Music is a form of communication that transcends words alone, and Joshua Homme, founder and member of Queens of the Stone Age, has created The Sweet Stuff Foundation to support the people and their families who make music.
Homme began The Sweet Stuff Foundation in 2013, located in Palm Desert, California, to bring aid to musicians and their families who are struggling with a disability or illness.
On Dec. 4, 2015, U2 asked Eagles of Death Metal, to share the stage with them at a concert in Paris after Nick Alexander, Eagles of Death Metal’s merchandise manager, was killed in the November terrorist attack in Paris last year.
Homme, who sometimes plays drums with Eagles of Death Metal, went with the band to accompany U2. According to the foundation’s website, the family of Alexander was given support by The Sweet Stuff Foundation with a contribution that has given them time to reflect on Alexander’s life.
Michael Homme, treasurer of the foundation, said the desire to become a musician comes from their love of music. Those who choose to become involved in the music industry quickly understand that only a few succeed.
Meghan Hawkes, senior keyboard accompanying major, said she believes even for those who do succeed, a steady income is not usually feasible for a musician unless they become a teacher.
“You really need to be doing it because God has called you to it or because you love it — preferably both,” Hawkes said.
Michael Kestler, senior music composition major, said it takes determination to build a career as a musician.
Many jobs within the music industry, such as gigs with venues or performances at weddings, involve short-term contracts and may not provide a stable source of income.
Hawkes said periods of illness can be stressful when a musician has to cancel a gig due to an illness because of the already unsteady income.
“I think having somebody around to come alongside you and help you to get back on your feet is absolutely necessary,” Hawkes said.
Homme said in the years to come the hope of those in charge of the foundation is to provide aid to more musicians so that they can continue to make the “sweet stuff.”