QOTSA: Why We Decided to Make the New Album More Uptempo

"I don't know if it was conscious decision."

Ultimate Guitar
QOTSA: Why We Decided to Make the New Album More Uptempo

QOTSA bassist Michael Shuman was asked by Heavy Magazine about the band's decision to go with more uptempo beats on upcoming album "Villains," to which he replied (transcribed by UG):

"I don't know if it was conscious decision.

"After the last touring cycle, coming off that we were on a high.

"Because coming from making that record which was kind of a nightmare, putting out a record and people really responding to it and connecting with it, and ultimately took our band to another level.

"There was some success, and we felt good. We felt like a band after two years of touring, so kinda like taking that and going in with that kind of energy.

"Also, the first song that we kinda started with was 'The Way You Used To Do.' On that tour Josh had a demo of guitar riff and that clap, and just knew that kind of spark that led the direction for the rest of the record. So that one song was really like, 'OK, it's gonna be like this.'"

Michael also discussed the evolution of QOTSA, saying:

"With new people, new brains, new ideas, new hands - that changes the sound. Just the dynamic of us is...

"I can't speak how the dynamic was with past members and how those records were made, but I know that our dynamic is that we're like brothers and we're very tight.

"We hang out together all the time, and we get to play the music all the time. So I think inherently throwing us in the mix is going to change the sound.

"I think we're lucky enough to be in a band with a leader like Josh [Homme] who is an open minded individual and welcomes ideas. I feel like I can speak my mind."

"Villains" is due out August 25, you can check out the two singles unveiled thus far - "The Way You Used to Do" and "The Evil Has Landed" - in the embedded players below.

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31 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's a comfortable addition to their catalog for sure. Not sure on the production choice still having heard them whole album, but it's definitely fresh.
    The Evil has landed is SIIIIICK and anyone who doesn't like the album doesn't get QOTSA....
    What the fuck guys? How is this shit upvoted to the top?
    anyone who doesn't like the album doesn't get QOTSA...
    Ok, name one QOTSA album that sounds anything like another? This band has evolved from Kyuss into one of the most inventive and interesting bands around. It's all well and good playing it safe like AC/DC or something, churning out exactly the same songs for 40 years, of course fans are gonna love that, it's familiar to them. QOTSA take you places you may not always be comfortable, and in doing so ask questions of you, can you deal with this new direction? The new stuff is something else, yet it has QOTSA trademarks, and I think it's hilarious that people think they've gone off the boil. Like Clockwork was a masterpiece brought about by the most challenging period in the band's history. They're now in a happier place, and wanted to make an album for the sake of music, dancing etc. Did you really expect another Like Clockwork??
    No a fan of the new album. I have been listening to it the last two days and it has an 80's dance vibe to it. There are no searing rockers and the two singles are weak. It felt like the songs are in first gear. The riffs and songs are tight but it has been a disappointment in my eyes.
    It's grown on me. I don't like the first two songs, so I skip them. It's made the album way more enjoyable.
    It definately grows on you and warrants quite a few listenings, I was sour as fuck at first but I've always approached records wanting to understand and not be like "pff, well this isn't where I am right now". That being said I do run my mouth prematurely from time to time, it's hard not to after listening to an album you've been waiting for 4 years. Gonna buy it for sure though. 
    I hope that is the case with me. I love this band and have been a fan for 17 years. I was eagerly awaiting this album for months and I am just disappointed because it is mellow and a dance 80's vibe to it. The songwriting is good but nothing really rocks. I may stop listening to it and come back at a later date. 
    Hate me all you want, everyone, not just you, but I don't get this thing called growing on you and requiring a few listenings. I have to like a song from the get-go and then learn it's beautiful nuances on the following listenings. The thing with listening through same song a few times gives your brain the sensation of familiarity and that might make you like it, instead of you actually liking the song for what it is. I might be full of shit, but that's how I see it and that's how I roll.
    So you literally never challenge your own tastes? You only re-listen to things you instantly like? You can end up with a pretty narrow spectrum of things to listen to if that's the case (and that goes for food, movies, books, series, people, and ideas in general). At least that's my two cents.  Also, it IS possible to think you're wrong or disagreeing with you without "hating" you at all, c'mon man.
    Not at all what I said. I do listen to a broad spectrum of music.. from Steven Wilson to Soundgarden, but mostly progressive metal I suppose. I give anything a go that anyone links to me, but if I don't like it, I don't like it. I always approach new music with a blank state of mind and ignore the fact that I haven't liked the band or the band's given genre before.
    You don't have to do anything. There is no way that you can pick up all of the subtle nuances throughout the album after only listening to it once. Use this analogy. Would you prepare for an exam by reading over the required material just once? No, you'd read over the material over and over looking for anything you missed; i.e., subtle nuances in the songs. These nuances rarely jump out at you first listen and it is made that way by the artist, because they want you to hear the album in it's entirety.  Music to me is more than just nice sounds. It's performance art. It has depth and meaning. QOTSA are professionals at their craft. This album is full of sick time changes and intense musical fusion. 
    Well, if I delve into it like that, then I like it. I'm sorry, that's just how I am for exams on different subjects as well. I really don't need to read many times and I won't if it's a subject I don't take interest in. I'm glad I am finally studying something where majority of the courses I am in I have great interest for and get excellent grades. I just can't apply the same approach to music that I have for studying. I think I would get too involved.  I wasn't disrespecting or specifying Queens of The Stone Age or this specific album at all by the way, I will listen to it once I feel like it. I haven't really liked any of their previous material, not my cup of tea, but as I said, I'll listen to it with a blank canvas and give it an honest chance.
    I`ve been a Qotsafan for nearly 20 Years and they never disappointed me. But they never had an album that I like in its entirety. There have always been a couple of Songs wich don`t fit my taste and I´m fine with it. Villains is an exception! Sure it is nothing new under the sun but the variations are well done. What i hear is a wild ride through the Hommecatalog + a great production. It`s basically Crooked Post Stoneage  Deathmetal Monkeys. So put on some quality headphones, lean back and ride those extraordinary waves.....
    The last album took a while to grow on me, so I hope this is the same - listened to it a couple of times now and it feels like you're waiting for 45 minutes for it to kick in... then it ends. Love this band and can't wait to see them at the end of the year, but I can't help but feel that this album will be quickly forgotten about.
    At first I was sceptical but I have to say up to around 5 or 6 listens now and I think it's great; so much so I splashed out and pre-ordered the CD and Vinyl. Stick with it if your unsure, because it's definitely a grower. 
    I am excited to hear what they have in store but so far (as good as they are) the singles are both a bit repetitive and over stay their welcome.
    I'm very excited for this album. Now I must leave and not voice my opinion too much because that Martha username person on here might have another go at me again. Like in yesterdays qotsa article! Peace!
    It isnt that "upbeat". There's like 4 out 9 songs that are "upbeat". And the drum sound fucking blows
    I've only heard the 2 songs thus far and I like them. But agreed, the production on the drums is terrible. Which is sad, cause the playing is fantastic.
    sinForge xJp
    The moment I heard "The Way You Used To" I was like yes, this is exactly how I want them to sound right now.  It was like the stars aligned for me.  I was thinking man, if the whole album sounds like this, I am READY.  
    Definitely like the second song more than the first. Queens is one of my favorite bands, but there are just some songs I don't like so much and "The way You Used to Do" is one of them. Regardless I'm still excited to hear the whole album, and to see them in a few weeks. I think some people either forget or didn't listen to them long enough to realize how much they changed stylistically each album, especially after the first 3. At the very least their passion for making music is apparent, and as long as that is evident then I will always be willing to give their stuff a solid listen.
    Good point. They always released great songs as a percuror to their upcoming albums (Little Sister/ Sick Sick Sick and My God is the Sun). I really dislike their first single for this album and the second one is better but both songs are indicative of the album. I downloaded it and have been listening to it for two days and I can't decide if I like it or hate it. I thought Jon Theodore would be more prominent but the songs are dance 80's vibe. Like Clockwork was a masterpiece and I didn't expect a sequel but there are no rock tunes on this album. It may grow on me but I am not sure if I like it. The songwriting and guitar work is good but man!
    I like the second song, much better than the first effort, let's hope the rest of the album is more like this