Who Are the Eagles of Death Metal?
The Eagles of Death Metal, though perhaps most famous for their offbeat name, had put together an intriguing career before fate pushed them into the international spotlight. In fact, those looking for details beyond a moment of unimaginable horror in Paris might just be surprised by what they find.
For one thing, the Eagles of Death Metal have been such a consistent presence in commercials and film soundtracks that you've likely heard them – even if you didn't know it. They ended up working with some notable classic rockers, as well.
First, about the name: Co-founder Josh Homme, who doubles as a member of the more metallic Queens of the Stone Age, inadvertently came up with it when he made an off-handed comment about a song by the death metal band Vader – saying it sounded more like "the Eagles of Death Metal." He and high-school buddy Jesse Hughes, the only other permanent member of the group, decided to use the humorous monicker as their own. It set a tone for the band, as they continued blending '70s-style blues rock with plenty of humor.
A few years later, their 2004 debut Peace, Love, Death Metal included songs that found a home in commercials for the likes of Budweiser, Wendy's, Payless, Windows and others. The Eagles of Death Metal were also featured in the trailer for Thank You for Smoking. The follow up, 2006's Death by Sexy, featured music that would appear in a commercial for Microsoft and in the film Epic Movie, even as the Eagles of Death Metal mounted their first headlining tour. Heart On, from 2009, included a track later heard in the 2012 motion picture Silver Linings Playbook.
Along the way, the group has appeared with Led Zeppelin legend John Paul Jones (as part of a benefit concert in London to defray medical expenses for their cancer-striken touring bassist Brian O'Connor), done studio work with Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and Jack Black; and performed with Joan Jett back in the Death by Sexy era. Planned opening-slot appearances with Guns N' Roses didn't go as well, ending after just one show in 2006 when Axl Rose derisively called them the "Pigeons of S– Metal." They took the insult in stride, even using the phrase on a T-shirt.
The Eagles of Death Metal's newest album, Zipper Down, arrived in October and cracked the Top 40 in the UK – bouying the group for a Europeon tour that was in progress when tragedy struck on Friday night (Nov. 13). Homme, who rarely tours with the band, was not in Paris. The rest of the Eagles of Death Metal reportedly escaped out a backstage door as gunmen killed dozens of people at the Bataclan music venue, part of a coordinated attack across the French capital credited to ISIS.