After more than a decade recording for Interscope Records, the band made a change to stalwart indie label Matador. The move resulted in …Like Clockwork, which was not only the band’s first release to hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200, but also Matador’s first chart-topping full-length.
Radio.com sat down with Homme and guitarist Troy Van Leeuween earlier this year, when the pair discussed everything from working with the likes of Elton John and Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys on the new album to Homme dishing on a traffic accident in which an unnamed actress from TV’s One Tree Hill nearly killed him.
With the band blazing around the world, performing at a slew of music festivals over the summer, we recently caught up with Homme as QOTSA embarked on their own headlining tour, something he admitted he was especially excited about. While Homme sounded tired speaking on the phone from a hotel room on the road, he assures us it’s the “good kind of tired” that comes from preaching the rock and roll gospel night after night from the hallowed pulpit that is the stage.
Let’s start with a rock and roll classic: How’s the tour so far?
It’s good. We’re starting to play our own shows, which I’m glad about. I mean, I like doing festivals, but I prefer playing to our own kids, you know?
Are any of the new songs getting a surprising or unexpected reaction in concert?
We keep playing this song “If I Had a Tail,” and people are kind of going nuts for that one. I guess it’s a little unexpected.
It seems like you’re changing up the setlist every night.
We always put in a different three or four songs, at the minimum, for every show. We have a new drummer [Jon Theodore], and we’re actually learning our old stuff so we can change around the setlists drastically. We have a lot of people that will come to multiple shows, and even if it’s only five people, they might want to see something else. Also for us, too, it keeps it fresh. I’ve seen a lot of bands, we’ve played festivals with them, and they play the same set every night, say the same things in between songs. That would be hard for me to do. Like last night we played in Edmonton, and the crowd was so good, you know? And I told them that, and I don’t say that every night. It’s not necessary to shine ass like that. But I want people to know that I mean it when I say it. I just do whatever it takes to make every show as original as possible.