"I just love being in a new town every night," says Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri. "We'll party anywhere. We do like twenty-day runs in a row. And if you stop, you're just going to go down. So we're just going to keep going."
The band will keep going for nineteen dates on their current tour (which kicks off Oct. 1 in Toronto) and to keep things fresh, the Queens plan on testing some new material. The set list will draw mainly from their latest album, Rated R, but the band promises a few surprises. "We're gonna try to mix it up as much as possible. You know, keep things new." Expect some unorthodox cover choices, such as "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy" and "Who'll Be the Next in Line," by the Kinks, and "Never Say Never," by Romeo Void. "When people hear them," says Oliveri, "there won't be any more talk about stoner rock."
As for testing out new material on the road, forget it. The band's not planning on playing any of the seven new songs written. "We're not going to record these songs for another year," Oliveri says. "We're gonna be so burnt out on these songs, that we're not going to want to record them."
QOTSA's lineup will expand for the tour to include a lapsteel, second guitar and piano player all rolled into the "multi-purpose, slave to the music" Brandon McNickel. "When you've got someone taking what's already there and adding their own flair it really does add something new."
For visuals on the tour, the Queens are projecting close-up footage of eyeballs on a large screen. "When you're playing, people are watching you," says Oliveri. "Now we're watching them back."
Other eye candy may include the bassist in his birthday suit. "A lot of times, I'm in a hot, sweaty club, and my jeans feel like they weigh twenty pounds 'cause they're drenched," says Oliveri. "I think the whole crowd should get naked, jump around and have a good time. It's rock & roll, right?"