MUSICAL SOUND AND FURY

IT'S a minor miracle Nick Oliveri can keep track of all the bands he's in.

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Nick Oliveri, left, with Queens Of The Stone Age
Nick Oliveri, left, with Queens Of The Stone Age

The former Queens of the Stone Age man is currently juggling six different projects, and bringing two of them to Glasgow within the next fortnight.

First up is an acoustic show at Stereo next Tuesday, while he's then back on June 26 at Audio with hardcore rock band Bl'ast.

"I'm keeping myself busy and staying out of trouble, and just enjoying music and life," he says, speaking in a phone interview.

"I get different things from each one. Bl'ast's like a real hardcore band, the acoustic stuff is when I'm solo, Mondo Generator is more heavy, Uncontrollable I get to drum on, Dwarves is different to all of that and Suntrash is just a good rock'n' roll band.

"It's getting to do all these different kinds of rock and get them out of my system."

Long regarded as one of rock's wild men, and known for appearing onstage nude, boozing into the small hours and having a few brushes with the law, Nick is in mellow mood on the phone.

Events in the last year have only increased his appreciation for making music and for life in general.

Last June he was travelling home after a day working on tracks for a forthcoming album when he fell asleep at the wheel and skidded off an embankment.

It was an accident that could have cost the bassist his life.

"I had to have a lot of staples in my head because I'd cracked it. The airbags didn't open and I definitely could have died," he recalls.

"Luckily, I just lost the car - I really lucked out and it humbled me big time about a lot of things.

"It makes you appreciate things a lot more. I actually stopped working on the record for a while because I associated it so much with the accident."

The record, Leave Me Alone, has since been completed, and features Nick playing nearly every instrument, with a few top guitarists like Motorhead's Phil Campbell and Dean Ween from cult American rockers Ween adding guitar solos.

Although the album's not due out until September, he might dip into the record for Tuesday's Stereo show, along with material from his other projects and his former groups, stoner-rockers Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age.

While it's an acoustic gig, though, it will still be a raucous experience.

"I enjoy doing acoustic shows because they're very intimate and you can get people being a part of the show," he says.

"There's death-metal and death-punk, but this is death-acoustic - it's not a traditional acoustic thing, I'm still belting it out loud. I'm just going for it."

Always a ferocious onstage performer, Nick recently enjoyed a reunion with one of his older bands when he appeared onstage with Queens of the Stone Age for the first time in 10 years.

"We were doing the same show and Josh asked if I'd do it. I said of course and it was as easy as that, it was laid back and cool," adds Nick.

"I think the fans had as much fun as we did, so it was really good. I certainly hope so, we've been talking about doing a Halloween show where my band will open up and I'll do a few songs with them.

"It's totally Josh's band now, and up to him, but if he asks me to do something I'm happy to do it."

Nick and Queen's main man Josh Homme had exchanged some barbed words when Nick departed the group in 2004, but have repaired their friendship in recent years, with the bassist adding backing vocals to last year's Queens' album.

The 42-year-old is pleased their friendship has survived.

"I don't think we ever wanted to be on bad terms, but when you want to make a change to the band that's just the way it is.

"We had a little bit of a feud but there was never any lawsuits or anything that would destroy the band forever. Then it got to a point of it's been 10 years, we can play music together again."

l Nick Oliveri, Stereo, Tuesday, £12.50, 7pm and Bl'ast, Audio, June 26, £12

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