Homme began the Desert Sessions in 1997 with the idea of writing songs in a relaxed, improvisational atmosphere. Along with a constantly rotating crew of collaborators, he released ten volumes of Desert Sessions in a six-year span. They might have continued indefinitely if not for one of his other projects, Queens of the Stone Age, being vaulted to stardom by the career-altering single “No One Knows” in 2002.
Since then, Homme has channeled his collaborative energies into other high-flying rock acts, most notably Eagles of Death Metal and Them Crooked Vultures. It’s been 16 years since he found the time for another desert retreat. For Sessions 11 & 12 — called Arrivederci Despair and Tightwads & Nitwits & Critics & Heels, respectively — Homme was joined in Joshua Tree, California by Les Claypool, Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and more.
In an interview with NME, Homme discussed how the Joshua Tree itself aids the creative process:
“There’s a bit of mental disrobing that goes on as you drive to the desert. I think as a musician, particularly in this day and age, you have a bit of armor on to protect yourself from grabbing hands and chatting mouths and closed ears. You do it to insulate yourself. But on the way to Joshua Tree, you take a lot of that off – which is ultimately a combination of insecurity and bravado – and you really empty your pockets of the residual of trying to protect yourselves.”
Desert Sessions Vol. 11 & 12 Artwork:
Desert Sessions Vol. 11 & 12 Tracklist:
01. Move Together (lead vocal: Billy F. Gibbons)
02. Noses in Roses Forever (lead vocal: Joshua Homme)
03. Far East for the Trees
04. If You Run (lead vocal: Libby Grace)
05. Crucifire (lead vocal: Mike Kerr)
06. Chic Tweetz (vocals: Töôrnst Hülpft, Matt Berry)
07. Something You Can’t See (lead vocal: Jake Shears)
08. Easier Said Than Done (lead vocal: Joshua Homme)