Watch Queens of the Stone Age’s Sexy Slapstick Video for “The Way You Used to Do”
Love or hate them, Queens of the Stone Age somehow stay the biggest true rock ’n’ roll band on a planet seemingly void of all good and commercially viable rock ’n’ roll. Josh Homme and company continue to peddle their signature blend of style, sex, and slapstick humor in their new video for “The Way You Used to Do.”
I’ve been a Queens fan since my junior year of high school when “Songs for the Deaf” was all over every mix CD potential paramours gave me in a losing attempt to impress. Those boys faded into the past, but that album and the rest of the band’s discography did not. Sometimes, with their new releases, it takes a couple of listens before it clicks, and that was definitely the case for this track. I’m not always a fan of how homogenized Mark Ronson’s production comes out, and I could hear it loud and clear on my first listen here. The more I dug in, though, the more I could hear the things I love most about QotSA. If the catchier, more pop-driven underpinning means more radio time and money for bands like this, so be it. I really enjoy Homme’s perspective on moving forward as a band rather than remaking the same album over and over, and I understood the Ronson collaboration a lot more after watching him discuss it with the hilarious Rob Delaney in an interview from earlier this month:
Watching the video this morning solidified for me exactly how much of an earworm “The Way You Used to Do” is. My gigantic crush on him aside, there’s no denying the persistent cool factor of Josh Homme. From his on-the-nose wardrobe of fitted leather jackets and western shirts to his greying pompadour and gold tooth, there’s something extra tongue-in-cheek about his swagger. He’s our Ginger Elvis, and even his semi-awkward dance moves early on in the video do nothing to hinder his ineffable charm.
Though their music is firmly NOT metal and Homme is now 20+ years removed from his formative days in Kyuss, there is a heavy-handed half-nod/half-parody of heavy metal culture. In the peak sequence, bullet belt-wearing heshers with long black wigs dance with a suited-up Homme inside a ceremonial pentagram on a black floor while a ballerina lays unconscious nearby, a sacrifice to the goofy gods of soul-selling sexuality. I wasn’t expecting this light-hearted jam to play out to a slick Satanic ritual, but it all works together in a perfectly sleazy way that would please Anton LaVey and Fred Astaire in equal measure.
My only gripe here is the video is as-yet only available to watch on Apple Music, so I finally cashed in my free three-month trial to do so. If you’re a fan of Queens and enjoy a well-produced (and expensive-looking) video, I suggest doing the same.