Let down by Kyuss' breakup, Homme didn't touch his guitar for nearly a year, but decided to get back into music when the Screaming Trees invited him to serve as the band's second guitarist on select tour dates in support of their 1996 release, Dust. This led to cameos on recordings by other artists (Wellwater Conspiracy and Mike Johnson), as well as starting up the multi-volume Desert Sessions series, which featured former members of Soundgarden, Monster Magnet, and Kyuss indulging in tripped-out jams. All the guest spots had rekindled Homme's desire to form another full-time band, and by the late '90s, he was ready to take the plunge again.
Homme hooked up with former Kyuss drummer Alfredo Hernandez to form Queens of the Stone Age, a band that tempered Kyuss' monolithic rock with more varied styles and focused songwriting. The pair would be joined by a revolving door of other members, and by 1998, QOTSA were signed to Stone Gossard's Loose Groove label, issuing their self-titled debut the same year. 2000 saw the release of their sophomore effort (and first for the Interscope label), R, which became one of the year's most critically praised rock releases, as the band toured with such big names as Hole, the Foo Fighters, and the Smashing Pumpkins (as well as being part of Ozzfest 2000 and the third Rock in Rio). Critical praise continued with both 2002's Songs for the Deaf and 2005's Lullabies to Paralyze. Linked to the Distillers' frontwoman Brody Dalle following her 2003 split with husband Tim Armstrong (of Rancid), Homme and Dalle got engaged in late 2005 and had their first child together, daughter Camille, in January 2006. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi