“I have to tell you what I’m looking at right now, dude. Right now I’m at the Sportsman’s Lodge in the beautiful Studio City, CA. I’m in Suite 368 where the finale scene to Deep Throat was filmed. I’m looking out at a pool. What a sunny, perfect day it is. Palm trees swaying in the wind, there’s some bullshit ‘80s soundtrack going on at the cabana bar that’s at the pool. Dude, time warp. And the palm trees make it feel like paradise. And here I am, first interview of the day, and I’m talking to you. Dude, let’s do this.”
As you can see, it’s far easier to let Jessie “Boots Electric” Hughes set the scene for this long talk we had the eve of the Eagles Of Death Metal’s first tour in support of their recently released third full-length, Heart On. On the surface, EODM arose as a side project of Queens Of The Stone Age/Kyuss’ Josh “Baby Duck” Homme, but it’s always been Hughes’ charge. The songs are his, and the Rolling Stones a la “Brown Sugar” vibe is forever entangled in the prodigious mustache that inspires his ass-shaking material.
But plenty of people helped him get where he is today. Homme, Joey Castillo, Claude Coleman of Ween, and most strangely, Axl Rose, who brought the band more fame than Hughes could imagine by kicking him off GNR’s tour after the very first show.
Okay, so you just got off tour with The Hives, it all worked out. No Axl Rose moment or anything like that?
(laughs). Funny enough dude, the Axl Rose moment was a beautiful moment because it made my career. I mean, you know, I want to say this first about Guns N’ Roses. There’s only one solid fact that I know, and that’s that Appetite For Destruction is truly one of the great fucking rock albums of all time. Guns N’ Roses in that era, you couldn’t fuck with them man. They were an untouchable. They’re probably one of the last truly dangerous rock bands of that old-fashioned ilk. And that’s a fact, and all respect to the kings. But the rock eventually left Guns N’ Roses and it’s with Velvet Revolver now. I think that’s kind of what happened. But nonetheless, he called us the Pigeons Of Shit Metal when he fired us, and that t-shirt made more money than the Eagles Of Death Metal t-shirt on our last tour so God bless him.
So, there’s no songs about the Devil on this record.
Because, you know in that totally Orwellian diabolicalness, the entire album is about the Devil. (laughs) No, I’m just joking.
I’m just wondering if there was a contract dispute or something.
I love you. Thank you for helping me wake up, someone who at least I can relate to. My mother is a devout, devout Christian woman. A fine one. And she is a Southern Baptist. Well, when the first album came out, I was J. Devil Huge, that was my stage name. And my mother almost shit in my pants. When she read those liner notes, she had this moment where it looked like she was almost gonna freak out, and then it was contained and replaced with the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life, a wonderful mother in a state of total disappointment. It was like, you know, you almost want them to get mad at you so you can fight back at least. I couldn’t do that, and it was a bummer man.
That’s why my name became Boots Electric for the second record. And then somebody made a concept video for the second record for ‘Chase The Devil.’ Now, I can’t even sing ‘Who Loves The Devil’ when my mother is at a show.