Mark Ronson helped bring “vacuous dry sound” to new Queens of the Stone Age album, “Villains”

Matador RecordsQueens of the Stone Age‘s new album Villains is produced by Mark Ronson. While that may feel like an unexpected choice, frontman Josh Homme thinks QotSA has a lot in common with the “Uptown Funk” hitmaker.

“I think maybe music people might not understand the vast overlap of the curves between Ronson and Queens,” Homme tells Rolling Stone. “If you listen to ‘Uptown Funk,’ you hear that tight, kind of vacuous dry sound, and that’s where I wanted to take this new Queens record.”

“I wanted it to be like our record Songs for the Deaf, but looking at it with goggles on underwater — that kind of clarity,” Homme adds.

Ronson’s influence is certainly felt on the funky lead single “The Way You Used to Do.” While the producer helped Queens embrace a looser, more dance-y sound, Homme took a more “vulnerable and honest,” but apolitical, lyrical approach with Villains.

“Queens has always been a place that’s free of the politics and rigmarole of the day,” says Homme. “We’re more like an arcade or an ice-cream parlor where you don’t talk politics. There needs to be escape.”

“I’d rather talk about one of the only things that matters,” he adds. “That can be family and what you’re passionate about.”

Villains will be released August 25.

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