Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Sep 22nd 2009 4:00PM by Jolie Lash
With Homme busy with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones in Them Crooked Vultures, bassist Michael Shuman in Mini Mansions and drummer Joey Castillo sitting in with Eagles of Death Metal, Van Leeuwen is relishing his time in Sweethead, a group he told Spinner is expanding his ways of working, musically.
"There's very different things about us that make a good combination," Van Leeuwen says of collaborating with Sims. "Sometimes it's challenging to work with somebody that has different ideas than you, you know? Like I've been in Queens for a long time and there's lots of progressive ideas that happen there and Serrina's very much into the simplicity of concise pop music, pop structure and to kind of marry those two things together, I think makes something interesting."
The group, which also features drummer Norm Block and bassist Eddie Nappi, who Van Leeuwen previously joined in backing up Mark Lanegan on the vocalist's 'Bubblegum' tour, recorded their debut album, set for release in the UK this fall, over the last year thanks to the QOTSA time out. "In order to let [the creative process] flow more... I sort of had to have that break come into play so I could really take some time and get the band to play together in the room and capture some magic," Van Leeuwen says.
The band's dark, after-hours rock 'n' roll, however, has only been aired live stateside to a few audiences and unfortunately, a tour set for this fall ran into some unexpected trouble. "We got an offer to open up for Placebo and I don't know if you heard about what happened to Brian [Molko] -- he collapsed on stage in Japan from exhaustion," Van Leeuwen says.
Although Molko is on the mend, Sweethead are instead heading overseas for a jaunt with their pals, Eagles of Death Metal. "It's gonna be non-stop fun. It's going to be the kind of fun that you actually get sick of if there's such a thing," he laughs. In fact, the bands recently got in some practice "fun" in late August at the Reading and Leeds festival, which saw Sweethead, Eagles of Death Metal, Them Crooked Vultures, Spinnerette (which is fronted by Homme's leading lady Brody Dalle) and the Arctic Monkeys, whose new album Homme recently produced, all on the same bill.
"It was kind of like Queens Camp," Van Leeuwen says. "It feels like a family reunion every year at Reading and Leeds, but it was good fun. We like being over there. They have a lot of love for us."
Although the Queens are off on their own journeys at the minute, Van Leeuwan said they will be back together. "We're going to take all this experience and these experiences and make a new Queens record, probably in another year, but in the meantime we get to do these other things and branch out and try some other stuff," he says.