Josh Homme has told the Irish Independent that the latest Queens of the Stone Age album was inspired by the singer's near death experience.
Homme is lucky to be alive after serious complications arose from routine knee surgery. "I woke up and there was a doctor going, 'Sh-t, we lost you'," says Josh. "I couldn't get up for four months. When I did, I hadn't got a clue what was going on.
"But in all honesty, the last couple of years of failure and anguish have been the best thing to ever happen to me. It gave me a chance to figure out what's really important to me."
He continued: "My grandpa used to say, 'Everyone gets knocked down, but it's the style in which you get up that matters.' Well, it feels like I got to stand up my way. Does my grandpa mean a lot to me? Well, his name is tattooed on my fingers.
But at the same time there was a chance to hear nothing new from QOTSA anymore, Homme reveals.
"I didn't want to play music anymore because I died on an operating table," he confesses. "i didn't give a shit about little things anymore, and music had become a little thing.
"So I'd call up Trent (Reznor) and we'd go and have coffee and talk for five hours about other things. It became part of the process of feeling whole again."
As Homme notes, it was the encouragement of his wife Brody Dalle that got him working on music again:
"The wife and I have a little shack out the back of our house, so I put a little studio in there. She encouraged me to go in there as much as possible and told me not to worry about what I wrote.
"So, I went in and the first song I wrote was 'The Vampyre of Time and Memory.' I hated it. I thought, 'Who wants to hear this?' Then Brody reminded me, 'Who f--king cares?' You got to start somewhere and the bottom can be a really great place."
Trent Reznor and Brody Dalle appear to be just two of various guests featured on the band's sixth studio album. Josh has also commented a huge amount of them.
"I'm almost regretfully realising that we had too many guests, but to be honest, it was really like a buffer for me.
"For example, Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) might come over for five hours, drink some tequila and maybe sing something. It would be a little mini-vacation away from how much work it took to make this record.
"Having your friends over is important and that's what they are rather than guests. Jake Shears (of Scissor Sistors) is my TV buddy. Alex (Turner) is my mate who lives in LA now, so we ride motorcycles. Nick (Oliveri) made his record in my studio and we've remained friends since we parted ways all those years ago. It was time to let the air back into that one, so we went for lunch.
"And I go to the movies with (Mark) Lanegan all the time. These are real friends."
Finally, Queens of the Stone Age frontman showed his respect to Sir Elton John, who participated in "Fairweather Friends."
"The funny thing is he called me. It was a Sunday and I was at home with my son. The phone rings. 'Josh, Elton John here.' At first, I thought it was somebody f--king with me. He told me the only thing my band was missing was a real queen. I said, 'Honey, you've no idea.'
"Elton is just a lovely, funny, excited guy," Homme enthuses. "Whether he's signing cellists from Croatia off YouTube or finding kids in Ireland who are 15 and sound like the Beatles, he's just so passionate.
"He's a total workaholic too. He shares my attitude that work has always saved him. Although it's f--ked me up too, but lets face it, but it's always saved me in the end."
The entire "...Like Clockwork" album along with a bunch of older stuff was played at the band's most recent show at the Wiltern Theater in LA. The band has recently informed that they will stream the entire album via iTunes starting May 28.