Formed from the ashes of stoner rock icons Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age reunited the group's singer/guitarist Josh Homme, drummer Alfredo Hernandez, and bassist Nick Oliveri along with new guitarist/keyboardist Dave Catching. The project's origins date back to Homme, who in the wake of Kyuss' 1995 demise relocated to Seattle to tour with the Screaming Trees; he soon began working with a revolving lineup of musicians including the Trees' Van Conner, Soundgarden's Matt Cameron, and Dinosaur Jr.'s Mike Johnson, recording a series of 7"s originally issued under the name Gamma Ray. After rechristening the group Queens of the Stone Age, Homme recruited Hernandez to begin work on their self-titled debut LP, issued in late 1998 on Loosegroove; after the album was completed, Oliveri left the Dwarves to rejoin his former bandmates, with the subsequent addition of Catching rounding out the roster. In addition to extensive touring, Homme put together a series of albums for the indie label Man's Ruin; the various volumes of the Desert Sessions feature Homme's collaborations with a loose-knit lineup of like-minded musicians, some from bands like Soundgarden, Fu Manchu, and Monster Magnet.
In mid-2000, Queens of the Stone Age issued their sophomore album, Rated R (as in the movie rating; some promo copies were distributed with the original title, II), before appearing on that year's Ozzfest tour. By that point, drummer Hernandez had been replaced by a tag-team combo of Gene Troutman and Nicky Lucero. The group built a healthy buzz courtesy of accolades from such renowned publications as Rolling Stone, and good old-fashioned touring. 2001 saw the group perform at the massive Rock in Rio festival (after which Oliveri was arrested by the Brazilian police for performing nude) and a spot on the year's Ozzfest. The same year, Homme and Oliveri put together yet another volume of the Desert Sessions series, while QOTSA assembled a third studio album.
Era Vulgaris wrapped up QOTSA's contract with Interscope and the group went into a period of inactivity as Homme pursued other projects over the next few years. Chief among these was Them Crooked Vultures, a power trio also featuring Dave Grohl and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, who released an eponymous album in 2009. The next year saw a deluxe reissue of Rated R and in 2011, the band reissued their hard-to-find debut and did a small supporting tour behind this deluxe edition. QOTSA began recording a new album in 2012, bringing Grohl back into the fold and also finding spots for Mark Lanegan, Trent Reznor, Jake Shears, and Elton John, as well as Nick Oliveri. Queens of the Stone Age signed with Matador in 2013 and the ...Like Clockwork album was released in June of that year. ...Like Clockwork topped the Billboard 200, as well as the Alternative, Digital, Hard Rock, Independent, and Top Rock charts. Following the success of ...Like Clockwork, Homme and various Queens members participated in the Sound City documentary project and Iggy Pop's 2016 Post Pop Depression album and tour. QOTSA's seventh set, Villains, arrived in August 2017, preceded by the singles "The Way You Used to Do" and "The Evil Has Landed." ~ Jason Ankeny & Greg Prato