Eagles of Death Metal strives for greatness

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      With celebrity political endorsements as commonplace these days as stacked Marshall amps at hard rock shows, it's refreshing to hear Eagles of Death Metal front man Jesse "Boots Electric" Hughes's take on mixing between-songs banter with presidential proclamations.

      "I think it's a dirty rotten trick to tell people to come dance and then tell them who to vote for," says the 210-pound, heavily tattooed musician, on the line from a San Fernando Valley recording studio. "And quite frankly, if it comes down to people endorsing candidates, actors and actresses and rockers—people who pretend to be other people for a living—probably aren't the best people to look to [for guidance]."

      Hughes prefers to rally around a different cause, something he's an irrefutable expert on: the swinging rock 'n' roll lifestyle. And if you're at all interested in checking out the gun-toting rocker's qualifications, look no further than the Eagles of Death Metal's latest record, Heart On.

      "This album really marks the first truly deliberate effort to really make a really great rock album," exclaims Hughes, between bouts of flirtatious chitchat.

      More irresistible than the sight of Tommy Gunn whipping out his shlong at an eXXXotica convention, the 36-year-old singer has never had a problem winning over fans. Whether the self-assured playboy is strutting across the stage shouting "I want to be your monkey" (from the underground hit "Bad Dream Mama") or repeatedly calling a professional journalist "baby" during the course of a phone interview, people—even said journalist—can't help but find Hughes completely mesmerizing. Sure enough, EODM's latest effort is rife with his inexplicable charm.

      A sordid affair of rock 'n' roll splendour—complete with enough '70s swagger to have you seeing shades of polyester green—Heart On fires up listeners with bona fide, grade-A boogie. From the ass-shaking "High Voltage"—inspired by Hughes's late-night adventures (not those kind of adventures) with L.A. tattoo artist Kat Von D—to the sleazy guitar assault that is "Cheap Thrills", Hughes and his moonlighting EODM bandmate Joshua "Baby Duck" Homme, prove they've got more to offer than showboating antics and a ridiculous name. Heavy on the duo's trademark suggestive lyrics and "ooohh ooohh" crooning—which are amped up by a full band when the act tours—the new material only adds to the gooey goodness that is the Eagles of Death Metal canon.

      Offering an overview of the band's discography—including the 2004 debut Peace, Love, Death Metal and 2006's Death by Sexy—Hughes says, "The first album was more like me butt-fucking Devo with my lack of talent, the second album was more like Joshua helping me butt-fuck Devo with a Bachman-Turner Overdrive machine, and this album is more like we have figured out a sophisticated way to butt-fuck the Rolling Stones with Devo."

      Despite the fact such a description could easily pass for the story line of a Vivid Entertainment porno, it does, uh, "raise" a good point: EODM is big on continuity. After 10 years together, the duo is always striving to keep things fresh and find new ways to rock the party. Hughes and Homme are devoted to delivering one thing above all else: a killer good time. And that's something everyone can get, um, behind.

      Eagles of Death Metal plays the Commodore Ballroom on Sunday (November 2).