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By Scott T. Sterling

When Queens of the Stone Age returned with the band’s most recent full-length, Villains, some longtime fans were immediately put off by the record’s producer before even hearing a note of music: pop hit-maker Mark Ronson.

Related: Queens of the Stone Age Announce 2018 Tour Dates 

It’s a backlash that frontman Josh Homme knew was coming when the band chose to have Ronson work on the album.

“I was expecting it,” Homme revealed to The Current. “It would be safe to understand that I might have known that that was going to happen. I do believe that there’s no stasis or static in life. You’re growing or dying. And, I feel if I’m challenging myself and if we’re challenging each other, we’re going in the right direction. The by-product of that is that anyone that’s into us should expect the poke in the chest because we’re doing it to ourselves first.”

Homme went on to discuss the demands of evolving the band’s sound with maintaining fan’s loyalty.

“Part of me thinks that every time we put something out, we may lose 20 percent of the people,” he said. “That 20 percent of the people might go: ‘It’s changed! Where’s my band that I had?’ You can presuppose that. I told this to Ronson, ‘If 15 percent of the people don’t hate you, you suck.’ He said: ‘I’m just trying to get it to 40.’

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