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QOTSA Rock Out With ZZ Topper

Add ZZ Top guitarist Billy F. Gibbons to the extended family tree of musicians who have contributed to Queens Of The Stone Age, past and present. The long-bearded, blues king rolled into a Los Angeles studio last week to work with the band. According to QOTSA’s website, the guy came in “at the stroke of midnight and left at 5 in the a.m.” Although most of us are only half-conscious at that time, Gibbons’ early-morning jam session impressed lead singer Josh Homme. On the website, Homme declares that “Billy Gibbons is a bad ass.” There’s no word as to whether the recording will appear on the band’s next album, which has yet to be given a name or release date. It’ll be their first since 2002’s Songs For The Death, which is inching close to a million copies sold. But it’ll also be their first since bassist and singer Nick Oliveri left the group. Oliveri founded the band with Homme — an old high school buddy — for years the two formed the nucleus of a rock group which was constantly changing members. But in February word got out that the two had parted ways due to several incidents that occurred while the band was on tour. Although no one actually said it, all signs indicated that Oliveri was kicked out for partying too much. Around the same time, singer Mark Lanegan left the band to work on his own project. Fans couldn’t help but wonder if drummer Joey Castillo was next to go. Castillo, however, is participating in the current recordings. The other two members are Troy Van Leeuwen and Alain Johannes. As for Gibbons; he’s back on the road touring with ZZ Top. The recording session came during a break in the band’s 49-stop tour of North America. All of the remaining shows are in the United States.