A key leader in the rock scene is Josh Homme, notably known for his work with The Queens of the Stone age, Them Crooked Vultures and more recently Iggy Pop. Throughout Homme’s catalogue, eagerly follows a signature sound In QOTSA that little have been able to replicate.
Maton BB1200 JH
A signature sound Homme encompasses into Queens Of The Stone Age is Australia’s own Maton JH signature series. The "cool-looking" guitar is synonymous with Homme’s aesthetic and musical style. The straight to the point build brings a great tone and strong cut-through sound that helps QOTSA package their mix and deliver their fuzz fuelled riffs.
Used in both live performances and studio work, Homme’s signature Maton creates a warm, rich tone that comes from a dark maple neck and heavy blackwood body. This can be heard in songs from …Like Clockwork, where the full-bodied make of the guitar assists sustained notes and full bites making more edgy rock moments.
Maton BB1200 DLX
Josh Homme’s taste for Australian made guitars is still evident with the BB1200 Maton, which embodies similar attributes to the signature, but harnesses a different feel and tone to its close family member.
The preferred Cherry colour was seen through their 2002-2004 circuit of Songs For The Deaf and nearing the era of Lullabies to Paralyse. The Queensland made Maple body creates a sharper sound when paired with tone enhancing pedals, and cuts in and blends very well with Homme’s boutique preference on amps (discussed below).
Both guitars add a sharp, fuzz orientated tone that Homme and his fellow bandmates bring to the table. The BB12000’s works perfectly with Homme’s blissful vocals and helps both guitars focus on the tone rather than boosting their sound.
Used mostly in the studio, Homme’s appetite for blending tone extends to the DigiTech Whammy. Heard on songs such as ‘I Appear Missing’ and ‘Burn The Witch’, the DigiTech Whammy allows complete control with harmonies, layering and for those daring; dive bombs, octave drops and pitch bends. The pedal eliminates the need for additional musicians and allows a production element that is un-parallel still to this day.
Homme seems to use this pedal as a tool rather than relying on the pedal to completely carry his leads. As apparent in ‘Burn The witch’, it adds shimmering texture and is a fruitful piece of equipment when you introduce delay and modulation.
Moog Moogerfooger Low Pass Filter
More prominent in Homme’s secondary pedalboard for live performances comes American analogue Synthesiser Company ‘Moog’… in the form of a stompbox. Now developing guitar pedals, the Low-Pass Filter is an award winning pedal that is used for controlled filter sweeps and added effects.
Throughout QOTSA's catalogue, if you separate the hard-hitting riffs and straight-up-the-middle rock sections, you find some guitar parts that resemble warm ear-tingling tones; this is most likely the culprit behind these particular sounds. Homme uses this pedal intelligently to add layers to his tone and turns it into a crying storm of sound which will make you stop and listen (listen to the jam section in ‘I Sat by the Ocean’).
Fulltone FatBoost 3 FB FX
Adding warmth where warmth is needed, adding texture where texture is welcome, the Fulltone Fat-Boost is a pedal that Homme uses to boost his low-end guitar playing to push-through and meet the bass in the middle of the mix. This silver brick offers a discrete but clean enhancement to the guitars pickups, taking your sound to another level. Embedded in QOTSA’s songs lies a collage of fuzz/wah pedals. The Fat-Boost is the house-keeper that comes through and cleans everything up and makes it presentable. The FB-3 is great to hear through non-mastered tube amps and is a pedal that has a large array of variety to use live.
Ampeg Vt22 Amp Combo
The VT22 is quite a popular piece of equipment that has been discontinued for quite some time. Washington based manufactures Ampeg have created an everlasting gem that displays both high quality clean channels as well as an undisputed muddy tone that rumbles in superiority. This amp is the key to bringing Homme’s Matons to life. Homme seems to have a taste for vintage amps, as you can hear the VT22 in both the studio and live performances.
GreedTone JH1-100 Amp head
Personally crafted and designed for Homme, the GreedTone is seen as an unfamiliar candidate in the professional realm. The custom red skin vinyl and angled open cask speakers are synonymous with QOTSA’s sound and demonstrates variance and diversity in one amp. The GreedTone is presented in two guitar heads and two cabinets. Being a custom fitted amp head, the clear rich tone helps Homme’s rhythmic playing and enhances the length in his notes. Instead of hearing the top layered notes, the JH1-100 gives their minor chords and bluesy diminished leads a chance to breath and stand up for themselves.