"I've taken enough drugs to kill a small boy, and I think that was my inner child, actually" – Josh Homme on why he's living a cleaner life now

Musician Josh Homme (L) and singer Iggy Pop speak onstage at the Grammy Museum on April 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
(Image credit: Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images))

Josh Homme's interview with Apple Music's Zane Lowe (full video below) is a wide-ranging and emotional ride as he talks music, philosophy and the 11 friends he's lost in recent years, including Mark Lanegan and Taylor Hawkins. But there's also plenty of "gallows humour" – as Homme himself calls it – and his friend Iggy Pop looms large. Like the time he went to a high-end steak restaurant with the Stooges legend and made Homme "fall in love with him all over again"…

"Iggy and I were at Lawry's, the steak place," Homme tells Lowe about the highly-rated restaurant in Beverly Hills. "And he'd always wanted to go, he'd never gone… we go to a goddamn Lawry's and he's wearing just a vest with no shirt underneath, which is already a bit risque for Lawry's where the first time I went, I had to wear a men's mustard colored jacket. Anyhow, so we go in there and Iggy is... He just at one point was like, he goes, 'Is it hot?' And I was like, 'No.' And then he just takes off his vest and puts it on his... He's got no shirt on in Lawry's, and he picks up the steak and he is just eating it with his hands. And I was like, "That was the goddamn best thing I ever saw in my life," because he was being himself. He wasn't hurting anybody. 


Queens Of The Stone Age

(Image credit: Queens Of The Stone Age / YouTube)

Learn the guitar riff to No One Knows by Queens Of The Stone Age

He was just like, "I'm like this," continues Homme, "and he wasn't giving two wooden f***s [he doesn't mean forks], and they came over there, the manager comes over and he goes, "I'm really sorry to say this to you, but could you please... There's a health code violation for you to have your nipples out basically at dinner." And he was like, "I'm sorry about that, of course," then he just went back to eating the steak with his hands. It made me fall in love with him all over again because he was gentle and sweet… it was like, "I'm going to do me until somebody says I can't, and then I'm going to decide if I'm okay with that. And if it's done in, if the request is respectful, I will listen to your side and put on my vest," and I love that because he's sort of elegantly being himself. Or as Oscar Wilde said, "Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

Iggy has inspired Homme in new era, marked with the release of forthcoming Queens Of The Stone Age album In Times New Roman. And it's a cleaner living one. 

I don't really smoke ciggies anymore either.

"For me it's also about you don't want to be the old druggie at a party," Homme explains. "That's weird. This isn't the sixties. I'm not like, "Man..." I think it's the natural baton pass of the next phase of my life. Just in that notion of I want to live, I don't really smoke ciggies anymore either. It's I think because I've done that enough, I've taken enough drugs to kill a small boy, and I think that was my inner child, actually. 

"But I think it's fine. It's fine for me to try other things for a while now too since I did those. I've got that covered. And I still have a glass of wine. I think Iggy has always been my inspiration. And Iggy will have a few glasses of wine and talking to Iggy about how he went from a junkie that was a pariah where people would say, "You can do whatever you want, but just don't bring Iggy over here," to someone that really is such a celebrated, venerated monument that he is."

In Times New Roman is out now. The whole interview can be viewed above.  

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.