This week's feature on Queens of the Stone Age gave me the opportunity to talk to bassist Michael Shuman, who, along with keyboardist Dean Fertita, became members of QOTSA right before the 2007 Era Vulgaris tour. While it may seem like frontman Josh Homme would be the preferred person to talk to for a Queens story, Shuman proved to have a unique (non-jaded) perspective as a newer (but not the newest) member of the band, especially considering his relative youth at the time he joined.
[More after the jump...]
"I was also 21 years old when I joined, so it was a shock to be in a band that I was a huge fan of and it was really exciting for me. I learned a lot in the first six months. And as far as gelling, it was on pretty early on. At least I thought it was, I don’t know if they were getting the same vibe," he laughed.
Getting the gig was a pretty straightforward process, though Michael admitted "It was a learning experience, joining someone else’s machine that has already been going for a really long time." Being in the same boat as Fertita made the transition easier, as did getting along with his new bandmates. "We all have the same ethos and for the most part musical backgrounds in punk rock, we get along and had the same sense of humor.
After we discussed the making of ...Like Clockwork and the band's Grammy nominations and imminent appearance on the awards show, I fired off six random questions. 'Course, as these things go, I never got to run the questions with the story, so I've decided to run them here, on Ear Buds, on the day leading up to tonight's show for your reading pleasure. Check it out below, and enjoy!
I’m gonna end this here with six random questions that I’m just gonna fire through. First - have you ever taken the “What QOTSA song are you?” quiz online?
No, I didn’t even know it existed. Wow.
I ended up as “In the Fade”
Really? That says a lot about you.
It does? Hrm —
[I never actually got an answer from him to this question, as the publicist interrupted us and attempted to end the interview; Michael very kindly asked that we finish our rapid-fire Q&A, adding "It'll be really fast." Thanks, Michael!]
Broncos or Seahawks?
Don’t care, but Broncos. Is that who’s in the Super Bowl? That’s how much I know.
If you had to add one more drug to “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” ["Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, Marijuana, Ecstasy and Alcohol —- Ca-Ca-Ca-Ca-Ca-Co-caaiinnneee"] which one would it be?
When you told your parents you were joining Queens of the Stone Age, did they mistake it for a gay boy band?
Did you really play ‘Bar Mitzvah Boy’ in The Wedding Singer?
You are correct.
And finally, if you could do one very inappropriate thing at the Grammys and not suffer any negative repercussions or consequences, what would it be?
Kiss Lindsey Buckingham on the mouth.
Queens of the Stone Age play Mahaffey Theater tonight. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.; Chelsea Wolfe opens. Tickets ($40.50-$66.50) are still available at the box office.