Queens of the Stone Age (formed 1997) Queens of the Stone Age is an American rock band that formed in the Palm Desert area of California.
Formation & Early Years: Queens of the Stone Age started out with the name Gamma Ray. However, an existing heavy metal band in Germany had already claimed that name and forced them to change it.
The main line-up of the band consist of Josh Homme (formerly of Kyuss), Matt Cameron (formerly of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam), John McBain (formerly of Monster magnet) and Van Conner (formerly of Screaming Trees). The band's debut gig is thought to have been in November 1997, at the OK Hotel in Seattle, Washington. The band had already released a two-track EP named 'Gamma Ray' and went on to release a split EP with Kyuss, which was the band's first official release under the new name.
Queens of the Stone Age's debut album was released on Loose Groove Records (Man's Ruin also released the album on vinyl). The eponymous album was originally supposed to feature Screaming Trees front man Mark Lanegan on vocals but Lanegan was unable to commit to the project.
Shortly after recording the album, Nick Oliveri and Dave Catching joined the band and touring began.
Breakthrough: In 2000, the band released Rated R. At this point, Homme and Oliveri were the core members of the band and a number of contributors were involved, including Chris Goss, Nick Lucero and Judas Priest singer Rob Halford.
The single 'Feel Good Hit Of The Summer' raised the band's international profile and the album was well received, critically. Queens of the Stone Age opened shows for bands such as Hole and Foo Fighters, as well as earning a slot at Ozzfest 2000. The next year, Mark Lanegan joined the band, until 2005.
In 2002, Queens of the Stone Age released Songs for the Deaf, with Dave Grohl (of Nirvana and Foo Fighters) now drumming for the band. They were also joined by Troy Van Leeuwen of A Perfect Circle. When Grohl eventually left the band, he was replaced by Joey Castillo of Danzig. The album was a huge success and achieved gold status. In January 2004, however, Josh Homme fired Nick Oliveri from the band.
The band's fourth studio album, Lullabies to Paralyze was released in 2005. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top appeared on the album and Lanegan appeared on the record, as well as the supporting tour as when his schedule allowed it. Despite being leaked onto the internet before its official release, the album still went to number five in the Billboard chart - the highest position for any Queens of the Stone Age album.
In May 2005, Will Ferrell invited the band to play on Saturday Night Live. Ferrell played the cowbell during 'Little Sister.'
Over the Years and Through the Woods, a live DVD and album package was released in November 2005, featuring performances from London as well as rare videos of songs written since the band's inception. During their tour with Nine Inch Nails, NIN's guitarist Aaron North played onstage with Queens of the Stone Age.
In July 2007, Queens of the Stone Age released Era Vulgaris, with Michael Shuman and Dean Fertita taking over touring duties on bass guitar and keyboards, respectively.
In August 2008, Queens of the Stone Age hosted a concert at the Henry Fonda theatre, in celebration of the life of Natasha Shneider, who had died of cancer. They were joined, at the concert, by Brody Dalle, PJ Harvey, Matt Cameron and Jack Black amongst others.
Biography by Contactmusic.com