Josh Homme Says It’s ‘Very Difficult To Be A Young Band Today’: ‘I Really Feel For Anyone Who Dares To Take On This As A Life’

Josh Homme empathizes with younger bands, acknowledging the immense challenges they face in today’s music industry.

Most aspiring musicians are well aware that achieving success in the industry often requires years of relentless effort, playing in clubs and small venues while struggling to make ends meet. Many even romanticize this arduous journey as part of the quintessential rags-to-riches rock ‘n’ roll narrative.

However, what many newcomers may not realize is how dramatically the music industry has evolved since the early days of their idols. For instance, Noel Gallagher remarked last year that it would be virtually impossible for a new band to replicate Oasis’ path to success.

During a Q&A session at this year’s Hellfest, Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme highlighted how young bands today have a much tougher time than he did when he first started (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar):

“I think it’s very difficult to be a young band. It’s more difficult than ever to ride around in a van and play six nights a week, you know? I mean, it was hard before, and it’s hard to play four nights a week. But I really feel and empathize with anyone that dares to take this on as a life, and dares to take this on as a journalist in this life. It’s like, this is our crew of people, you and us, that are daring not to do some other job, and so I do feel the need to sort of stick together.”

Homme added:

“I want to support other bands, but it’s very difficult. You can’t do it for money, and you can’t do it to be popular, because those things don’t work, and it won’t matter, and it won’t last. But the styles of music, it’s just a pendulum, right? It’s always one song away from saving one person’s life, and having another person hate you to death, and you’re somewhere in between. But it’s a beautiful thing to risk your life to do this…”

In December last year, Joe Bonamassa expressed a similar sentiment, noting that today’s musicians lack a vibrant club system that once provided an essential first step in their careers:

“Unfortunately for them, the farm system’s kind of gone…Now, the only way for them to do marketing or get a following is to go on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube [and] become an influencer. It’s a good and a bad thing, because it sums up their musicality in one-minute clips, not as a total. I would imagine some of them have a hard time making a leap from doing that to putting on a show, because they never had the opportunity.”

This transformation in the music industry landscape means that young bands must navigate a much more complex and digital-focused environment. Despite these challenges, artists like Homme and Bonamassa emphasize the importance of passion and resilience. They urge musicians to pursue their dreams not for money or popularity, but for the love of the craft and the profound impact music can have on people’s lives.

By sticking together and supporting one another, industry professionals can create a community that nurtures and sustains the next generation of musicians, even in the face of these modern-day hurdles.

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