So would you agree that the time since the release of “Villains” in 2017 has been the most difficult in your life? It wasn’t just the pandemic or your divorce, you lost close friends with Mark Lanegan and Taylor Hawkins.—
“There were many more that I lost. In the last few years I have mourned seven deaths, including those of people really close to me. So by the time the pandemic started, I was in self-imposed exile. I wasn’t able to make music at that time – I wasn’t mentally or emotionally ready for it. I’ve lost friends, lost my family, and seen the devastation that grief can wreak. In fact, the pandemic has been a blessing in that regard, because it has asked each of us the same simple question: tell me the things that are absolutely important to you, because that’s all you need. Of course the album has a certain complexity, but it actually consists of very simple parts. It’s built from blocks that are a lot dumber than the ones I’ve used in the past.”
Hypothetically speaking, if one of the Queens band members died like the Foo Fighters did with Taylor Hawkins in 2022, would you just carry on like Dave & Co. are doing now?
“Interesting question. I think the Queens are positioned to resist things that happen to them and incorporate the experiences they have into their own art. It’s the nature of the Queens to always change. Accepting change is part of our DNA. In the case of the Foo Fighters, I think they just have to keep going – to honor Taylor because there’s no way they can love him more than they do. When a person’s journey on this planet comes to an end, I believe that all who remain behind have an obligation to move on. On the other hand, I ask myself: What should one think of a band like Lynyrd Skynyrd that is still on the road today, even though none of the original line-up is left? Ultimately, the answer to this question lies in people’s tastes. Even though Lynyrd Skynyrd are a cover band today, people still want to hear these songs – and what should I have against that? Also, I’m so busy figuring out what I like that I rarely have time to think about what I don’t like.”