It was a unique experience, one he can file under the “like no other gig” category.
“We were advised to wear hard hats, and the audience was advised to, but I didn’t want to play with it on all night,” guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen said.
Last month, he and the rest of the members of Queens Of The Stone Age took their sound more than 700 metres underground and performed for a few hundred fans in a salt mine in Sondershausen, Germany.
“We are a loud band, and we didn’t want to play loud that far underground,” said Van Leeuwen. “For the cavernous sound that venue has, it would have been horrible for a loud rock band, so we stripped ourselves down and played at a softer level.
“I don’t recommend hanging out there too long. You sort of get dried out. The salt air wants to make you choke a little — but for a gig the venue was really cool.”
It will be a different type of salt air — or harbour stench — the California rockers experiences on Tuesday when they play the Cunard Centre.
The sold-out show is the last on the band’s Canadian tour — one where they played large and small cities — to promote its fifth studio album, Era Vulgaris. Released last year, the album was inspired by lead singer, and founding band member, Josh Homme’s tiresome daily commutes through Hollywood.
“We’ve played a lot of places that not too many bands go to,” said Van Leeuwen, who started working with the group in 2002. “Obviously, having dates sold out, shows us we need to go to those places.
“It’s as important to the fans for us to go as it is for us in the band to just explore and have new experiences.”