“I can tell you what I’ve told others, that this next album will be the physical manifestation of a creature, the likes of which the world has never seen..."
When former Palm Desert High School schoolmates Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme started Eagles Of Death Metal back in 1998, it really wasn’t envisaged as anything more than a fun creative outlet.
At this point, Homme had already experienced the rise and fall of stoner rock pioneers Kyuss - who he’d helped form in his teens with other friends from Palm Desert High - and was well on the way to launching his new outfit Queens Of The Stone Age into the stratosphere, so the side-project was really just a lark with a mate.
They recorded a few tracks of esoteric garage rock for the ongoing Desert Sessions compilations - the pair rumoured to be using early Canned Heat as a launching pad for their strange but beguiling new aesthetic - then pretty much went back to their lives, and (for a while) forgot all about it.
Yet here we are 25 years later and Eagles Of Death Metal exists as a fully-fledged entity in their own right, with five albums under their belts and a global fanbase who adore both their boogie-infused brand of rock’n’roll and their penchant for having - and enabling - a good time in the live realms.
Hughes and Homme remain the band’s creative heartbeat in the studio - the QOTSA frontman also joining the fun onstage when commitments allow - and ahead of their Australian return Hughes admits being slightly puzzled about the band’s longevity, although is unequivocal about his delight to be returning Down Under.
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“Nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition either and Eagles of Death Metal is like the Spanish Inquisition of awesomeness,” he laughs. “It’s no secret that I love Australia and that I hold Australia in high regard, and it is very dear to my heart.
“The Australian fans have a unique propensity to remain standing when ℎ𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑙𝑦 intoxicated. If you were to ask me how punters at gigs elsewhere in the world stack up against the Australian fans, the answer would be not very well at all.”
While the impending visit will be Eagles Of Death Metal’s sixth such trip it’s been a while between drinks and their shape-shifting line-up has morphed since their last sojourn - the live band currently featuring Hughes out front flanked by Jennie Vee on bass, Jorma Vic on drums and Josh Jove on guitar - although the singer is quick to ensure that fans have little to be worried about in this regard.
“You can expect a sensation of joy, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before,” Hughes assures. "After seeing one of our shows, you will be able to tell someone’s future by merely touching them.
“I couldn’t be more pleased, proud, and impressed by the current lineup. Eagles of Death Metal is like a special force of rock‘n’roll unit, and every now and then the greatest of the great are called upon to serve, and right now those that have been called upon to serve, are truly the greatest of the great.”
Hughes seems quite confident in this assertion, although when quizzed as to whether EODM are best experienced on record or in the live realms he’s far less effusive.
“The problem with my opinion is that it lacks humility of any sort,” he ponders. “However, to answer your question, I will say that they are two different animals - the live animal and the recorded animal. They are both best experienced simultaneously within that realm of supernatural existence where they exist at the same time.”
If Australian fans are well-behaved and party hard they may even be treated to some new tunes as well, with the band having recently completed an as-yet-untitled new album which we can expect later in 2023. Hughes doesn’t want to give too much away about the new opus, but it’s fair to say that he seems quite chuffed with their handiwork.
“First, like most things that are impending, this is not doom,” he smiles. “I can tell you what I’ve told others, that this next album will be the physical manifestation of a creature, the likes of which the world has never seen.
“It can only be described as George Clinton and Little Richard fused into one with Keith Richard as the dick and Chuck Berry and Brian Eno as the balls, Captain Beefheart the vas deferens and Black Sabbath as the epididymis.
“Each song will play like a supernatural, endless flow of Viagra, both male and female. It will make everyone smile so brightly they will see their dead relatives far beyond the gates of heaven.”
With all that in mind our last question seems almost redundant, but we soldier on regardless: with so many musical styles flourishing these days and collective tastes constantly evolving away from the traditional norms, is rock’n’roll still cool?"
“Rock’n’Roll is eternal!” Hughes thunders. “Rock’n’Roll is always cool and it’s like anything that has to do with Atreyu in The Never Ending Story - you just have to believe in it in order for it to be real. You can always tell when someone doesn’t believe because their music sucks!”
Eagles Of Death Metal are touring Australia this July and August. Tickets are on sale now via Frontier Touring.
EAGLES OF DEATH METAL
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND JULY & AUGUST 2023
With special guests: The Delta Riggs (Melb only) + The Southern River Band (AU shows) + Grown Downz (NZ)
Tuesday 25 July - Forum Melbourne | Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 27 July - Enmore Theatre | Sydney, NSW
Friday 28 July - Cambridge Hotel | Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 29 July - The Tivoli | Brisbane, QLD
Monday 31 July - The Gov | Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 2 August - Astor Theatre | Perth, WA
Saturday 5 August - Powerstation | Auckland, NZ
Sunday 6 August - San Fran | Wellington, NZ (Sold Out)