The collaboration of lifelong friends Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme, Eagles of Death Metal grew from a side project into a full-fledged band with a riff-heavy, tongue-in-cheek identity of its own. Despite their name, the band's music is a revved-up blend of garage rock, boogie rock and hard rock, with elements of glam rock, blues rock and swamp rock added in for good measure. Their quickly recorded 2004 debut Peace Love Death Metal introduced Hughes and Homme's music at its scrappiest, while later albums such as 2008's Heart On and 2015's Zipper Down took a more polished, but still brash, approach. Following the terrorist attack at their 2015 show at Paris' La Bataclan that killed 89 people, Eagles of Death Metal persevered, with 2019's covers album Eagles Of Death Metal Presents Boots Electric Performing The Best Songs We Never Wrote reflecting the music that offered Hughes solace in the wake of the attack.
Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Hughes moved to Palm Desert, California at age seven. Not long after, he met and befriended Homme. The pair bonded as teenagers while playing together on the same local soccer team, but went in separate career paths after graduation — Homme formed Kyuss before launching Queens of the Stone Age, while Hughes attended the University of South Carolina and became a journalist. A few years later, Homme convinced his old friend (who was down in the dumps at the time over a divorce) to start jamming on music, with Homme on drums and Hughes handling guitar and vocal duties. Eagles of Death Metal formed soon after, debuting with a few tracks on Vols. 3-4 of Homme's ongoing Desert Sessions series in 1998. However, the new group was put on the back burner while Homme got Queens of the Stone Age off the ground with another high-school friend of both his and Hughes, bassist Nick Oliveri.
A month after Zipper Down's release, Eagles of Death Metal (sans Homme) were performing at famed Paris venue La Bataclan when a group of terrorists attacked the club, killing 89 of those in attendance, including the band's merch seller. The bandmembers escaped and canceled the remainder of their European tour. Charity campaigns were set up for victims and survivors using proceeds from sales of their cover of Duran Duran's "Save a Prayer" and their own song "I Love You All the Time." The group returned to Paris a month later in December to perform with U2, announcing resumption of their European tour and free admission at the Paris date for all Bataclan survivors. Another Paris show from February 2016 was captured as I Love You All the Time: Live at the Olympia in Paris, which came out in August 2017. The following year, Eagles of Death Metal composed music for the movie Super Troopers 2, while Hughes released The Eagles of Death Metal Presents Pigeons of Shit Metal, a limited-edition covers album whose name referred to what Axl Rose called the band before firing them from the opening slot of Guns N' Roses' 2006 tour. Hughes reworked the album for June 2019's The Eagles Of Death Metal Presents Boots Electric Performing The Best Songs We Never Wrote, which featured versions of songs by Mary J. Blige, David Bowie, Kenny Rogers and other artists that helped him cope with his depression after the Paris terrorist attack. ~ Greg Prato