They are all about silly fun: Eagles of Death Metal

They are all about silly fun: Eagles of Death Metal
PHOTO: AFP

I don't want to talk about what happened in Paris on Saturday.

What I want to talk about is the Palm Desert, California, band whose name will forever be linked to the tragic events of that black day: Eagles Of Death Metal.

Their concert at Le Bataclan theatre became a scene of unimaginable bloodshed when several gunmen entered and opened fire.

The band members and most of their crew managed to escape, though their merchandise manager was one of those killed in the terrorist attack.

Not surprisingly, they are cancelling the rest of their European tour and returning to the US.

On might assume that a band with such a name were actively courting dread and darkness, but this couldn't be further from the case.

Their name is actually a joke.

The "Eagles" part refers to the Hotel California superstar soft rockers from the 70s.

The idea is that they're like super-mellow death metal, which is of course a silly contradiction in terms.

In fact, there's no death in their music at all.

Eagles Of Death Metal are musical pranksters along the lines of The Offspring but with a rockabilly twist.

They were formed in 1998 by Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age) and his childhood friend, Jesse Hughes.

Homme doesn't often perform live and he wasn't in Paris at the time of the tragedy.

Hughes is the lead singer and guitarist and he is backed up by an ever-changing cast of musicians.

The band have also collaborated with like-minded good-time rockers such as Dave Grohl and Jack Black.

I've never really been a fan of the group, preferring Black's own band, Tenacious D, for my monthly or yearly fix of rock comedy.

That said, I fully respect what Eagles Of Death Metal stand for.

In a word: fun.

VIDEOS

Go to YouTube and check out their video for Want You So Hard, in which Hughes plays his guitar with such overpowering sexuality that he blows the clothes off people.

Then there's I Got A Feeling (Just Nineteen), in which Hughes, looking dashing in a sparkly gold cape, prowls Hollywood Boulevard with a boombox, looking for strangers to dance with.

Their discography is basically a bottomless well of silliness.

On their most recent album, Zipper Down, they did a cover of Duran Duran's Save A Prayer.

This past Halloween, the two groups teamed up to perform it on a British TV show, and you can find that on the Internet as well. There is now a campaign afoot to push Eagles Of Death Metal's version of the song to the top of the British charts.

All I know is I'll never be able to hear the tune again without getting weepy-eyed.

Pray, indeed.

keeyunt@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on November 18, 2015.
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