JOSH HOMME: 'NICK OLIVERI Is The Most Bad-Ass, Intense Individual I've Every Played With'

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE mainman Josh Homme has challenged former QOTSA bassist Nick Oliveri's recent online post about his split from the group, where Nick wrote, "A pure idea has been polluted. It's funny. 'A band about an idea?' The concept was simple: A ROCK BAND, selfless, mindless, ego-free, unprotected, about danger, sex, and no bullshit rock'n'roll. You know what happens when a pure and original rock band gets polluted, poisoned by hunger for power, and by control issues? Things get really out of control. I'm noticing that people start fighting for control, especially when they realize they have no control. And what ever happened to loyalty?"

"Plain and simple, Nick is the most bad-ass, intense individual I've every played with," Homme told Billboard.com in a phone interview from London. "He's the real deal. He's completely rock'n'roll without one ounce of fake in his whole body and I love that. I've always loved that and respected it but I've also protected it. I'm more worn down about it than anything. There's no question whether I've had loyalty or not."

"But I can't do this in QUEENS with Nick anymore," he continued. "Do I want to play with Nick? You bet your sweet ass. Do I want to go on tour with Nick for two years? No. Do I want someone to walk into my room and turn the stereo on all the way and split that sort of idea of living? No! No. I'm sick of it. I can't take it. Sorry.

"The reason we stayed together so long is because we've always loved each other in the best way. There's nothing Nick could say about me that would make me not like Nick. When all of this is said and done, Nick and I will still be alive and down the street from each other. I want to shake hands and not make fists. That doesn't mean that is what can go on now, but in this one instance, I am thinking about the future."

Homme told Billboard.com that he is moving ahead with plans to make the follow-up to the band's breakthrough 2002 album "Songs for the Deaf", which has sold more than 874,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. "I'm not in any fucking massive hurry but I'm a workaholic. I don't want to let 16 songs just sit warming in the oven until they taste shitty.

"Music is a great photograph of a moment in time and I'll be damned if I'm not right in the middle of a moment," he added. "Right now I just want to write for awhile to beat [the pre-existing songs], or see if I can. I think it's the best shit I've ever written."

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