Eagles of Death Metal is an American rock band from Palm Desert, California, formed in 1998. Founded by Jesse Hughes (vocals, guitar) and Josh Homme (drums), the band also includes a wide range of other musicians that perform both on the band's studio albums and at live shows. Hughes and Homme are the only permanent members of the band, with Homme rarely performing at live shows due to commitment to his other band, Queens Of The Stone Age. The band's current touring line-up includes Hughes alongside Dave Catching (guitar), Eden Galindo (guitar), Jennie Vee (bass) and Jorma Vik (drums).
Despite their name, Eagles of Death Metal are not a death metal band, and the name is intended to be humorous. In a 2003 interview, Homme described the sound of the band as a combination of "bluegrass slide guitar mixed with stripper drum beats and Canned Heat vocals." Hughes is known for his enthusiastic interaction with audiences at live performances.
While the band were on stage at the Bataclan in Paris, France, on November 13, 2015, the audience was attacked by Islamic terrorists wielding automatic rifles, grenades and suicide vests. The death toll inside the venue was 89, including the group's merchandise manager, but the band members escaped safely out of the venue via a door backstage.
|Eagles of Death Metal|
Eagles of Death Metal playing the Commodore Ballroom on July 20, 2009
|Origin||Palm Desert, California, United States|
|Past members||See past contributors section|
In a video interview taken at a converse music.co.uk sponsored event at the Soho Revue Bar in London, Hughes states that he and Homme were in a bar watching a man dance to the song "Wind of Change" by the Scorpions. When asked what he was doing, the man yelled, "This is death metal, dude!", to which Homme replied, "No it's not. This is like the Eagles of death metal." An alternate story concerning the origin of the band name claims that the name originated during an exchange in which a friend of Homme was attempting to convert Hughes to the death metal genre. When the friend played a song by the Polish band Vader and made a claim that the song was within the death metal genre, Homme then referred to Vader as "the Eagles of death metal". After hearing this phrase, Hughes wondered what a cross between the Eagles and a death metal band would sound like.
Eagles of Death Metal formed in Palm Desert, California, in 1998 and first appeared on Josh Homme's The Desert Sessions Volumes 3 & 4, released that year. Over the next few years, Homme became distracted from the band due to the success of Queens of the Stone Age. However, in an October 2008 interview, he reaffirmed his commitment to the band saying, "This isn't a side project for me. I'm in two bands. I have musical schizophrenia, and this is one of those personalities. In brief they are amazing."
The band released their debut album, Peace, Love, Death Metal, in March 2004. Several songs from the album were used in American television commercials including those for Ask.com, Comcast, Payless ShoeSource, Nissan Motors, Budweiser, Pontiac Motors, Wendy's, as well as in the trailer for the film Thank You for Smoking and for a promotional disc for the film Grindhouse, which was available at Hot Topic stores prior to the film's release. The first song on the album, "I Only Want You", was also used on the soundtrack for the PS2 game Gran Turismo 4, as well as by Microsoft in advertising for the launch of Windows 8. Globe Shoes, a manufacturer of skateboard shoes, has featured the song in the montage section of episode 1 in their new series of skate films entitled, United By Fate. "Miss Alissa" was featured on Nike's FIFA World Cup 2014 campaign video. The video is entitled "Winner Stays" and featured footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo, Neymar, Tim Howard and many others.
Eagles of Death Metal returned on April 11, 2006, with their second effort, Death by Sexy. During the first half of 2006, they toured in support of The Strokes and headlined their own U.S. tour with openers The Giraffes, followed by dates opening for Peaches as well as performing with Joan Jett. In the fall of 2006, the band had an opening support slot with Guns N' Roses, but this lasted for only one show. Axl Rose referred to the band as "Pigeons of Shit Metal" from the stage that night, which resulted in Eagles of Death Metal using the phrase on a T-shirt.
The track "Chase the Devil" from the album was included in the soundtrack for Tony Hawk's Project 8. Not only that, the track "Don't Speak (I Came to Make a Bang!)" was part of the soundtrack for Electronic Arts' Need for Speed: Carbon. "Cherry Cola" was used in a Microsoft Zune commercial, and "Don't Speak" was featured in Epic Movie, where the band is seen playing it live; in addition, the song was used in a Guy Ritchie-directed Nike ad ahead of UEFA Euro 2008.
On October 21, 2008, ahead of their third album release, the Eagles of Death Metal performed a live concert at the Hollywood & Highland Virgin Megastore in Los Angeles for the launch of the video game Midnight Club: Los Angeles. The first single from the third album, "Wannabe in L.A.", is also in the game. The song is also featured in the music rhythm game Guitar Hero 5 and the racing game DiRT 2. "I'm Your Torpedo" and "High Voltage" were also featured in the 2009 Austin set film, Whip It. Furthermore, "Now I'm A Fool" was used in the 2012 film Silver Linings Playbook. The track "High Voltage" from Heart On was featured in an online campaign for Head & Shoulders in 2010.
Their third album, titled Heart On, was released on October 28, 2008 (November 4, 2008 in Canada), and was accompanied by a North American tour. On February 4, 2009, Eagles of Death Metal performed on a live webcast for Fuel.tv as part of their Heart On tour and performed as a warm up act on tour with Arctic Monkeys.
In 2010, touring bassist Brian O'Connor was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy. Josh Homme, along with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones, announced a concert at the Brixton Academy in London to raise money for O'Connor's treatment. Abby Travis filled in on the bass while O'Connor recovered.
In September 2011, Hughes released his debut solo album, Honkey Kong, under the sobriquet Boots Electric.
On October 19, 2013, Hughes posted a video of studio footage on his Instagram account, specifying that a new Eagles of Death Metal album due next year was in the works. Homme announced that the band would play two headliner shows in the UK, one at the KOKO in London and one at the infamous Garage in Glasgow. Homme later confirmed that the band is playing the second stage at Download. In June 2015, the band announced that their next album, Zipper Down, would be released on October 2. The first single from the album, titled "Complexity", was made available for streaming on Pitchfork Media's website.
On November 13, 2015, Eagles of Death Metal was playing a sold-out concert to about 1,500 guests at the Bataclan theatre in Paris. The band had started performing the song "Kiss the Devil" when an attack killed about 90 fans. According to reports, the attackers shot randomly into the crowd, including those seeking cover by lying on the floor, and then detonated explosive vests when the theatre was stormed by special police units. Hughes escaped via the backstage, and the rest of the band – Dave Catching, Julian Dorio, Eden Galindo and Matt McJunkins – survived the attack. However, 36 year old Nick Alexander, who worked the band's merchandise table during the group's European tour, was among the people killed.
Following the attack, a Facebook campaign was created by Jon Morter with the intention of getting the band's cover of the Duran Duran song "Save a Prayer" to number one on the UK Singles Chart. The campaign was promoted by Duran Duran and headed up by Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon, who promised to donate their proceeds from the sale to charity. The song ultimately peaked at number 53 for the chart dated the week after the attack.
Eagles of Death Metal issued a statement about the attacks on November 18, thanking "the French police, the F.B.I., the U.S. and French State Departments, and especially all those at ground zero with us who helped each other as best they could during this unimaginable ordeal, proving once again that love overshadows evil." On November 25, Vice posted an interview with the band members, including Homme, about the attacks and their aftermath. During the interview, a shaken Hughes told Vice founder Shane Smith that the band plans to finish their European tour in memory of those who died at their concert. Homme encouraged musicians of any genre to cover the band's song "I Love You All the Time", and all of the subsequent proceeds due to the band would be donated to his charity Sweet Stuff Foundation, which would then be donated to the victims of the attack.
The song was subsequently covered by several artists, including My Morning Jacket, Dean Ween Group, Savages, Matt Cameron, Alain Johannes, Petra Haden, Florence and the Machine, Kings of Leon, Ed Harcourt, Mini Mansions, Jimmy Eat World, and Imagine Dragons. In December 2015, Pearl Jam issued a single featuring Matt Cameron's cover of "I Love You All the Time" and their own live rendition of the EODM song "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)" that they performed live at their November 22 concert in Rio de Janeiro. As with the covers, the proceeds from the single were donated to the Sweet Stuff Foundation.
On December 7, the band – without Homme – appeared on stage at a U2 concert at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris in their first concert appearance since the attack. The bands performed a cover of Patti Smith's "People Have the Power" together before Eagles of Death Metal performed "I Love You All the Time". In a statement following the performance, Hughes thanked U2 and said that the band would return to Paris in February 2016. The following day, the band revisited the Bataclan to pay their respects to the victims of the attack.
In December 2015, the band announced the resumption of their European tour, which they had renamed the "Nos Amis Tour" ("Our Friends Tour"). The tour included a date at the Olympia in Paris on February 16. Ticket holders from the November show at the Bataclan were able to attend the Olympia concert for free.
In an interview with Fox Business Channel in March 2016, Hughes claimed that some members of the Bataclan security staff were complicit in the attack. Hughes subsequently apologized for his comments following condemnation from French officials and the owners of the Bataclan. In May 2016, Hughes repeated the claim in an interview with Gavin McInnes for Taki's Magazine, suggesting that some Muslim security staff knew the attack was planned and helped the attackers enter the Bataclan or did not show up for work. Hughes also claimed that he saw Muslims celebrating in the street on the night of the attack and argued that fear of offending Muslims was making Europe more vulnerable to Islamist terrorism. The band were dropped from the lineup of the Rock en Seine festival for these comments. At the reopening of the Bataclan in November 2016, Hughes and another band member were reportedly denied entry by staff due to Hughes' comments. However, according to the band's manager, Hughes never attempted to enter the club, though he was in Paris at the time of the concert.
The band was announced as a supporting act alongside Russian Circles on Mastodon's Spring 2017 tour in the U.S. During the first show of the tour on April 14 in Missoula, Montana, Hughes introduced Jennie Vee as the new bassist for EODM.
On April 26, 2017, the Spanish police announced that one of the nine men arrested the previous day in connection with the March 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels was spotted and questioned outside the band's concert venue in Barcelona on September 10, 2016. According to the police source, he was subsequently put under surveillance, as were his entourage, which eventually led to the arrest of the nine men on April 25, 2017, in and around Barcelona.
Eagles of Death Metal's music has been described as garage rock, blues rock, hard rock, rockabilly, alternative rock, boogie rock, desert rock, punkabilly, garage punk, glam rock, rock and roll, swamp rock, and "rockabilly-metal".[note 1] The sound has been noted for containing elements of bluegrass and funk, and has also been described as a "a mash-up of punk, rockabilly and Rolling Stones-style boogie".
The group had been on about an hour and they'd just said "We love you Paris" and started singing a song, Kiss the Devil, with the words ‘I met the Devil and this is his song’ when we heard very clearly some explosions.