By at 10:08 AM Thursday, March 22nd 2012


The Devil Comes Clean

Mondo Generator, Interviews


Ex-Queen of the Stone Age and occasional TMZ star Nick Oliveri has decided to quit the current, troubled incarnation of Kyuss, and re-focus on his band Mondo Generator.

Queens frontman Josh Homme’s fierce dismissal of Oliveri in 2004 has been gossiped into the ground, as has the occasional restraint unfortunately forced upon the manic rocker by Johnny Law. Yet this is the first time Oliveri has voluntarily walked away from a band, and it comes as a surprise even in light of the lawsuit that has been brought against the current incarnation by original members Homme and Scott Reeder. At the end of the day, it’s assumed that the legal battle is a battle over a name, and as the so-called “Kyuss Lives!” lineup plans to enter a studio this fall to begin recording a new album, this additional schism was hardly predictable.

When we learned of Oliveri’s decision, we invited him to sit down with us, but our agenda was made clear: Get comfortable, and order some drinks, because we’re going there. The drugs. The allegations of domestic abuse. The lawsuit. The so-reported armed standoff with the LA SWAT team that led to his arrest last July, which could ultimately find him in prison. And getting fired from Queens. (“I would have axed me, too.”) While we’re at it, let’s throw in the $100 “meet and greet” packages that have done nothing to alleviate suspicion among fans that the rehashing of Kyuss is anything more noble than a petty cash grab. (“I don’t feel comfortable at all [doing that], I never did. Talk about the most awkward feeling in the world…”)

My own personal expectations, walking in, were cynical. I considered, as I always do, all of the different ways the night could go bad: He might show up high. He might lie to me… Do I know enough to catch him if he does? Am I really going to ask a madman like Nick Oliveri direct, personal questions about hitting women? If so, after how many drinks? Better intentions have led to fist fights.

Fortunately, our Devil couldn’t have been more gracious. There’s a nobility in his decision to part ways with John Garcia and Brant Bjork, and there’s a humility in his acceptance of what he seems to consider cosmic punishments his indiscretions have brought. He rambled his ass off, but he was real. And we got some answers.

The night has been distilled down to this 20 minute documentary, digging into all of the aforementioned topics, sorting fact from rumor, and allowing Oliveri to explain his perspective on Kyuss as well as his decision to leave. And as each layer of the story is peeled back, the horns shrink, and Oliveri manages to creep inch by inch out from under the reputation that has occasionally overshadowed his abilities and passion as a musician.

Mondo Generator is planning shows with the three-piece configuration of Nick, Hoss, and Ian Taylor behind their fourth full length album. That album, to be called Hell Comes To Your Heart, was recorded at Josh Homme’s studio and at Thunder Underground in Palm Springs, where Harper Hug produced, and is now being mixed for an expected 2012 release. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, Nick has sent over an exclusive preview, the new and previously unreleased track Hang ‘Em High:

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Devil artwork by Steffen Winkler.

Much thanks to the always classy Rock & Reilly’s Irish Pub in West Hollywood for hosting us on short notice. If you like smashing guitars and drinking whiskey, you might want to join the Black Eye Society at


Meanwhile, On The Internet...

  1. Jess says:

    seems like a douche

  2. chops says:

    Good riddence, asshole.

  3. Rory says:

    I could be totally wrong…I just get that vibe from watching Nick…the vibe that he could do something crazy at any givin second. He seems unpredictable.

    He’s a tragic figure because he has contributed to some of my favorite music. He was an immense talent, and to watch him deteriorate has been sad.

    As always, I’ve gotta wish the guy luck. Lookin’ forward to new Mondo Generator.

    Cool interview though. You asked all the right questions.

  4. Orsino says:

    Skwerl, this is awesome. Great job!!!

  5. b says:

    I was probably the last person ready to give him the benefit of the doubt, but it seems like he’s trying to keep his nose cleaner than everyone else is. I hate-hate-hate to see all the guys suing each other like this.

  6. Joe Kyuss says:

    Kyuss: taken from AD&D’s “Fiend Folio,” listed under “Sons of Kyuss.” Proprietor: probably Gary Gygax originally, now owned by Wizards of the Coast.

  7. 56Century says:

    Nice. Good to hear his side of things. Still missed in Queens

  8. Trina G. says:

    Why is it that no matter what browser I use I simply cannot log in with Facebook here? I was trying to log in to leave a comment like “This is why I read AQ” but fuckery, I had to do it this ghetto way.

    • Skwerl says:

      it’s our fault. the current version of aq is on a very old version of wordpress. the facebook plugin i wrote works with that old version of wordpress, but not the newest version of facebook’s shit. this will all be fixed come april when we launch the new version of antiquiet. sorry for the inconvenience in the meantime. we’re frustrated, too.

  9. Blood says:

    I don’t miss him in Queens (imho Mikey is a better bassist) at all, but I think he’s on the right path. Only problem with Nick is his behaviour. He did beat a girl after all, that’s not cool. Drugs or no drugs. Hope he stays clean now.

  10. Joel says:

    Great interview Skwerl! I definitely got a very distracted vibe from Nick. I wish the best in continuing to get his shit together.

  11. jimbob says:

    he sounds like an addict, which is fine, people become addicts sometimes. i get the impression that he isn’t exactly “clean” yet. i hope he cleans it up because he really seems like a future candidate for prison or worse.

  12. […] tells Antiquiet, “I have a really good lawyer and he’s taking great care of me. The thing is that I screwed up […]

  13. Ed says:

    Get a new band name. It’s fun to hear them play the old tunes, but new times most likely a new sound on the new record.

    Dont do a stooges guys just use this momentum to start a new name

  14. […] of the Atlantic and was said to be working on a live album for a late 2012 release.Speaking to Antiquiet, Oliveri stated about his decision to leave KYUSS LIVES!, “John‘s idea, when I was […]

  15. […] Nick Oliveri’s departure from Kyuss Lives!, all attention was turned to the messy legal issues surrounding the group. […]

  16. THEoliveCELT says:

    This was an okay interview for obvious reasons. I think it’s because Oliveri was trying not to say too much to the dude. He’s in a sticky situation, so you gotta cut him some slack. He wants to keep the fans informed, ’cause he’s an ideal guy and puts the fans as a major priorety, but he is in some major legal battles right now. He has to keep his mouth shout so he doesn’t end up in prison and thousands of dollars poorer. I give him props for speaking out and letting the fans know what’s up. By the way, I think the band line up should stay Garcia, Bjork, Oliveri and Fevery and take on a new name if it’s that much of a problem. This line up has TOO MUCH talent to just go to waste like that…

  17. […] and shit snowballed mightily. It was during this time that we gave the mic to Nick Oliveri in a lengthy sit-down interview, and he laid out his side of the equation and why he decided to quit Kyuss […]

  18. Seiren says:

    Nick is a good guy. He’s made mistakes, but who hasn’t? He tried his best with this interview, as noted before, to say as much as possible without getting in legal trouble. I wish him the best.

  19. Franco says:

    He actually sounds like if he’s choosing his words so he doesn’t offends any of the parts.

  20. […] jail time for 2011 incident with the LAPD S.W.A.T. team. The on again/off again Kyuss bassist (who sat down with us earlier this year for a lengthy chat) was looking at 15 years after an argument with his girlfriend got slightly out […]

  21. […] Josh Homme en Scott Reeder kwam te liggen. Althans, volgens John Garcia en Brant Bjork. Ondertussen doet Nick Oliveri zijn verhaal tegen de online muziekwebsite Antiquiet. De bassist wil het liefste in het midden blijven in het […]

  22. […] until 2004, when some turmoil got him fired from the band – as he explained in a detailed interview with Antiquiet. After all these years, it’s nice to see that Nick Oliveri and QOTSA frontman […]

  23. […] einem Interview mit erklärte er seine Beweggründe darin, dass er sich wieder mehr auf sein eigenes Projekt […]

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