Joe Rogan Talks About the Aztecs with Josh Homme


4 years ago



Josh Homme

1 appearance

Josh Homme is a singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. He is the founder and primary songwriter of the rock band Queens of the Stone Age.


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Have you ever been to Teotihuacan? No, I've never been there. I heard it's amazing though. Something really interesting happened to me there. Now, when I... Not only is this square that we went to and stand on this earth mound, and this guy whose nickname was Gorilla giving us this wonderful tour, just a spot, the most romantic tour ever of this place, for such a rough place. And he goes, wait right here. And we're in this giant square. And he runs down this dirt mound about, I don't know, say 150 feet away, 200 feet away, and he goes, can you hear me? And it was like, oh my God. I could hear him. He goes, this square was built with these mounds here to be able to speak at this voice to 250,000 people. Whoa. And I was like, what? And then we walk and he... Is that right there? Is that it up there? Yes. Well, it's okay. It's that way and then go left. You could look this way so you don't have to look backwards. Yeah. So if we were to see that square, if we were to go straight around that pyramid and make a left, that's where those mounds are. And the other thing is, in these, that's the same shot from a different angle. That's near where these shaman lived. The shaman had quarters, like an area of this place. And there was this... There's these sort of things. And I said, what are these? And he said, they're reflection pawns. I said, oh, like for like reflecting. And he goes, no, for reflecting. And I'd never considered that you don't look at the stars by going, but that really you look down and you mark. So in seven years when it comes around again, you're like, oh, pattern. Because I'm always like, how do you look up and learn a pattern of that? Right, right, right. But by looking down. That's crazy. So they had pawns just to look at the reflection of the stars and map them out. Yeah, the shaman did. That was like in their neighborhood. And the way you were a shaman is if you had a birthmark on your head when you were born, they immediately were like, two boards, rope, and just put two boards and roped you and began a lifetime of like, so you're a shaman. Which if you had a lifetime of that, you'd be like, hi, shaman. Hey, shaman. I mean, if... It feels like being born a royal. Squeeze the shaman. Don't squeeze the shaman. Even more weird, right? Because you don't have a history or a bloodline of it. It's just a finding. It's the study of what we are and that that is significant. Mm-hmm. Because it felt to me immediately like, well, everyone can't do that. We need to, you know, you don't have a thing on you. So... Yeah, if you don't have the birthmark. Yeah. I mean, that's a really good, like, entry, you know, at the gate. When you went to the Aztec temple as a musician, when you were sitting there, did you, like, did it make sense? Like, the acoustics? Like, the way it's set up? Does the way the sound works? Does it make sense to you? Like, how did it construct it? It left a very lasting feeling of that we're supposed to be here. And that, you know, it just, it really restored a lot of faith in humanity. I didn't focus on the ritualistic murder that was going on there. It was just the, that's the one set of people. The other set of people built this and they knew. Right. And they knew. And, you know, much like the great pyramids that are really, you know, in the shape of Orion's belt exactly, that same concept of, like, what's going on here matters. Mm-hmm. And if that is your focus, think of how wonderful it can be, you know? Like, how did those people know how to make that with no, you know, without the, you know, they say without the wheel. That would be, like, really hard. That seems insane. Yeah. The Aztecs didn't have the wheel, right? Yeah. Allegedly? Yeah. How the fuck did they do all that? Well, at least the way they did it physically, you can kind of, like, we know that they murdered 80,000 slaves in a period of just a few days after the construction of that temple. Yeah. So, it was like, don't tell me, actually, don't worry about it. I'll take care of it. I think they knew that they were going to be slaughtered. I think it was kind of, like, part of the gig. Yeah, well, I've... Maybe that's wrong with it. I might be wrong about that. Well, doesn't...with that many people, it wouldn't sound surprising that you'd have some cooperation. I mean, it's hard to imagine 80,000 people at once going, sorry, what? And not being like, well, fuck this, man. Yeah. That sounds like a cooperative event to me somehow. Unless they were somehow or another locked up and they brought them out one by one. That's an awfully big cage you've got there. Yeah, it isn't. Yeah, 80,000. That's quite an arena. Yeah. Yeah. Like, you'd have to build an extra one of those just to hold them. Yeah, that's like a giant football arena filled with people. It's that big. Yeah. It's that big. And what struck me as just... because I play music as I thought, okay, that means these acoustics are so perfect. How do you discover that? Are you in a canyon and you're like, wow, this sounds... can you hear me over there? Right. And then you sort of triangulate and start doing the geometry for how that works. And like, quick, someone invented geometry first though, because I don't know. I mean, how does that, you know, how manifest itself, that understanding? Yeah, how many thousands of years did it take before they figured out how to construct something? Yeah, where someone on their death bed is like, wait, one last thing. I gotta tell you. That sound acoustic sound kind of bounces off shit. But it's gotta be shaped like this with the Pythagorean theorem, you know. I've never been to any of the Aztec temples, but I went to Chichen Itza and saw some of the Mayan temples. And it just... whenever you're at a place like that, that's just magical. That's so fucking old and so amazingly constructed. You just think, what the fuck was it like to live back then? Do we have a terrible idea of what they were like? Of course. Yeah, we don't know. Well, but it sort of dawned on me at some point that was like, oh, you mean the people that wrote our history wrote it as... from the perspective of, by the way, we're way better. Way better. But okay, here's the story of these other people. Yeah, right? You know what I mean? Like by some kind of dickhead winner. Right, right, right. A dickhead winner with guns. Yeah. Like before we get started, I'm better than the person I'm gonna tell you about. Yeah, but we can't, even though we can't do what they did. Because what is the emotion when you're in that space? I'm trying to think of the right word to describe how I felt there. Right. And I guess... It's awe, right? Yeah, it really is awe, but also there's almost, yeah, reverence, and there's almost like some strange gratitude. Yeah. Like where you're like, thank you for... I'm so thankful to be part of this, even just by living in a time to appreciate this. Yeah, yeah. There feels... It's so... It feels like knowledge expanding that I don't have, so I just feel like, oh, if I could have a piece of that... If I could understand a piece of that. But just standing there is sort of understanding it. Right. We have such an egotistical perspective when it comes to our personal civilization that we... That like this, with the internet and with cars and with planes and all that, this is the best way to be. There's a word for it. I can't... Can you try to find such a thing? Please. What is the word? There's a word for... The word definition is to believe that the era you're in is the finest of them all. Yes. Up to this point. I think... Yeah, I've heard that word. I know what you're saying. That is a... It's some kind of dickhead syndrome. Exactly. It certainly was created by a man. There's some guy who's like, do the fucking shit. Yeah, I don't think it was a girl. If it was, she was like one of them alt-right female chicks. But don't you wish that there was a supportive mother who was like, yeah, sure, honey, you're the best. This is the best. You're number one. Just don't worry about him. Yeah, don't worry about him, guys. He's fine. You are the best. Yeah, it's like the same thing with the Native Americans and the settlers. That the settlers were imposing their lifestyle, but the people that experienced the Native American lifestyle, they wanted to stay living like that. For sure. Well, I think because it omitted so many of the things that the European culture was bringing. Yes. And it seems like a distinct possibility that the European perspective, like when Pizarro and all that, you know, was it 12 of them, kunki stewards killed like a thousand Natives in a come matter of hours. You know, when they land, they're looking for gold everywhere. Right, right. They have this belief that something big will come across the water and be their God. And here comes a ship with a bunch of dirty assholes that literally, factually dirty assholes have ridden across a boat. And, you know, I think about that perspective where they obviously were like, these people are nice, but I've had enough of this. They should have invented ships. We're better. So let's kill everyone here. Yeah, well, Cortez and Montezino, right? That's what I mean, Cortez. Yeah, Cortez. That's what it is. Yeah. Yeah. They didn't know what was going on because I don't think that previous to that time they'd ever seen anyone on a horse before. No. And you imagine a big boat and then a few horses where they're like, what the fuck is... Yeah. Gary, come over and look at this. It's just, it's impossible to found them. Yeah, a man riding a beast. They're probably like, what in the fuck is... Just like rusty armor from being on a fucking boat for months. Yeah. Like looking like shit, being desperately like... Yeah. Like I imagine their relief when they come off on these horses with this armor and all this stuff and they're like, they're cool. This is going to be easy. You know, I mean, at first they must have thought maybe we could do this with some good will, but quickly it's like, you guys are too primitive. We're just going to take over here. I doubt they even thought they were going to do it with good will. I don't think there was any good will back then. I think people were just murdering people. You think that there's perhaps that more people took more lives in a way, like for per capita or something? I think that it was a more brutal way of taking lives. I'm sure people take more lives today in war, but I think back then it was just, it was hands on. Right, but it seems like more percentage of the people that are alive had an opportunity or the possibility to kill someone today. Yes. Two. So it's like if you are with 150 people, all of which have killed at least three people. That's an interesting group. And then you land on a boat. You've been there for months and you're like, maybe you are like, we got to kill somebody and rape something and take something as quick as possible. And you have no idea what the fuck they're saying because you can't speak their language, so it's easy to just... And they're being nice. So you're like, they're going to fuck these people up in five, four, three, like that silent count up. It's bizarre. Well, that's the history of mankind is men showing up in boats and killing everybody that they met. And then kind of doing their own version of a selfie on the dead body. Yeah. Right. From this side. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Draw me. Imagine what it would be like if you could be a fly on the wall when Montezuma met Cortez just to be there and see what that was like when these people who had never encountered Spaniards before and these guys show up in these boats. With two absolutely different beliefs and perspectives of what's about to go down. What's crazy is that is why Mexico speaks Spanish. Yeah. People don't get that in their head. Like, oh, Mexican speaks Spanish. It's why all of South America, except for Brazil, Brazil is Portuguese. Yeah. I mean, we don't get that in our head. Like, Mexico speaks Spanish. And has horses. Spain? Yeah. Spain's way the fuck over there. How is... Where they speak Spanish. Yeah. It makes no fucking sense. But then you realize, like, oh my God, they were conquered by the Spaniards. Whoa. Yeah. And a long, long time ago. Long fucking time ago. Long fucking time ago. Because of having my music teacher as a young boy drill the song, in 1492 from Spain through wind and storm and gay, the neen of the pint of the... 1492. 1492, which by my watch is a long time ago. It is, but it's not. You know, like, I had a joke in my act about the United States being founded in 1776. People live to be 100. That's three people ago. That's real though. I know. It sounds fucked up when you hear it. Very funny. Yeah. When you hear it, it sounds like, you see, right? That's not right. Well, what's funny is that's totally true. Yeah, it is right. I mean, that's... We just got here. Yeah. Yeah. That's right. The thing is, anything that happens before you were born, it seems like a million years ago. Of course. But also, 1776 seems like yesterday to me. I wasn't alive and I'm ready to admit that, but that seems like, oh, that is just very close. Fucking super recent. Yeah.