Hey, kids. shake it loose together..
Got my Rock n Roll jollies off and my Heart ON!
Lets face it, Detroit is pretty sad lately.
Well hang on to your tired ass, because I went to Canada last week to discover that the Devil has not forgotten about Detroit, and he plans to resurrect it's iconic sound from the ashes along with the rest of Rock n Roll. And if anyone can do it, he can.
We caught up with Jesse "The Devil" Hughes and the Eagles of Death Metal for their Canadian shows in London and Kitchener. On Wednesday we hit The Cowboy Ranch in London, which was not photographer friendly and had very strict rules that I was not to leave the booth on the side of the stage. This left me with a terrible angle, so I twisted, stretched and crept around to get my shots of what is by far my favorite live show. Afterward, The Ranch quickly struck camp and had us feeling pretty unwelcome. It seemed clear that hanging around wasn't an option, so we took off for some beers and fries with gravy. Lots of gravy in Canada. Very beefy and salty.
On Thursday we got to Kitchener early with several hours before doors. Our hotel was right across the street from Elements, so we went to check it out. After two rum and cokes at a local bar, we hoofed over to the venue and sat down in the sun to make a plan for the day. We were watching crew unload as we talked, and within minutes Jesse stepped off the bus. We exchanged devil horns from afar, and just when we thought he was gonna get back on his bus he started crossing the parking lot. We were convinced he wasn't headed for us until he was right in front of us, arms open for hugs.
He recognized us from the show the night before and was angry at the venue for "keeping his photographers from shooting". After noticing me squirming around to shoot he wanted to make it up to me, and invited us to be his personal guests for the day.
Once he had sorted his laundry he was ready for shopping. I, my assistant, and the Devil went on a walk through downtown Kitchener looking like we just landed from outer space. Weaving through heavy construction, we stopped at an Army surplus store for a new hat, and a record store for a poster of Muhammad Ali (in front of The Great White Hope) , a compilation of Black Sabbath Greatest Hits and a copy of the local jam rag with himself on the cover as the featured artist. Later, when all these treasures were back on the bus, Jesse cranked up Sabbath and it completely blew out the system beyond immediate repair.
How fucking Metal is that?
While we relaxed with Boots and his band in their "home", he took us to his private lair and played songs for us. His enthusiasm for music is contagious. Without hesitation he explained that his formula for making songs is to take old music and make it his own. Heavily influenced by the early Detroit greats, old school rock and classic punk, Jesse lives and breathes music with passion. If he's not listening to it, he's talking about it, playing it live, or recording it after hours backstage and even on the bus. To show us an example of this, he played the Bad Brains song "Sailin' On", and then played a recent demo of him covering it and I doubt even the Bad Brains would have realized it was the same song. It was completely different and new, and it sounded amazing. To prove his point he sang the Bad Brains lyrics over his song.
Yeah, the Devil privately sang for us in his bedroom.
And it only gets better.
Who remembers the last show at Smalls?
Heart On is the third album for Eagles of Death Metal and it might seem like all fun and games, but Boots is working hard for us. And he didn't pick any slouches for the EODM lineup, either. Dave Catching has been in Queens of the Stone Age, Mondo Generator, Earthlings? and many more and is a true kick-ass master onstage with his Flying V. Brian O'Connor has the most unmistakable voice in the group and has played bass with the band since Death By Sexy. Joey Castillo is not only the current drummer for Queens of the Stone Age, but he was in Danzig before that. Fuckin Danzig! He explodes on drums with such power yet makes it look effortless. Having this music with such a capable collection of guys behind it makes for a mind-blowing live show every time. And I should know, I've seen six of them. It never gets old, they never get tired. They don't hurt to look at, either.
The band is riding the momentum of their recent successes, even lending inspiration to megabeast U2 in their recent song and video for "Get on your Boots".
During our conversations he referenced several artists from Detroit history (The man knows his shit. He even mentioned Suzi Quatro!) and the golden era of Rock n Roll (We both love early Aerosmith and P-Funk), and no one else is music today seems to be hitting the same vein. He credits the classics as a source for material, but doesn't sweat over it. As Jesse puts it, there is nothing new under the sun.
That being said, nothing else out there sounds like Eagles of Death Metal.
Thank God for the Devil!
We were graciously invited to watch sound check (which included a cover of "Avon" by Queens of the Stone Age), and pre-show band rituals like joint passing, towel dancing, drum stick tapping, shoe-lace taping and lots of hugs and kisses. When asked if we could shoot some video during the encore, Jesse said "you can shoot whatever you want". When asked where I should shoot the show from, he said
It was a particular rush to witness the band take the stage. Shooting the show from the stage was almost more than I could manage as my ass couldn't stop shaking long enough to compose a shot. As always, Jesse melted every woman in the room; even coming to the side of the stage mid-song to ask if "us ladies needed anything" with such sincerity...I think we could have sent him to fetch drinks for us right then and there.
Speaking in Tongues is probably the best thing I have ever witnessed live,
As an added bonus, we got Wanna be in LA for ya too:
The show left me breathless with my ears ringing and a blissful adrenaline high. The most satisfying thing that has ever left me wanting for more. We were hanging out in a group of dazed fans when we were summoned from the crowd outside to come hang out on the bus with the band and their friends. Probably the best time I've ever had drinking and laughing with strangers, Boots being our personal DJ since Sabbath broke the DVD player. Those conversations, and photos, will stay with the folks who were lucky enough to be there.
I will say though, that the Devil and his cohorts
are the nicest folks I've ever met.
I would like to thank Jesse for his incredible hospitality. We never asked him for anything and he graciously gave us a whole day of his time and brought us into his world for a peek. He shared his personal space, gave us undivided attention, and sent us home with plenty of love for Detroit Rock City. We gave him some much appreciated Detroit Steam stickers courtesy of MCB (It's time for t-shirts, guys!) and our generous host indulged us with fantastic sleazy-lovey hugs when we decided to bow out gracefully sometime around 2am.
After many hours of chasing the Devil, my assistant and I were finally speechless.
Eagles is almost done with the Heart On tour , so we're just gonna have to sit tight until the next installment. I personally will be squirming in my seat with anticipation, but I'm positive it will be worth the wait. If you want any merch from this tour they're having a 25% off sale through the month of August:
they even have vinyl.
I also suggest that if you don't own Peace, Love, Death Metal
that you do yourself a favor and get it now.
Go tell the band to hurry up and get back here!
Let them know that Detroit is listening and returns their lovins: www.myspace.com/eaglesofdeathmetal
Thanks to MCB for recognizing what's cool...and for sending me out to catch it.
All Hail the Devil!
Can I get an Amen?
if so please email us for a pair of MOTORHEAD tickets
i am a firm believer in giving back when you get the goods yourself
13th emailer - email@example.com