Josh Homme doesn’t have time for artists who refuse to perform their biggest songs.

The Queens of the Stone Age frontman was recently a guest on the Tuna on Toast With Stryker podcast, where he discussed how he puts together his band’s set lists. Even though he proudly mixes things up for every show, Homme noted the importance of keeping big hits in the mix.

“I understand that I’m always going to play ‘No One Knows’ because I still like playing that song and that’s something that it’s an agreement with the audience,” he explained, pointing to his band’s 2002 breakout song. “I assume that this is a part of coming here to see us, and here you go. When there’s bands that don’t want to play their big song or their big songs, I always think it’s a little cunty to do that. Acting like a song that a lot of people like is a burden is just a strange reaction to the gift that your fans have given you. Seems like an odd reaction.”

Homme went on to express sympathy for those acts who have a single song that blows up to the point of overshadowing the rest of their catalog. Still, in his opinion, refusing to play a beloved song is simply not an option. “In the years of doing this, I’ve seen a lot of artists do that at times. Sort of get angry at their own music for doing well,” Homme noted.

“Having fans is a cool thing. And they want stuff. And when it comes to playing the stuff that they want, I feel like that’s why this is happening, right? You guys are all here because you want to hear some stuff and also have no idea what’s going to happen. And you need to have that basic food group in order for me to surprise you, too. Surprise requires knowing some constants are going to happen. So I don’t sweat stuff like that.”

Watch Queens of the Stone Age Perform 'No One Knows' at Glastonbury 2023

Queens of the Stone Age are set to embark on a North American tour this week that runs through the fall. Material from the band’s new album, In Times New Roman, will undoubtedly be featured in their sets, but attendees can also expect plenty of the group’s earlier songs. For Homme, the goal is to make each concert memorable for new and old fans alike.

“A bulk of what we do is heavy and dark, but the end result is that everyone there is participating in trying to have a good time and elevate the situation,” he explained, noting that playing favorites is imperative to that experience. “It would be strange to deny the stuff that really works to help elevate the situation. It’s like, ‘I need a hammer.’ And there’s one laying here. ‘I’m not gonna use that one! Damn it! I’m not gonna use that one!’ For me, it’s much ado about nothing to say, ‘I’m not gonna play that song again.’ Fuck, I love playing ‘No One Knows.’ It’s great to play.”

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