“Every effort was made to push through and play for you, but it is no longer an option to continue”: Queens Of The Stone Age cancel European dates with Josh Homme to undergo emergency surgery

Josh Homme onstage in Fuengirola, Spain, at a 2024 show with QOTSA. He plays a Echopark Esperanto Z offset semi-hollow
(Image credit: Bianca de Vilar/Redferns)

Queens Of The Stone Age have cancelled a number of European live dates with frontman Josh Homme forced to return to the US for emergency surgery.

In a statement posted to social media, the band said that they had intended to “push through” and play the shows but circumstances dictated that Homme returned home immediately.

“Every effort was made to push through and play for you, but it is no longer an option to continue,” writes the band. “Queens are gutted we aren’t able to play for you. We apologise for any inconvenience and share in your frustration and disappointment.”

The news sees the cancellation of eight headlining and festival appearances in France, Slovakia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Romania, Hungary and Greece, all of which were scheduled for July. 

The Queens Of The Stone Age official site has taken these dates down, with ticket holders advised to contact vendors for headline shows, and the relevant festivals for more information. 

Queens Of The Stone Age - No One Knows (Glastonbury 2023) - YouTube Queens Of The Stone Age - No One Knows (Glastonbury 2023) - YouTube
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Despite these cancellations, European dates remain on the calendar, with the band scheduled to appear at Way Out West Festival in Gothenburg, Sweden on 8 August, followed by Oya Festival in Norway and Syd For Solen in Denmark on the following consecutive evenings. 

They have four more European festival dates slated for August before starting the US leg of The End Is Nero Tour in late September. 

They have given no indication that these dates will be pulled, and that they are still listed online offers some hope that this won’t keep Homme and co off the road for too long. The End Is Nero Tour’s epic schedule has made road dogs of them all, with scarcely a break since August 2023.

That kind of schedule sharpens a musician up. Speaking to MusicRadar in November 2023, guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen said playing live with no click tracks was a big part of their sound, and how they used the audience’s reaction to help dictate the tempo in a groove.

Queens of the Stone Age- "Carnavoyeur" - YouTube Queens of the Stone Age-
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“We don’t use click-tracks. We don’t use any kind of tracks,” Van Leeuwen explained. “And sometimes we are on the back of [the beat] and sometimes we are ahead of it. Sometimes it’s the audience. If they’re sparky we’ll pick it up, and even in the middle of the song, if it feels like it is starting to sink, well, Josh will say, ‘Pick it up!’ and here we go. 

“Those types of things come with experience of being a musician that’s been doing this for 30-plus years. Everyone else is in the same boat, and this particular lineup of the band has been together for 10 years already, so that [understanding] is only getting better – and that’s exciting, too.”

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.