Queens Of The Stone Age's …Like Clockwork stands as a monumental achievement in their discography, topping charts and garnering critical acclaim. Yet, frontman Josh Homme surprisingly reveals he initially deemed it a "mistake."
Talking to Dean Delray on the Let There Be Talk podcast, Homme acknowledged the record's darkness and said he considers it the most emblematic of both himself and the band. He describes it as "so dark," yet expressing its profound authenticity: "It's the one that I think most accurately represents us and myself. I like that album. That's what I'm like is that record."
This personal connection fueled his initial apprehension, fearing this introspective dive might mark a creative regression. Homme recalls even apologizing to the band for a potential career downturn. He braced himself for failure, expecting their career to shrink back to smaller venues
"I remember saying to the guys that I was so convinced that it was a mistake. It wasn't going to change anything, but I just want to say before it comes out that I'm really sorry, and if we end up having to just headline the Troubadour again you won't see me anymore. So I kind of apologized to the band"
"It was like, 'Hi my name is Josh. This is not gonna go well.' I just felt that I was adamant that it would be the end, but it was the exact opposite of that." Homme added
Thankfully, reality defied his anxieties. …Like Clockwork soared, becoming their first and only #1 album on the Billboard 200, spawning hits like "My God Is the Sun" and "I Sat By the Ocean." Critical acclaim followed, with three Grammy nominations and widespread praise.
Homme also sheds light on the album's place within the band's larger narrative. He views their discography in three-album cycles, with …Like Clockwork marking the start of a new era. This "Rule of 3" perspective sheds light on the album's significance, tying it to the critically acclaimed …In Times New Roman and Villains.
"I like to work in three record cycles. And I think Lullabies and Era were trying to find the next cycle to start. So like kicking the can around and seeing what comes out of it. But it felt like …In Times New Roman and Villains come with …Like Clockwork, like a whole."