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Mister Enemy - A Troy Van Leeuwen Fan Site

Suicide Girls Interview

by Daniel Robert Epstein SG Username: AndersWolleck

Troy Van Leeuwen is a jack of all trades. He played rhythm guitar for A Perfect Circle before joining Queens of the Stone Age in 2002. Now he's on their latest album Lullabies to Paralyze.
Check out the official website for Queens of the Stone Age
Daniel Robert Epstein: Hey Troy, what's up?

Troy Van Leeuwen: I'm at home in Los Angeles just kicking back and having some coffee. Trying to get my act up.

DRE: Did you guys play last night?

Troy: No, we actually are on a little break at the moment. We got another week left before we hit the road again.

DRE: How was being on Saturday Night Live when Will Ferrell hosted?

Troy: It was great. With a song like "Little Sister" and a cowbell I knew Gene would show up.

DRE: Are you going out for breakfast?

Troy: Nah, I'll probably stay home. Make a little something at home.

DRE: Are you a vegetarian?

Troy: I'm not a complete vegetarian, I used to be, but I eat a little fish now. That's mainly all the flesh I eat, other than human flesh.

DRE: Well, that's for fun, right?

Troy: Well yeah, of course. It's not for my diet, of course? Got to watch the carbs, got to watch the cholesterol. Human flesh is like pig flesh.

DRE: You got to eat the best part of a human, right?

Troy: Yeah, definitely. It's the brain actually.

DRE: Are you enjoying your time off?

Troy: Yeah I had a nice night at home and I made myself and my girl dinner.

DRE: What did you make?

Troy: I made like an Italian dish with an Alfredo pink sauce, some asparagus and Portobello mushrooms.

DRE: That sounds good. Now I'm hungry.

Troy: I dumped some white wine in there too. When I'm home I like to make as much food as I can. I think that cooking is definitely an art that every musician should do a little bit of.

DRE: Do you ever cook for the guys in any of the bands?

Troy: I've done it a couple of times. Josh is a good cook too. I think we all sort of dabble.

DRE: How did you end up joining the Queens?

Troy: I met Josh through our sound man who also did sound for a band I was in called Failure. I love Queens and I've always been a fan. Josh came to see A Perfect Circle and we ended up playing together. Then he asked me to come out and tour with Dave Grohl.

DRE: Queens has a very distinctive sound, so when you came in, did you adapt to them? Or did you say, "Well, Josh brought me in because of what I can do. So I'm not going to adapt."?

Troy: I think it was a mutual sort of tradeoff. Of course I wanted to maintain the sound of the band because it is unique and needs to be maintained. But making this record, I got to express myself a lot. I do a lot of ambient, dark coloring sort of playing. I think that comes across as an atmosphere more than just a staple sound of the band. It's an added texture. So I think I'm still maintaining the idea that the Queens sound is unique. But I'm adding something, hopefully.

DRE: You have your own band, Enemy, so how does Queens fit into your plan?

Troy: Everybody has their own projects. Josh is finishing The Eagles of Death Metal Records. He doesn't really take any time off, there's always something going on. I tend to take it a little more easy than him. I have one project that I'm doing outside of the band. But part of the challenge is finding ways to get stuff done within the confines of being on tour, or being in the studio or wherever you are. It's just something that you allow yourself to do. I like to make records in hotel rooms so I bring a little recording rig with me. In every city I'm making something.

DRE: Both A Perfect Circle and Queens have their hardcore fans. Is there much crossover between them?

Troy: Yeah there is and that's something we talked about. In 2000, A Perfect Circle debuted and Rated R also came out. I remember playing Rated R on our bus and everybody in A Perfect Circle dug that record. Josh said that they would always play our records. I can see that there is a crossover somewhere in there. Even though they sound nothing alike, there's a certain fan that prides himself on music that isn't in a category, that it's its own thing. That's where the crossover is.

DRE: Are the girl fans much different from one another?

Troy: Not really.

DRE: They taste any different? Nah, that's a terrible question.

Troy: The brains are bigger in A Perfect Circle, but the booty is sweeter in Queens.

DRE: How was working with Billy Gibbons [of ZZ Top]?

Troy: Oh, it was fucking hilarious. He's such a cryptic character. He came down to the studio for a couple of days and we talked a whole lot and played a little bit.

DRE: How was it when he jumped on stage with you guys?

Troy: He got up there and we just let him have the floor. It was just cool because he's just such a great player. I don't want to say this in a bad way, but he's from the old school and he's been around, he's got stories and he's a character. I've got nothing but good things to say about him.

DRE: I don't know if you were a big ZZ Top fan, but everyone has heard a few of their songs. Did you ever think that you'd be hanging out with them?

Troy: I don't really think about it too much. I like doing stuff like that and I'll do more stuff like that with artists from that era. People that I respect, but as long as it's a mutual exchange. There was somebody we really wanted to get on the record but I'm not going to name his name. We asked them and they didn't want to do it in our environment, but go to their environment. We make records in a special way and we want people to check it out and learn something and so we can learn something too. That's the kind of exchange that we're looking for and that usually comes with people who are your friends like Dave Grohl or when Rob Halford popped over to sing the word "cocaine".

DRE: How is everyone handling the fame that Queens has now?

Troy: More popularity comes with certain circumstances like the press with people's personal lives and shit like that. None of us want that exposed. Even down to our relationship with Nick. We don't want to air that dirty laundry, even that clean laundry because there's nothing really dirty anymore. We're all friends so we are honest with one another. But we don't need to be that way with anyone one. As long as the music is paid allegiance to, we're doing the right thing.

DRE: Who's got the worst gas on the tour bus?

Troy: Usually the bus driver. We're all pretty respectful people of other people's space. That involves not fucking farting.

DRE: Is it always the same bus driver?

Troy: No, it's always a different one. But they always have the worst gas.

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