Best known for the rock radio staples “No One Knows,” “Little Sister” and their latest single, “Sick, Sick, Sick,” Queens of the Stone Age will bring their trademark desert sound to Indy this Saturday night. Aside from festival appearances, Indianapolis will host the first headlining Queens show this year. The Duluth Tour, as dubbed by the band, has so far only scheduled stops in smaller markets, something guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen says was intentional.
“That was part of our plan,” he says. “We know we’ll play New York and L.A. We were like, ‘You guys can wait.’”
A veteran of the stage, Van Leeuwen had several irons in the fire before settling on Queens as his full-time job. Recognized for his work with ’90s space rock outfit Failure and, more recently, A Perfect Circle, Van Leeuwen first met Queens’ singer Josh Homme in 2000 and was called upon for his services in ’02 just as the band had finished recording Songs for the Deaf.
Typically a snazzy dresser on stage, Van Leeuwen and his trademark guitar playing have certainly been crucial in the lo-fi psychedelic feel of the last two Queens albums, Lullabies to Paralyze and Era Vulgaris, respectively — the writing of which is a process that he describes as “different every time.”
“[The new album] was created as the tape was rolling,” he says. “Very fresh and very raw.”
Because Queens writes unique set lists for every show, fans should expect the unexpected. “We try to have every song in our repertoire up and running,” Van Leeuwen says. “There are definitely good beginners and good enders, but we want to do something different every night.”