Death Don’t Fail Us Now: Eagles of Death Metal Play Voodoo

433full-eagles-of-death-metalDon’t let the name fool you – the Eagles of Death Metal are about as grim as Abba. Armed with one of the more deceptive names around, these SoCal cool cats are only interested in getting the dance floor moving.

In some hyper-70s universe, the Eagles of Death Metal (EODM) come at you with their falsettos, crunching guitar chords and hip swivels. Hop aboard the Go-Go Express, it’s a non-stop ride of stripper beats, mixed with glam rock ala T-Rex and the New York Dolls, that bellows bravado and sex appeal.

“Our sound is like if Bachman Turner Overdrive and Chuck Berry raped Little Richard’s and Keith Richards’ small intestines,” said EODM co-founder Jesse Hughes. “There’s definitely some sound-rapage going on with us.”

They hook you with their stripped down Rolling Stones-like guitar riffs, circa Some Girls, drop in a little of the Big Bopper on the refrains, and add a huge dose of Bon Scott era AC/DC.

Just like Scott sang on T.N.T., “ Lock up your daughter, lock up your wife, lock up your back door and run for your life,” the Eagles of Death Metal are swooping in to get their swerve on brother!

Eagles-Of-Death-Metal-PressThe band is the brainchild of Queens of the Stone Age front man, Josh “Baby Duck” Homme, and South Carolinian, Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes. Like QOTSA, the EODM have a revolving cast of characters, including Dave Grohl, and Jack Black.

“Eagles of Death Metal is like the Special Forces of rock n’ roll,” said Hughes. “ All the associated bands are one big family, and we all have our role to play when called upon – besides who wants to say no to playing the fun show.”

Hughes handles vocals and rhythm guitar, joined by Dave “Darlin’ Dave” Catching on lead guitar. Usually Brian “B.O.C.” O’Connor anchors the bass, but he was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. In his stead is Abby Travis, along with Joey “The Sexy-Mexy” Castillo on drums.

The band, formed in 1998, in Palm Desert, Calif., first recorded that year on Volumes 3 & 4 of The Desert Sessions – Homme’s now legendary eclectic recording project started in 1997, at a vintage studio in Joshua Tree, Calif.

heart-onEODM took a step back when Queens of the Stone Age took off, but refocused, and in 2004, the tongue-in-cheek Peace, Love Death Metal was released. While successful with advertisers, it was their follow-up in 2006, Death by Sexy, where the band found its alt-garage desert rock stride. That sound was distilled and purified to a higher grade on their most recent release, Heart On, in 2008.

You’ll have to excuse the guys for the band name and song titles – they’re having a bit of fun with you, and themselves. All egos are checked at the door, and they’re cracking each other up with campy innuendo about the pompous trappings of rock n’ roll stardom, blowing out all the stereotypes with Hughes’ bitching pompadour, dense porn-star mustache and tighter than tight jeans.

“Man I was a right-wing square growing up, and didn’t get laid much in high school,” said Hughes. “I was over at the porn star karaoke show Tuesday night – I’m trying to make up for lost time now.”

With song titles such as Whorehoppin’ (Shit, Goddam), I Gotta Feeling (Just Nineteen), and I’m Your Torpedo – this isn’t poetry, just booty moving tracks about getting laid. Many of the songs come in at under 3:00 minutes, and hit hard and fast, like punk tunes.

Jesse "Boots Electric" Hughes.

Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes.

The Eagles of Death Metal are particularly recognized for their incendiary live performances, and Hughes’ charismatic interaction with the crowd.

“Our shows are the best part of getting your girlfriend pregnant,” said Hughes. “We had to pull out of Voodoo last year because I had to go to rehab, so I’m really looking forward to both these shows in New Orleans, to see which one ends up being better.”

Friday night Vtech & Filter Magazine presents the Official Voodoo-After Party at One Eyed Jacks (615 Toulouse Street), featuring the Eagles of Death Metal, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Cary Ann Hurst. They can also be seen Saturday night at Voodoo Fest in the Bingo! Tent, at 9:30 p.m.

“This is the coolest job in the world,” said Hughes. “I get to shake my dick on stage and smile as part of my career – – Yeah I’ll take that.”

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Published by:  Gambit New Orleans | Vol. 31, N0. 43, p. 15 | 10-26-10

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