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Auto Pilot is the first Queens Of The Stone Age recording that features Nick Oliveri on lead vocals.
After Homme Nick is generally spoken of as the second biggest player in QOTSA’s history, which is odd in a way. He only actually ever appeared on two Queens records - this and Songs For The Deaf - and hasn’t played with the band since him and Homme had a fairly public bust-up in ’04. In actuality there are other members, such as Mark Lanegan and Perfect Circle guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, who have statistically appeared with the band for longer periods.
Oliveri is probably seen as important for two reasons though. Firstly, his creative relationship with Homme was always seen as a very close one; the two had played in bands with each other since they were teenagers in the ‘80s and always appeared to work very closely together.
Secondly Oliveri has always been a real larger-than-life, rock and roll figure. You could argue that, in the first half of the noughties, if you hadn’t seen Nick Oliveri perform naked, you hadn’t properly experienced rock music.
Everything from his penchant for going on stage wearing nothing but boots and a bass guitar strapped across his genitals to his always well-trimmed ginger beard mark him out as one of the last decade’s coolest musicians. Anyone who’s seen him perform with QOTSA, Mondo Generator, The Dwarves, or any of the other numerous acts he’s turned up in, will testify to this fact.