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Queens Of The Stone Age on stepping up to headline Download 2024: “There’s no reason to trip out”

Queens Of The Stone Age have reflected on their decision to step up and headline the 2024 edition of Download Festival, saying they see “no reason to trip out” over the set.

The conversation arose in a recent interview with NME, in which frontman Josh Homme and keyboardist and guitarist Dean Fertita spoke about their upcoming set at the Donington festival.

When asked by Andrew Trendell about how they are coping with any pressure of headlining the iconic UK rock festival, the two revealed that the band are feeling confident with their upcoming set, as one of their strengths is their ability to mix up their performances, night after night.

“Is it just going to be same-old-same-old?’ bean Homme. “You always have to give it your all and changing it every night is what we’re about, so it’s always going to be something different. I don’t think there’s any reason to trip out.”

Fertita agreed, adding: “I think the reason that the shows have been so good is because there’s a relaxation to the approach. We’ll decide five minutes before going on to play something that we haven’t played in 20 years.”

“And if you see someone with a sign that says, ‘Do this god damn tune’ then it feels nice to just be able to react in the moment,” Homme chimed in. “We come bearing gifts, and we want to give everything away. It’s nice to play Donington, but it’s just as nice to play Bournemouth too. That’s not to cheapen either – they’re both as good as it can get. These aren’t real problems.”

The two also reflected on the response they received with their latest album ‘In Times New Roman’, and subsequent ‘The End Is Nero’ world tour.

“After being away for so long, we didn’t know what we were coming back to. To see that we haven’t lost anyone, it feels like our people are still with us. That’s been a really inspiring thing and makes us really enjoy playing,” explained Fertita.

Homme shared a similar sentiment, adding that his energy was centred on getting the album completed, rather than worrying about the response it would get.

“Honestly, the five years were so intense that I forgot to remember that it was going to be perceived in some way. Completing the record was just difficult enough, where it was more of a sigh of relief when it was done than anything else,” he said. “It wasn’t until it had been done for a few months when I realised that people were going to receive it and I had no idea what that means. I tend to stay away from the NMEs and whoever elses of the world because it’s not really my job to focus on how it’s perceived.”

Josh Homme of the band Queens Of The Stone Age performs. CREDIT: Harmony Gerber/Getty Images

Download festival will return to Donington Park for its 21st edition from June 14-16, 2024, and Avenged Sevenfold and Fall Out Boy are also set to headline.

Other acts set to perform include Royal Bloo/d, The Offspring, Machine Head, Pantera, Bad Omens, Corey Taylor, While She Sleeps, Sum 41, Billy Talent, The Used, Babymetal, Bowling For Soup, Heilung, Polyphia, Thy Art Is Murder, The Black Dahlia Murder, Biohazard, and Fear Factory. Visit here to buy tickets.

Elsewhere in the interview with NME, Homme opened up about the possibility of joining forces with Iggy Pop again in the future, following their work on 2016’s ‘Post Pop Depression’.

“Well, I would do that in a second,” Homme said, while Fertita added: “Oh my god, if there was ever the opportunity to do it, it would be amazing. But there are no plans.”

The frontman also reflected on the tribute show that was held for Taylor Hawkins in 2022 and on his friendship with Dave Grohl.

“Being able to sing ‘Let’s Dance’ with Nile Rodgers at Wembley for my friend… Taylor would have loved that gig so much. It’s such a wonderful thing that perhaps only Dave [Grohl] could do as a send-off like that,” Homme explained. “[He was asking] ‘Is this a good way to say ‘I love you’?’ In the years past, I haven’t always known how to say ‘I love you’ to the people that I care about, you know?”

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