File this one under “strange ironies of modern rock”: Critically revered heshers and known revelers Queens of the Stone Age have provided the soundtrack to an educational film about the dangers of driving while drunk or drugged-out. At the request of the San Diego County Office of Education and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, QOTSA have lent their stoned anthem “Better Living Through Chemistry” — from 2000’s Rated R album — to a short film to be shown in area high school’s drivers education classes.
While “Better Living” (featuring such lyrics as “The blue pill opens your eyes/Is there a better way?”) would seem an unlikely choice for anything promoting personal safety or civilian well-being, Queens frontman Josh Homme says the decision to give up the song was an easy one.
“I feel like doing donuts in San Diego County and dropping my name when the cops come,” he says. “Dude, it’s a get-out-of-jail-free card. I just want to be in league with the cops.”
Given that QOTSA have for years extolled the virtues of various intoxicants, one might logically gather that Homme and bandmate Nick Oliveri have at some point had occasion to drive under the influence. Homme deflects questions to this end and instead offers his vision for better highway safety.
“I sort of feel like the roads should have those inflatable arm-floaties [the kind kids use in a pool] along either shoulder,” he says. “And that all cars should have ’em too so you could just bounce off everyone.”
The as as-yet-untitled instructional clip should be informing San Diego students by next semester, and an abridged version of the video might find its way onto local television.
Meanwhile, QOTSA are mixing their forthcoming third album, Songs for the Deaf, due this spring, with Eric Valentine (Third Eye Blind, Smash Mouth), who also co-produced the record with the band. The revolving door neo-metal collective have this time invited the likes of Dave Grohl (drumming on all but one track), ex-Screaming Tree Mark Lanegan and Ween’s Dean Ween to join their thundering party.