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If you want to get some of that big-drum-in-your-face action, you have two choices. The first is Ozzfest, but you'll have to get there early, because the Queens have been given the coveted 1:30 p.m. time slot. A lesser band might quail at the thought of hitting the stage as the hottest part of the day begins, when most of the crowd still hasn't trekked across the parking plains, but Oliveri is unfazed. "Back when Kyuss started, we played backyard parties and people's basements. Since then, we've done a lot of festivals in Europe. We like the small shows, but festivals are fun. It's you and a microphone and 10,000 people on the other side. It's great."
The Queens also suffer no fears of being out of place on this year's Korny-metal bill. "Ah, at the end of the day, it's rock & roll. From Roy Orbison to Elvis to Jerry Lee Lewis to Black Sabbath to Black Flag, even, it's all coming from the same place. It's rock & roll. Maybe some of these bands are angrier or more depressed or something, but it all comes from the same place."
The only problem QOTSA has with the Ozzfest is the schedule. It's too light. "Ozzfest has one day on, one day off. I mean, we're out here to play rock. We're not out here for vacation and days off. We want to play. We have four days off now (after Boston), so we've booked some shows of our own in Canada."
It is the days off from Ozzfest that afford you your second choice for witnessing the Queens. On Aug. 13, the Queens will perform at Vintage Vinyl's University City store (for information on how to gain admission to the performance, call the store). Oliveri isn't sure when the Queens will be coming through St. Louis again, but, he says, "I've got an itinerary on the bus. I'll check it out and let you know." So even if you can't get into the store, you should show up to demand a Queens show at a local club. Besides, you'll probably be able to hear them outside the building. "We don't do the unplugged thing. We bring about half of our equipment to these in-stores, and we come to play."