Eagles of Death Metal

Kevin Ott
Eagles of Death Metal onstage

The American rock band Eagles of Death Metal (EODM) was formed in 1998 in Palm Desert, California with Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme, who is also in Queens of the Stone Age. EODM play a unique style of alternative rock known as boogie rock, desert rock, and many other terms that try to capture a fusion of alternative rock, bluegrass, Americana, and funk.

Origin of the Name

As noted on the band's website, the band does not actually play death metal. Their name came from a conversation between Josh Homme and one of his friends. The friend wanted to introduce Homme to death metal, so the friend played the band Vader. Homme joked that Vader sounded like the Eagles of death metal (referring to the classic rock band The Eagles). Homme then wondered what a cross between The Eagles and death metal really would sound like, and this idea gave birth to the band.

History

After the band started in 1998, they eventually attracted attention from record labels and a rabid fan base, which led to their debut album Peace Love Death Metal on Antacid Records in 2004. Pitchfork gave it a positive review for its "churning guitars and hook-driven" choruses. It included the hit I Only Want You.

After the success of their first album, the band got to work and began releasing more music:

  • 2006: "Death By Sexy" released. Sputnik Music described the album as "damn fun to listen to" and a solid album with some good "rockers," including the popular I Want You So Hard.
  • 2008: Heart On released. It scored a solid 74 out of 100 on Metacritic, and one review said the band was "sticking to what they do best (with their trusty cow-bell, no less): they make you want to rock out and get your sleazy dance-on at some greasy bar..." The album included the hit WannaBe In LA that was made into an innovative music video.
  • 2013: Zipper Down released. Rolling Stone praised this album for its irreverent goofiness: "their shtick is entertaining enough that it never gets too annoying." It included the single Complexity, which featured a music video that spoofed certain music video concepts from the '80s.

The Paris Terror Attacks and Nos Amis

In 2015, the band was playing a sold-out show at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, France when terrorists entered the venue with guns and bombs and killed 89 people including the band's merchandise manager. The band escaped through the backstage and survived the ordeal.

During the 2015 Nos Amis Tour and subsequent documentary of the tour by actor and filmmaker Colin Hanks (Tom Hanks's son), Jesse Hughes said after the terrorist attack he saw Muslims celebrating in the streets and seeing this upset him deeply. This angered some people and brought controversy to the tour and the band.

Despite the controversy, the documentary was described as "life-affirming" and included inspiring interviews with the band and with U2's Bono and The Edge, who reached out to EODM after the tragedy.

U2's Invitation to EODM

In response to the band's ordeal at the Bataclan Theatre and in memory of the people who died, the legendary rock band U2 invited the band to return to Paris and join U2 onstage during U2's Paris concert to sing a version of People Have The Power by Patti Smith. The EODM then performed their hit song I Love You All The Time before U2 returned to the stage.

EODM: Good Rock & Roll, Good Sense of Humor

EODM might have one of the most memorable personalities in today's alternative rock genre. They have an unceasing appetite for creativity and wit. Rolling Stone's description of the magazine's interview with the band actually works quite well as a summary of their music: "a silly repartee, interspersed with meaningful insights on the art and craft of rock & roll."

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Eagles of Death Metal