Former Queens of The Stone Age Bassist Could Face 15 Years Jail Time

Josh Homme's explanation of why they had to relieve him of his duties in Queens.

By , Contributor

Former Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri has always been something of a trouble magnet. It’s what led to his dismissal from the Grammy-winning QOTSA, but now it looks like the consequences of his recent behavior are far more dire.

The troubled musician could now be facing up to 15 years in jail, being charged with four felonies after his July 12 arrest following a two-hour stand off with a Los Angeles S.W.A.T. team. They were summoned by a neighbor after she reported hearing screams and sounds of a scuffle in the duplex the couple shared, where it turned out the 39-year-old musician had battered and held his erstwhile girlfriend hostage inside the apartment. When police finally entered the premises, they found a fully loaded high-powered rifle, cocaine, and methamphetamines.

According to court documents, unearthed by those unrelenting sleuths at TMZ, Oliveri is charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, and one misdemeanor count of resisting, obstructing or delaying a peace officer. If he is convited on all counts, he could face a maxiumum jail stay of 15 years. Oliveri is due in court next month. So don’t count on the bassist to be at the much talked about Kyuss reunion at London’s Marquee Theatre on October 6.

Although don’t count him out just yet. At the time the band huffed, "TMZ blew this way out of proportion, nobody got hurt and any of that other bullshit." But just to cover their bases, Kyuss replaced the bassist for the overseas dates and the remainder of the tour with another former Kyuss bassist, Scott Reeder.

The most famous founding Kyuss member, Josh Homme, is not a part of the reunion, and last year he talked about his feelings about his troubled former band mate and why he had to go, saying, "To be quite frank, I spent a lot of time, in my mind, protecting Nick. Or enabling him, more than anything. And keeping people from knowing what was going on with him until something happened where I was like, that’s not me and I’m not protecting any of that shit anymore. I knew I was going to get dusted by everybody. It just was obvious. It was perfect timing to take me out, you know. And, but I was like it doesn’t matter, what am I supposed to do? It had to stop."

Here is some more Q&A from that interview:

The conspiracy of silence just helps people destroy themselves.

Well, especially when, it’s one thing when you’re doing yourself in because that’s your right. And in this band it’s like we don’t tell each other what to do. And to this day, I never told them what to do. I just said, get the fuck out of here. And that’s the last act of a true friend.

But don’t you think, is there that little speck of hope that he’ll come back to himself, or is he just too late?

I’m a realist. And as I understand it, people don’t actually change. They break habits and replace them with another, but real change takes baby steps and incredible discipline.

Was Nick always becoming what he eventually became?

I think I always expected to part ways with Nick because it was inevitable. I’m glad it lasted as long as it did. And when people grow towards each other that’s awesome, and then many times in life they grow apart. That’s okay, too. You don’t have to demand to hold it together or else. And you can go, that was great. I labored over it for a while ... because I had helped something come out in him that should have stayed inside.

Just because you gave into him because of what he added to the band?

He wouldn’t have been able to do this on his own, and like now he was financed and encouraged. What’s important is what I learned from all that, which is that it’s not a requirement to bring stray dogs into your life. It’s like you don’t have to save everybody, and who the fuck do you think you are, by the way? And you can’t. Because people are who they are, not who they could be. Potential is something that you write down on paper when you’re trying to get a job or something.

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Jaan Uhelszki was one of the founding editors at Detroit’s legendary Creem magazine. Since that time, her work has appeared in USA Today, Uncut, Rolling Stone, Spin, NME, Relix, and Guitar World. She is the only journalist to have ever performed in full makeup with Kiss. Luckily she only had to put…

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