Believe it or not, but it’s been over three years since Queens of the Stone Age released their last album, Villains. While there’s been no news of a follow-up, frontman Josh Homme has unveiled two original poems written in 2015, and one of them features lines that would eventually end up on Villains single “Head Like a Haunted House”.
Instead of simply posting text of the poetry to Instagram, Homme uploaded recordings of himself reading both pieces out loud in his baritone voice. The first up is “Where the Fog Begins,” which he penned in November 2015 and recorded while sick in bed.
“In an old piece of technology, I came across this recording. I was ill, stuck in bed & feeling restless; however, there was bright side. It had transformed my voice by lowering it,” he wrote in the accompanying caption. “Making me sound like a radio performer for almost an entire day. I seized the baritone opportunity & did readings of a handful of poems I’d written. The poems weren’t busy & none of the poems were harmed during the recording of them being read aloud.”
As diligent QOTSA fans on reddit have pointed out, “Where the Fog Begins” includes a pair of lines from 2017’s “Head Like a Haunted House”: “To trip the light fantastic one takes wire on the shins” and “Petty disguises worn like a skin.”
Conceived the same month, second poem “Glass Cars” was inspired by Camille, Homme’s daughter with The Distillers’ Brody Dalle. “One day, a world ago, while driving with our daughter, her mom & I asked her to come up with a song title for us to use. Without missing a beat she calmly said “Glass Cars”,” explained Homme.
Homme continued, noting how “Glass Cars” still hasn’t been turned into a proper song. “Her mom & I loved the title so much, we often would pretend argue over who could use the title. In the end we decided to share the title. My version is just a poem,” he said. “Poem is a life long bachelor, who has yet to meet that special song one, that poem feels ready to make a life song commitment with. Found this reading of poem & few others recently. Poem was recorded while I sick in bed in nov 2015.”
Listen to Homme read both poems down below, and then revisit “Head Like a Haunted House”.
Although QOTSA have been rather quiet during the pandemic, Homme has performed in a number of livestream events, including one with Run the Jewels and another honoring Joe Strummer. He also contributed to the new album from Royal Blood.