August 24, 2007

Dave Grohl’s raw drum tracks for Queens of the Stone Age

This is something a little different today. Instead of perfectly polished tunes, I’ve got some raw and awesomely primal fodder for my drummer/aspiring-drummer/beatbox readers courtesy of Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) during his stint in Queens of the Stone Age.

I’ll be transparent here as always: I’m not gonna pretend to be all “Oh, yeah, I’ve always loved Queens of the Stone Age.” In fact, I was initially totally turned off to them for something as stupid and shallow as their band name. I know, right? But then I was reading up on them, and I saw this interesting quote which explained the name, so it makes more sense to my too-literal brain:

Kings would be too macho. The Kings of the Stone Age wear armor and have axes and wrestle. The Queens of the Stone Age hang out with the Kings of the Stone Age’s girlfriends when they wrestle. And also it was a name given to us by [producer] Chris Goss. He gave us the name Queens of the Stone Age. Rock should be heavy enough for the boys and sweet enough for the girls. That way everyone’s happy and it’s more of a party. Kings of the Stone Age is too lopsided.”

– frontman Josh Homme (2000)

I can dig that. Plus, I didn’t realize that their first album, the self-titled 1998 debut, was released on Loosegroove Records, operated by Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, and their very first show that they played as a band was at the OK Hotel in Seattle (which you and I would, of course, want to call The Java Stop, from Singles). So those two things alone are enough to make me wonder what my problem was.

My friend who sent me these said that they are “perfect headache relief.” Ha! He obviously digs percussion as I do, and loves it fast and furious as Grohl delivers it here. These are the raw tracks from the 2002 album Songs for the Deaf, and most are either just drums or drums with guitar. I agree that for me they are oddly soothing, a bit hypnotic. Definitely fascinating.

for QOTSA Songs For The Deaf sessions
late 2001/early 2002

Do It Again (drums and guitar)
Do It Again (drums only)
Song for the Dead (raw mix)
Song for the Dead (drums only)
Unknown Track (drums and guitar) (Little Sister)
Unknown Track (drums only) (Little Sister)



  • This was awesome! Thanks. And that is definitely an early version of “Little Sister”. And for engineering nerds, there is a great article here about some of the recording techniques that went into the Lullabies album (from which these demos did not come).

    gearhead — August 24, 2007 @ 1:47 pm

  • As if I need another reason to kneel at the temple of Grohl

    Alex — August 24, 2007 @ 2:01 pm

  • Definitely “Little Sister,” although at a tempo that makes it almost sound like a jungle beat. It also needs a little more cowbell.

    Andy Grabia — August 24, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

  • And I don’t understand how you could hate the name Queens of the Stone Age, but be so keen on Eagles of Death Metal. It’s practically the same band. :)

    Andy Grabia — August 24, 2007 @ 2:35 pm

  • yes, the unknown track is definitely “little sister”… the base line is pretty much identical. great post

    albert — August 24, 2007 @ 3:56 pm

  • These aren’t demos.

    They’re the actual master tracks for those songs as they appear on Songs For the Deaf.

    Except Little Sister, of course. That was the version they recorded during STFD but rejected because Josh felt it sounded too “16 candles-esque”.

    Anonymous — August 25, 2007 @ 10:55 am

  • Thanks! Noted.

    heather — August 25, 2007 @ 11:10 am

  • You like these, check out Bonham Led Zep raw tracks:

    Anonymous — August 28, 2007 @ 11:19 pm

  • Um, how much do I love you for posting these tracks?

    A LOT! This is awesome.

    Hunter Wry — August 29, 2007 @ 9:33 am

  • Thanks for posting these Heather! For people who love these tracks, be sure to discover the ultimate lost Grohl gem: the original soundtrack to the film “Touch.” Dave wrote/performed the entire soundtrack and it kicks ass. Most of the tracks are pretty killer instrumentals. Two tracks feature Dave vox (“How Do You Do” is a stellar lost Foo’s song; title track is a duet with Veruca Salt’s Louise Post). John Doe guests on a sad, sweet ballad “This Loving Thing” — this ranks right up there with Dave’s Pocketwatch album.

    Keith — August 30, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

  • Keith, I’ve SO been planning a post on that sdtrk, just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I agree!

    heather — August 30, 2007 @ 3:08 pm

  • Absolutely amazing! Thank you so much Heather!! I’m madly in love with Dave and anything that he does!!

    Julie — September 20, 2007 @ 6:55 am

  • :( I can’t listen too or download the mp3s for this… is it still available?

    Anonymous — October 30, 2007 @ 8:27 pm

  • are these still available?

    Anonymous — November 5, 2007 @ 12:08 am

  • please put these back up!!!!!!!

    Tom — November 8, 2007 @ 7:03 pm

  • Hey± I wanna listen to them as well!!! Please re-post them!!!

    Anonymous — November 12, 2007 @ 10:12 am

  • PLEASE put these files back up!!
    i would be forever grateful

    Anonymous — November 13, 2007 @ 8:06 am

  • The zip file only has been re-upped. Happy Thanksgiving.

    heather — November 19, 2007 @ 10:39 pm

  • These mixes are awesome. I’m a huge Dave Grohl fan. Thanks!

    Anonymous — December 18, 2007 @ 2:09 am

  • pleeeease can someone re upload these? I’m desperate to hear them! Thanks in advance.
    Xan :)

    smogfalls — March 1, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

  • Good Job! :)

    Markus — June 17, 2008 @ 10:04 am

  • These are def demo tracks… these arent the master tracks. I’m a drummer and I can tell the difference since I have A Song for Dead memorized like the back of my hand.

    BTW, thanks for posting this.

    Anonymous — August 24, 2008 @ 11:05 pm

  • Re: the above – felt compelled to say…

    The Do It Again (drums and drums+guitar tracks), as well as the Songs For The Deaf (drums only track) are the masters. Its patently obvious.

    How can you not tell!? Drummer or no drummer.

    BTW – F*cking top download!

    Sam — September 3, 2008 @ 4:23 am

  • dear heather . is it possible that you can email me the mp3´s . would really oooove to hear it. I have seriousy been trying to get to this for ages! If yes, send it to SKKELETON@GMAIL.COM. thanxxx, KiM

    kim — September 5, 2008 @ 12:47 am

  • Hi, nice website.
    I’ll have to tell my drummer to check this site out.
    Keep up the good work AAAA+++.
    Very Nicely done.
    Thanks GW Williams
    P.S. come by my website anytime
    Guitarist GW Williams

    Anonymous — September 17, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

  • Thanks for the tracks man!!! A real gem…

    Chris — March 11, 2015 @ 12:06 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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