Record Label: Matador
“The title Villains isn’t a political statement. It has nothing to do with Trump or any of that shit. It’s simply 1) a word that looks fantastic and 2) a comment on the three versions of every scenario: yours, mine and what actually happened… Everyone needs someone or something to rail against— their villain—same as it ever was. You can’t control that. The only thing you can really control is when you let go.” —Joshua Homme
Hundreds of epic shows, memory lapses, unexplained injuries, one yearlong detour with Iggy Pop and multiple Grammy nominations later, Queens Of The Stone Age reemerge from the desert newly scarred and somehow strangely prettier with lucky seventh album, ‘Villains’, out August 25 on Matador Records.
Produced by Mark Ronson and co-produced by Mark Rankin and mixed by Alan Moulder, ‘Villains’ is the first full album offering from Queens Of The Stone Age since 2013’s ‘…Like Clockwork’ gave the band its first #1 album in the U.S. (and #1s in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, #2s in the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Finland… but really, who’s counting?). Like the stunning artwork of returning illustrator Boneface, the sonic signatures of the lineup that took ‘…Like Clockwork’ around the world and back—Founder/guitarist/vocalist/lyricist Joshua Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen (guitar, keys), Michael Shuman (bass), Dean Fertita (keys, guitar), Jon Theodore (drums)—are as unmistakable as ever, though coexisting with sufficient new twists to induce recurring double takes.
As Homme himself puts it, “The most important aspect of making this record was redefining our sound, asking and answering the question ‘what do we sound like now?’ If you can’t make a great first record, you should just stop—but if you can make a great record but you keep making records and your sound doesn’t evolve, you become a parody of that original sound.”
Of his role working within such a closed and confident ecosystem as Queens Of The Stone Age, Ronson says, “Queens are and have always been my favorite rock n roll band ever since I walked into Tower on Sunset and bought ‘Rated R’ in the summer of 2000, so it was incredibly surreal to be welcomed into their secret, pirate clan—or the ‘jacuzzi’ as Josh likes to call it. I also knew that my super fandom alone would not keep me in the jacuzzi. There were moments during the making of the album in which i was aware i was watching my musical heroes craft something that was sure to become one of my favorite moments on any Queens album. And to have some part in that felt like being in a dream–a very heavy, dark, wonderful dream.”
Longtime Queens cohort co-producer Mark Rankin added, “After the baptism of fire that was …Like Clockwork, I was excited to get into the studio again with the challenge of pushing the sound for this record, especially with the the addition of Ronson into the creative mix. We wanted to evolve the production to be processed in a modern way yet be totally organic and still performed fully live, like lifting a veil and what you thought was electronic is actually live and things are not as they first appear… What we’ve made is forward looking yet unmistakably Queens.”
Queens Of The Stone Age have also confirmed a slew of North American dates filling in the space between and beyond their previously announced appearances at Outside Lands and Riot Fest.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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