Just recently, something happened that I said - okay, hoped - would never happen. My fanboy side took over from my professional one. Don't get me wrong, I'm an obsessive music fan but with a job that revolves around interviewing musicians, I try to keep a certain amount of professionalism to get what I want and need from a subject, while also hoping to have a bloody good chinwag.
But talking to Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age (one of my all-time-favourite bands), the fanboy hijacked the professional and I got a little bit goo-goo-gah-gah. I have to say, I didn't turn into a wide-eyed and adoring sycophant. More like a fan waiting to get an autograph after the show and when you get the star in front of you you can't help but try to be really cool while unassumingly letting them know that you absolutely worship the ground they walk on and the music they make.
Even though I have interviewed him twice before, I was excited. Hell, even a bit nervy, and I don't usually get nervous before an interview. But I love Queens of the Stone Age, especially their grossly underrated self-titled debut from 1998, which is among my most-played albums.
I listen to it a lot. But adding to the excitement was the fact I'd been listening to the new Queens' album ... Like Clockwork for two days leading up to the interview (it's not out until June, so I felt extra special).
It's their best - although very different - since 2002's Songs for the Deaf. Dave Grohl drums on it, Homme's old mate and rabble-rouser Nick Oliveri is a guest screamer (after he was booted out of the band in 2004), and Elton John sings on it too. That's right, camp old queen Elton. The story goes, said Homme, that Elton (a fan of Queens and Homme's supergroup Them Crooked Vultures) rang him up and said, "The only thing missing from your band is an actual queen," to which Homme replied, "Honey, you have no idea."
The thing is, Homme and I ended up bonding over Elton. He didn't even mind me telling him my Elton story. You see, not being a Candle in the Wind kind of guy, I'd never really got Elton. That is, until my father-in-law gave me his old vinyl copy of Elton's self-titled album from 1970. It's a classic, and turns out Homme loves it too.
It also turns out Elton's song, the woozy and wild Fairweather Friends, which also features Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and long-time Queens' collaborator Mark Lanegan, is a standout, but best of all is If I Had A Tail, a tough, grandiose rocker that is sure to get many fanboys going with flow.
Look out for the full interview with Homme in TimeOut later in the month - it will be a fanboy-free zone. Promise.