveri] has his own reality that's totally alien and wonderful too.

"I would love to be in that environment with multiple people that have that skill. It's great to just watch them. Like on the Iggy tour, I got to just play guitar and dance for the first time since Lanegan and Nick. That's why I love being in Eagles of Death Metal!"

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32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I like Josh's vocals a lot. He almost always has has a perfect transition from his regular singing voice to falsetto.
    MurphySanders7 · Aug 09, 2017 02:43 PM
    The new single, for starters. Several songs on Like Clockwork... Could probably find more throughout the discography
    Funny thing, I was listening to QOTSA and I read the word falsetto and Josh did a falsetto in the song Avon...
    Regular John, Burn the Witch, No one Knows, Smooth Sailing, Lost Art of Keeping a Secret and many more of their best known songs.
    The funny thing is that without his recognizable voice, QOTSA would never have had so much success.
    His voice is perfect for the music he makes, I wouldn't want anyone else singing on QOTSA. I do embrace the idea of multiple vocalists, from such amazing bands like UNKLE, Mastodon, Zero 7, Massive Attack, Gorillaz, etc., but leave the vocals to QOTSA to Homme. 
    How can you say that when Songs For The Deaf is widely regarded as their best album and contains multiple lead singer, Oliveri and Lanegan being highlights.
    You have a point, however when I saw them live, Josh was the only singer that night and he actually did a spectacular job of doing those songs. I didn't know what to expect, i thought he would butcher the lanegan and ovelleri songs with their vocals but he did the complete opposite. Song for the dead and millionaire were still the highlights of the night.
    I often listen to Auto Pilot, Better Life Through Chemistry and In The Fade one after another (idk I just love them in that order) and it sounds absolutely awesome with three different vocalists. I hope Mark will sing again on the next album after villains
    I really like Josh's vocal styling. I do miss Lanegan being with them, same with Nick. For the real punky off the wall songs Nick's vocal were perfect in my opinion. I love Lanegan's voice in everything he does, but musically some of his solo albums leave a lot to be desired. The Gutter Twins were great though.
    I'd love a band where Nick actually sang, like he did on "Another Love Song". His screamo stuff is boring.
    Even when he isn't writing songs, Homme comes up with some great metaphors
    If he wanted a band, he could have had a band. He wanted control instead, so that's what he got.
    Josh has an amazing vocal delivery, even if you argue he's not the best singer, that's not really what it's about. He's up there with the likes of Charles Thompson (Black Francis) for me, it's perfect on it's own level and for what the song is. That being said, I really dig when they have guest vocalists, Homme himself used to say he wanted his albums to feel like an awesome mix tape, but I guess he's kinda moved on from that which is also fine. Super stoked for Villains. 
    Some would say "well he's trying to sound modest" but Josh seems like the kind of guy that probably got a record deal and then doubled checked with the label with "Really? Do you really want us? You sure? I can go if you want." He was meant to be a singer and front man. Just looking at that first record, where he sung every song, vocally there isn't a bad track on it (and pretty much in areas none are bad) Then when he had to take over live vocals that Mark was perfect on, like In the Fade and Hanging Tree, he managed to be just as good. Add to that his backing for Eagles and Josh is one of the best singers of the last few decades.
    I really did like how Songs of the Deaf traded vocals almost every track. The only time it didn't was from No One Knows to First It Giveth.
    I thought the story was that Mark Lanegan was supposed to sing, but then when they'd hooked studio time for the first album, Mark was in jail. Am I wrong, or did Josh just mot feel like going into that?