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Music / Queens of the Stone Age

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"Life's a study of dying - how to do it right."
— "A Song for the Dead"
Pictured: Josh Homme, the man behind the band.

Queens of the Stone Age (often abbreviated as QOTSA) is an American Hard Rock band from the Palm Desert Scene, formed in 1996 by guitarist Josh Hommenote  after his previous band Kyuss disbanded.

Originally named Gamma Ray, they were forced to change their name after a threat of legal action from an already existing band. The name comes from a joke made by one of Kyuss's producers, but Homme has since given a different rationale behind it — the name "Kings of the Stone Age" conjured an image of hyper-masculine armored men, but swapping in "Queens" conjured an image of the women who "hang out with the Kings of the Stone Age's girlfriends when they wrestle." It also represented Homme's wider belief that rock should be "heavy enough for the boys and sweet enough for the girls."

The group started out by releasing two split CDs: one of the leftover Kyuss tracks and another with the group Beaver. The new material on those CDs and their first official album, Queens of the Stone Age in 1998, showed Homme slowly breaking away from the musical stylings of Kyuss and coming into his own as an independent musician. However, the group found its identity with the release of Rated R in 2000, a mellower and more varied (but none-the-less hard) mix of stoner rock, grunge/alternative, classic rock and just a touch of heavy metal (with a few unorthodox musical experiments here and there, such as the use of steel drums in one song).

The band solidified their newfound sense of identity with Songs for the Deaf in 2002, which largely abandoned their stoner rock origins in favor of a more accessible sound that garnered them critical acclaim, two Grammy nominations for the songs "No One Knows" and "Go with the Flow" (which also found their ways into Guitar Hero and Rock Band, respectively), and the highest sales of any of their albums to this day.

The group followed up with Lullabies to Paralyze in 2005 (named after a lyric from the track "Mosquito Song" from the previous album) and Era Vulgaris in 2007. While both were given good press and each had a Grammy-nominated song, they were neither as successful or as highly regarded as Songs for the Deaf (although Lullabies was a top-five album, which Songs didn't achieeve).

Homme's other projects and acts he's performed with include Eagles of Death Metal, which he rarely ever performs live with, The Desert Sessions, Fu Manchu, earthlings?, Arctic Monkeys, UNKLE, Lupe Fiasco, and a bunch of other people.

After a six-year break, ...Like Clockwork was released on June 3, 2013 to massive acclaim, followed by Villains in 2017. Their latest album, In Times New Roman..., was released on June 16, 2023.

Homme is also part of the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones. He also regularly assists and collaborates with other bands and musicians, such as Arctic Monkeys and even country singer Nikki Lane.

Studio albums

  • Queens of the Stone Age (1998)
  • Rated R (2000)
  • Songs for the Deaf (2002)
  • Lullabies to Paralyze (2005)
  • Era Vulgaris (2007)
  • ...Like Clockwork (2013)
  • Villains (2017)
  • In Times New Roman... (2023)

Current band members

  • Joshua Homme Lead vocals, guitar (1996–now)
  • Troy Van Leeuwen Guitar, keyboards (2002–now)
  • Michael Shuman Bass (2007–now)
  • Dean Fertita Keyboards, guitar (2007–now)
  • Jon Theodore: Drums (2013–now)

Notable past members:

  • Dave Catching: Lap steel and keyboards (1998–2000); guitar (1997; 1999–2000)
  • Brendon McNichol: Guitar, lap steel and keyboards (2000–2002)
  • Alfredo Hernández: Drums (1998–1999)
  • Gene Trautmann: Drums (1999–2001)
  • Dave Grohl: Drums (2001–2002; 2013)
  • Joey Castillo: Drums (2002–2012)
  • Nick Oliveri: Bass and vocals (1998–2004)
  • Chris Goss: Bass, guitar, keys and vocals (1996–2008)
  • Dan Druff: Bass, guitar and vocals (2005)
  • Alain Johannes: Bass, guitar and vocals (2005–2007)
  • Natasha Shneider: Keyboards and vocals (2005–2006)
  • Mark Lanegan: Vocals (2001–2005) and keyboards (2005)

Other past members:

  • Van "The Kid" Conner: Bass (1996; 1998) and vocals (1998)
  • Victor Indrizzo: Drums (1996)
  • Milo Beenhakker: Bass (1997)
  • Eva "Eef" Nahon: Drums (1997)
  • John McBain: Guitar (1997–1998)
  • Mike Johnson: Bass (1997)
  • Matt Cameron: Drums (1997)
  • Pete Stahl: Vocals, percussion and harmonica (1998–1999)
  • Mario Lalli: Guitars, keyboards and vocals (1999)
  • Nick Lucero: Drums (1999–2000)

This band and their music contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: The cannibals in "Mosquito Song" give this impression.
  • Album Title Drop: At the beginning of "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire", the DJ says "I need a saga. What's the saga? It's Songs for the Deaf. You can't even hear it!"
    • The album version of the song also contains a track hidden in the pregap called "The Real Song for the Deaf" which consists mainly of low frequencies that deaf people may be able to detect.
    • Interestingly, the title of "Lullabies to Paralyze" is dropped on its predecessor album.
    • Averted on ...Like Clockwork, despite a Title Track.
    • Played straight with "Villains of Circumstance".
    • And again dropped in "Straight Jacket Fitting" off of In Times New Roman....
  • Audience Participation Song: The aaah-aaah-aaahs in "Burn the Witch".
  • Author Appeal: Josh seems to have an odd thing for cannibalism and references it in a lot of songs and music videos. Including, but not necessarily limited to:
    • "Avon"
    • "Leg of Lamb"
    • "Sick, Sick, Sick" (music video)
    • "Mosquito Song"
    • "Someone's in the Wolf"
    • "Tension Head"
    • "I Never Came"
    • "Run, Pig, Run"
  • Binge Montage:
    • Ultra-condensed in the form of "Feel Good Hit of the Summer", whose lyrics are nothing but a list of drugs, specifically nicotine, Valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, alcohol — and, for the chorus, C-C-C-C-C-COCAINE!
    • And there's the videoclip from "Smooth Sailing", from ...Like Clockwork, with a twist: it ends with a dead body.
  • Berserk Button:
  • The Big Bad Wolf: "Someone's in the Wolf"
  • Black Comedy: One of the fake radio bumpers on Songs for the Deaf includes a DJ slapping a crying baby.
  • Book Ends: "If Only" starts with the rhythm guitar, followed up by the drums, a sweet bassline, and some keys. The outro of the song ends in reverse order.
    • Also, the series of videos for ...Like Clockwork made by British visual artist Boneface. The series started with the bandaged guy from "I Appear Missing" and closes the loop with him in "My God Is The Sun", only to find his way back from where he started.
  • Break-Up Song:
    • The ironically-titled "Another Love Song".
    • "Broken Box", which is about leaving a woman after she not only cheats on the narrator but has a child through the man she cheated on him with.
    • “Gonna Leave You”
  • Burn the Witch!: A song off Lullabies to Paralyze.
  • Call-Back:
    • At the end of "The Sky Is Fallin'", a DJ at KRDL ("We ruin music for everyone!") announces that the next song he's going to play is "Millionaire" by Queens of the Stone Age, which was the first track on the album. In the background you can hear what sounds like a crappy version of "Millionaire" playing. The station is changed before the song begins again.
    • "Millionaire" was actually the name of the demo version of "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar..."
    • In "Fairweather Friends" (on ...Like Clockwork), as in "Walkin' on the Sidewalks" (on their debut, Queens of the Stone Age), Josh uses the line "drink wine and screw". The two songs, however, use it in very different contextsnote .
    • "Long Slow Goodbye" references the closing track of every previous QOTSA album and foreshadows the next one:
      • The rhythmic telephone beeping references "I Was a Teenage Hand Model".
      • The presence of a post-song horn section references "I Think I Lost My Headache".
      • The melody of the horn section is similar to the horns in "Mosquito Song".
      • The melody of the horns also harmonizes with the outro of "Running Joke", the closer on some versions of Era Vulgaris.
    • "The Vampyre of Time and Memory" references lyrics of "Regular John" and "Better Living Through Chemistry".
    • Both "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret" and "3's & 7's" contain lyrics about "taking (something) to the grave", and make reference to similar behaviour: secretiveness and lying.
  • Call-Forward: "A Song for the Deaf" plays in the background of the DJ's introduction to "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire".
  • Careful with That Axe: Basically any song that had Oliveri singing. Or screaming. "Quick and to the Pointless" makes a great example; "Six Shooter" is a combination of this and Miniscule Rocking.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Josh Homme.
  • Chronological Album Title: Very narrowly averted with Rated R. The album was originally going to be titled II (being the band's second album) but was renamed Rated R at the last minute. This is probably a good thing, since the album sounds almost nothing like the band's debut.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • Josh Homme swears a lot when you push his buttons.
    • "Six Shooter" could be considered one, if you take its short one-minute length into account.
  • Concept Album:
    • Songs for the Deaf uses fake radio bumpers and the changing of stations as a framing device. It might also explain the heavily compressed audio, but whether it's intentional or just another victim of the Loudness War is unknown. Each song on the album represents a different radio station the protagonist turns to as he drives ("You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire" is the 'screamo' station, "God Is in the Radio" is a religious radio station, etc).
    • Lullabies to Paralyze is (loosely) a concept album as well, described by Josh Homme as "starting in the darkness and reaching for the light." In this way it mirrors Songs for the Deaf, which starts out relatively light but ends up incredibly dark (the final few songs are some of the band's grimmest, with the last being a disturbing tale of cannibalism).
    • ...Like Clockwork may be a concept album as well, (seemingly) telling the story of a man recruited into an apocalyptic cult shortly before the end of the world.
  • Cover Version:
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Songs for the Deaf was considerably darker than Rated R and the Self-Titled Album. The overall tone is a lot more grim, with songs like "A Song for the Dead", "Go with the Flow", and "God Is in the Radio" having a dark, ominous sort of groove to them. There's also a song about cannibalism.
    • Lullabies to Paralyze was even darker and more sinister-sounding than the previous three QOTSA albums, no doubt due in part to all the turmoil surrounding Nick Oliveri's firing a year before its release.
    • The band took it further with ...Like Clockwork, which is easily their darkest and most brooding album yet, with one of the experiences that inspired it being Josh Homme's near-death.
    • After the relatively lighter and more upbeat Villains, the darkness returned with In Times New Roman. An album that was inspired by everything from Josh's ugly divorce in 2019 to his battle with cancer in 2022.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Josh has his moments. Such as in his interview with Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! in 2017.
  • Death by Music Video: "Sick, Sick, Sick" has the band chained by the legs and performing for a beautiful cannibal. One by one, the band are picked off to be eaten by her.
  • Deus Est Machina: "God Is in the Radio".
  • Doom Metal: More specifically, Stoner Metal. This applies most obviously to their first two albums, but they've never completely moved away from the genre. Their work post-Songs for the Deaf only partially count, though, with the possible exception of ''Like Clockwork''.
  • Double Entendre: "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" could be implying a musical hit, or one of the narcotics listed in the song.
  • Driven to Suicide: The meaning of the song "How to Handle a Rope".
  • Drugs Are Bad: Generally averted, as Homme has shades of The Hedonist and did, after all, write "Feel Good Hit of the Summer". But Oliveri's severe drug problems ended up being part of what got him thrown out (the other part was his habit of beating his girlfriend), and the cause of his many legal woes, including the infamous SWAT standoff.
  • Dude Sounds Like a Lady: Josh can hit some pretty feminine sounding high notes in songs like "I Never Came" and "In My Head" and Troy can do some feminine sounding backing vocals. Especially on and "Make It Wit Chu" and "Smooth Sailing" where his backing vocals seriously sound like a woman.
  • Ear Rape: The ending to "I Was a Teenage Hand Model" from the first album, definitely, with all those synth distortions. Josh did it on purpose; he intended it to wake up any stoners who dared to sleep listening to his music.
    • You can say "You Can't Quit Me Baby" earlier in the same album does the same thing if you think about it.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • "Someone's in the Wolf" (7:15), and "I Think I Lost My Headache" (8:40), along with several other songs lasting the better part of 6 minutes. From Villains, "The Evil Has Landed" (6:31), "Un-Reborn Again" (6:40) and "Villains of Circumstance" (6:09) have joined the list. "Straight Jacket Fitting" off of In Times New Roman... is the band's longest song yet at 9:01.
    • During early performances, songs on the Self-Titled Album were expanded drastically. Some performances of "You Can't Quit Me Baby" lasted nearly twenty minutes.
  • Everything Is an Instrument:
    • "You Would Know" uses scissors and a telephone for percussion.
    • "Regular John" includes a telephone beeping rhythmically in the background, as does "Long, Slow Goodbye".
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Josh Homme is perhaps one of the biggest Real Life causes of Stupid Sexy Flanders ever.
  • Every Episode Ending: Since the late 2000s, "A Song for the Dead" is always the final song played live.
  • Exploitation Film: The video for "3's & 7's". It captures the feel of the golden age of Seventies exploitation films quite nicely.
  • Fading into the Next Song: Several times on ...Like Clockwork, most notably the incredibly awesome build-up at the end of "If I Had a Tail" leading into "My God Is the Sun".
  • Fairy Tales: A theme in Lullabies to Paralyze, though it arguably first showed up in "Mosquito Song" on Songs for the Deaf (the track Lullabies to Paralyze got its name from).
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: Seems like a sport for the band. "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire" has one; "A Song for the Dead" has three of them.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you manage to wade through the insanity at the end of "I Was a Teenage Hand Model"'s Last Note Nightmare/Ear Rape, you will notice a phone call going on near the end. Most precisely, Nick Oliveri calling Josh to tell him he's accepted the offer to join the band.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Nick Oliveri, sometimes. It got him in hot water in Brazil, in 2001, where he was booked by the police for corruption of minors (they were playing at Rock in Rio, an all-ages festival, that year). He defended himself by saying he didn't know it was a crime there.
  • Heroic BSoD: "I Appear Missing", based on Homme's near-death experience, four-month inability to walk, and depression, each of which caused the next during the recording of ...Like Clockwork.
  • Hidden Track:
    • There are three on Songs for the Deaf: the first, "The Real Song for the Deaf", is hidden in the pre-gap of the first track; the second is an outtake that plays about thirty seconds after "A Song for the Deaf" ends; and the third, "Mosquito Song", though this one is actually listed on the back cover as a "hidden track".
    • The hidden, untitled outro on Lullabies to Paralyze that plays about ten seconds after "Long Slow Goodbye" ends.
    • On some versions of Rated R, the "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" reprise at the end of "In the Fade" plays as an independent track, but it's not listed on the back cover.
  • High-Class Cannibal: The video for "Sick Sick Sick" has the band performing for a gorgeous, wealthy woman who's also a cannibal. She has the band shackled and performing for her at dinner. One by one, she has each member sent to the kitchen to be cooked so she can eat him in front of the other members. Eventually the lead singer is the only one left, but she cooks and eats him too.
  • Hunk: With his Stupid Sexy Flanders reputation (see Even the Guys Want Him above), his slightly more muscular build and his towering height (6'4"), Josh Homme would pretty much qualify.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: "Mosquito Song", the video for "Sick, Sick, Sick"
  • I Am the Band: Josh Homme on the first album wrote all the songs along with Alfredo Hernández, and now he's the only original member left.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: "Sick, Sick, Sick" can be nigh-incomprehensible.
  • Instrumentals: "Spiders and Vinegaroons", "Oppenheimer's Brother", "These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For", "Hispanic Impressions" and "Lightning Song".
  • Intercourse with You:
    • "Make It Wit Chu". Additionally: "Do It Again", "Skin on Skin".
    • "Sick, Sick, Sick" is extremely dirty, but hides it with Indecipherable Lyrics.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Josh Homme has been known to react violently to hecklers, and whenever he gets pissed the first thing he always says is "Hey you!".
  • I Will Wait for You: "This Lullaby" and "Villains of Circumstance".
  • Keet: Michael, the bassist. Seriously, just look how hyper he is. Although, if you don't want to look, all you need to know is that on stage, he constantly headbangs and shakes his body like crazy all over the place.
  • Knuckle Tattoos: Josh Homme has the name of his grandparents, Cap and Cam, tattooed on his knuckles.
    • He now has the initials of his son, Orrin Ryder Homme, on the lower knuckles of his right hand.
  • Last Note Nightmare:
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Arguably Era Vulgaris compared to Lullabies to Paralyze, as the album was considerably more catchy and less grim-sounding (...with the exception of "Sick, Sick, Sick"). Also Rated R compared to the band's S/T album.
    • "Make It wit Chu" in Era Vulgaris is surely not the song you'd expect from this band. It's definitely their lightest song yet.
    • Villains is noticeably softer than its predecessor, ...Like Clockwork, focusing on catchier, more melodic instrumentation. Comes with being an album produced by Mark Ronson.
    • QOTSA, in general, is this compared to Josh Homme's prior band.
  • List Song: "Feel Good Hit of the Summer". Might veer into Madness Mantra.
  • Loudness War: All of their albums have it in some way or another, but Songs for the Deaf', which measures DR 4, is probably the most infamous case (although the entire album is supposed to sound like it's being listened to on a car stereo).
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Broken Box" is an upbeat and poppy song with some downright distraught lyrics aimed at a cheating spouse.
  • Metaphorgotten: "If you wanna fight, go to a gay bar, because I will fuck you in the ass!"
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: Rated R is the most obvious example from their discography, styled after the MPAA bumpers from the 1970s, though Songs for the Deaf also counts with its limited red-and-black colour palette.
  • Miniscule Rocking: "Six Shooter", which runs at 1:19 and still manages to pack in quite a few swear words, along with "Quick and to the Pointless" at 1:42.
  • Mushroom Samba: "Monsters in the Parasol" in Rated R.
  • Motif: On the Self-Titled Album, multiple songs reference telephones in some way:
  • Nice Guy: Despite his reputation for being a bit of a troublemaker (and his rocky relationship with Brody Dalle), Josh is known to be a very nice and friendly guy, as his many musical collaborators can attest.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: Let us count all the ways this trope has been ZigZagged:
    • Subverted with the mysterious Carlo Von Sexron. Carlo played pianos, keyboards and bass on the first album and is very well known by the fandom. note 
    • Averted with Nick Oliveri on the next two. He is very well known throughout the fandom for things such as playing naked on stage, being a junkie, being a wife beater and getting arrested twice.
    • Averted again with Troy for the next two albums. Troy has a sizable fanbase of his own, mostly for being neatly dressed.
    • Played straight with the session bassists Van Conner and Milo Beenhakker who only showed up on EPs and demo tapes in very early recordings.
    • Subverted with Michael Shuman, he has a decent size fanbase and gained a bigger one after Josh complimented his band Mini Mansions.
  • No Ending: "I Think I Lost My Headache"—and by extension Rated R as a whole—just cuts off at the very end. No silence or anything.
  • Non-Indicative Name: They're all male (except for the brief period when Natasha Shneider was with the band), not royalty and thoroughly modern, but the Non-royalty Male Members of the Modern Age just doesn't have the same ring to it.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: "Sick, Sick, Sick", "If I Had a Tail".
  • The Oldest Profession: "Regular John" is a deconstruction of this.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Josh performed "I Never Came" without a guitar during the Lullabies tour, which made many fans feel a tad awkward.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • From the "My God Is the Sun" video:
    • On the music end, "A Song for the Deaf" has the line "The blind can go get fucked..."
    • Subverted at the very end of "Fairweather Friends", which censors its would-be swear word with a beep. The actual album (...Like Clockwork) is a Double-Subversion, as the very next song, "Smooth Sailing", ends its first verse with the line "Fuckin' bon voyage!"
  • The Power of Blood: "The Blood Is Love".
  • Rated M for Manly: Josh Homme has stated that he deliberately chooses to avert this. In fact, the reason why he decided to call the band "Queens" of the Stone Age was because he believed "Kings" sounded too macho.
  • Rock Trio: Let us, again, count how many times this has been the case:
    • From 1998–1999 the only three members were Josh, Nick, and Alfredo, though Dave Catching was often a touring member during this time.
    • The only core studio members on the album Lullabies to Paralyze were Josh, Troy, and Joey. This was also the case with the album Era Vulgaris.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: At one show in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2000, Nick got a little frustrated with technical issues during a performance of "Quick and to the Pointless" and proceeded to smash his bass after the song was finished.
  • Scatting: Josh sometimes does this. Examples include “Avon,” “Turnin’ On The Screw,” “Era Vulgaris” and “Broken Box.”
  • Sdrawkcab Name: "Avon" is "Nova" spelled backwards. Appropriately enough, there exists an alternate version of "Avon" under this title with Pete Stahl on vocals and different lyrics, though the backing track is mostly the same.
  • Silly Love Songs: "The Way You Used To Do" is basically an unironic love song (with a bit of Love Nostalgia Song in its reminiscing about their more wild times together), devoted to Josh's now-ex wife Brody Dalle.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Signature Style: Low tuning, odd timing on the vocals and bass, fuzzy guitars, bizarre lyrics, and unique drum fills.
  • Slasher Smile: "Beware the smile/It hides all the teeth, my dear", as described in "Someone's In the Wolf".
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Zig-zagged. Despite its often dark nature, their lyrics can be surprisingly optimistic, with the lyrics on ...Like Clockwork especially often containing an underlying sense of hope and desire to persevere, in the midst of all the trauma/tragedy present on the album. Similarly, Era Vulgaris was (according to Josh) actually intended as a celebration of the cultural zeitgeist, rather than a denunciation of it. On the other hand, songs like "Domesticated Animals" are pretty cynical. And the skits on Songs For The Deaf give a pretty cynical depiction of contemporary radio.
    • Interestingly, "The Evil Has Landed" has a line about not worrying about the glass being half full or half empty, but instead just drinking the whole glass and embracing the here and now. Almost throwing the concepts of both idealism and cynicism right out the window.
  • The Something Song: "Lightning Song", "Mosquito Song", "Another Love Song".
  • Soprano and Gravel: "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire" alternates between screamed and sung vocals by Nick Oliveri.
  • Stable Time Loop: The ...Like Clockwork videos are this. The man from "I Appear Missing" is killed by the man from "Kalopsia", who's killed by the man from "Keep Your Eyes Peeled", who's killed by the woman from "If I Had a Tail", and then they're all killed again by the... whatever it is in the "My God Is the Sun" video. And then the man from "I Appear Missing" is back where he started...
  • The Stoner: Subverted, Josh was a stoner at one point in his life, but he quit. Though, in the early 2000s at least, it was kind of hard to believe he wasn't stoned off his ass with moments like this.
  • Stylistic Suck: The guitars on "I'm Designer" are purposefully detuned.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: "Smooth Sailing", in a surprisingly clean way.
    It's all in motion, no stopping now
    I've got nothing to lose, and only one way up
  • Super Group: The Songs for the Deaf line-up was essentially a '90s alt rock supergroup, with Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri from Kyuss, Mark Lanegan from Screaming Trees and Dave Grohl.
    • One could say they pretty much are one now, with band mates from many various other bands.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: "A Song for the Deaf".
  • Title by Number: "18 A.D."; "3's & 7's".
  • Title Confusion: Their second album, officially titled Rated R, doesn't actually display that name anywhere on the packaging; it could either be referred to as R, Restricted or even Feel Good Hit of the Summer (displayed on the right spine).
  • Title Track: "A Song for the Deaf" (well, kind of), "Era Vulgaris", "...Like Clockwork".
  • Vocal Tag Team: Though Josh is the lead vocalist on a majority of their songs, Songs for the Deaf has Nick Oliveri and Mark Lanegan each singing lead on four of the album's fourteen songs, with Mark sharing duties with Josh on "A Song for the Deaf".
  • Word Salad Lyrics: At least half of their songs are comprised entirely of this, while others have snippets thrown in. In fact, Josh Homme himself has mentioned that he often writes lyrics in a deliberately vague manner so that the listener can interpret them in any way he/she chooses.