Queens of the Stone Age leader Josh Homme has released an apology in an attempt to quell the firestorm over an alleged assault incident over the weekend at a concert in Los Angeles.
Homme kicked photographer Chelsea Lauren in the head during QOTSA’s performance at the annual KROQ holiday show on Saturday (December 9), with Lauren releasing a video of the incident and posting on Instagram “Thanks to Josh Homme @queensofthestoneage I now get to spend my night in the ER. Seriously, WHO DOES THAT?!?” followed by an assortment of hashtags.
Homme released a statement Sunday (December 10), reading, “Last night, while in a state of being lost in performance, I kicked over various lighting and equipment on our stage. Today it was brought to my attention that this included a camera held by photographer Chelsea Lauren. I did not mean for that happen and I am very sorry. I would never intentionally cause harm to anyone working at or attending one of our shows and I hope Chelsea will accept my sincere apology.”
Homme also posted the following video message to QOTSA’s Facebook page in which he states he “was a total dick” and “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, and last night was definitely one of ‘em… I wanna be a good man, but I think last night I definitely failed at that. And that means I failed my family and my friends as well. I don’t want them to ever be ashamed or embarrassed about being around me or knowing me. And so I apologize also to my bandmates and my mom and my dad and my wife and my brother and my kids. Yeah, I’m gonna have to figure out some stuff, I think. ‘Cause rock and roll is a wonderful thing. It’s supposed to save and help people, not mess ’em up.”
Lauren subsequently told Variety that there was no question Homme intended to kick her, and on Sunday released an update of her own that “my neck is sore, my eyebrow bruised and I’m a bit nauseous. The doctor released me early in the morning. Here are three images. Two of them as Josh looked at me, smiled and then kicked me. The other one is later after he cut his own face with a knife. I was in the pit in tears – and he just stared at me smiling. Assault in any form is not okay, no matter what the reasoning. Alcohol and drugs are no excuse. I was where I was allowed to be, I was not breaking any rules. I was simply trying to do my job. I hold nobody accountable for this but Josh himself. KROQ has nothing to do with this and I will always support them. The irony is someone had thrown an ice cube on to the very slick catwalk before the QOTSA set. I was afraid that one of the band members might slip and hurt themselves so, when the lights went dark, I used my arm to wipe down the runway so nobody would hurt themselves. Thank you to @variety for their immediate concern and care with this matter. As of now, nobody from QOTSA has reached out to me.”
Lauren planned to file a police report and charges against Homme for the incident.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.
Additional reporting by Erica Banas