First, some background. Messieurs Sexron and Huge, accompanied by sassy thang Timmy Tipover from dead sexy Belgian band Millionaire (“the other white meat,” Josh calls him. “Nobody has stage moves like him. He makes J Devil go crazy trying to outdo him”), are The Eagles Of Death Metal, a swoon-inducing falsetto frenzy of flamboyant swagger, sexual yowls and rocking roll.
The Eagles Of Death Metal are the most fabulous and foxy boogie mens ever, and you know it. Everybody wants a piece of them. Even before they ever had a record out, or played any kind of show, everybody wanted a piece of them.
Josh – you remember him from Queens Of The Stone Age – spent a good couple of years handing out Eagles songs at parties, and when people asked “who the fuck is this?” he’d answer “it’s Eagles Of Death Metal, where have you fucking been?” thus generating the hype that you know today.
They date back to the Desert Sessions 3 and 4. Or maybe earlier. Front sexy dude J Devil, or “Mr Fabulous” as he asked me to call him, has been friends with sexy homme Sexron since primary school. After uni he drifted into journalism and politics for a while (“he would stay up for days on crystal meth and write speeches for the local Republican senator” according to Josh), and then one of four things happened, all of them true according to J Devil. Half of them are recounted below.
In Josh’s words: “We were sitting in a Volkswagon bus with the door locked with no handle on the inside, smoking pot in the pitch black of night, listening to Vader, a death metal band from Poland. And we were laughing our asses off because it’s so crazy. And someone said ‘we need to play death metal, but like The Eagles’. Then we rolled around in the van for 40 minutes laughing until I almost threw up because my stomach hurt so bad. Then we started trying to work out what that would actually sound like, and we decided that it would be sexy dance music.”
J Devil’s version: “Josh and I were hanging out in a bar and I honestly think someone was listening to Poison, and he was jumping around going ‘this is death metal dude, this is death metal.’ I was so sick of listening to it so I said ‘this is like The Eagles of death metal, man’. Forty-five minutes later, when everyone was still laughing, Josh assigned to me the task of going and writing what I though that was. And I’m just a hillbilly from The South, so the only music I knew was what my grandpa taught me on the front porch.”
That explains the boogie-woogie, but what explains the sexy?
Says Josh, “Jesse (J Devil’s birth name) and I were walking round in the desert one day and I started pretending I was French, going [dodgy French accents now] ‘we make this root sexy’ and he started jumping up and down and shouted ‘that’s what we’ll do. We’ll make everyone sexy’.” And everything.
So to J Devil’s tips on How To Be Sexy, in general and also in preparation for the Eagles Of Death Metal visit that Josh hinted might be some time around July: “Everything you do should strive to make Little Richard proud. That’s the first thing you need to do. The second thing is that whatever it is you wear, wear it two sizes tighter. At least. There’s something so cool about wearing clothes that barely cover your parts.”
When told that it might be the middle of winter when they get to Australia Jesse excitingly informs me that “it’s not possible to be inside an Eagles Of Death Metal show and not feel like stripping off all your clothes. But really you don’t need to do anything to be sexy,” he says, returning to the initial point, “because we do it for you. All you need to do is show up then we do the rest.” How, you wonder? Josh laughingly, and lovingly, describes Jesse as a “really strange character and exactly what rock n roll has always needed and always wants to have. He’s like a walking art project; he’s got a Bedazzler and glitter pants and he’s willing to make you a shirt right now!” Jesse verifies this. “We have shirts available on the website, but that’s not enough for the people of the world to understand sexy music so I make t-shirts at home for them with arts and crafts and each one is a unique work of art. And then I deliver it for the ultimate sexiness of the wearer.” J Devil loves you to be sexy.
Jesse’s mother taught him arts and crafts. “I was raised by a bunch of women but they understood that a boy needs to be raised to be a man; but they’d all be burned by men so they weren’t gonna raise me to be a filthy pig of a man. From them I learned that in order to be truly sexy you have to really have a little feminie quality to you.” They succeeded; Josh describes Jesse as being “in touch with his feminie side, and the gayest straight man I know. He’s also the most vain motherfucker I’ve ever met. I’m sitting here talking about him and he’s talking about himself somewhere in the desert right now, and he might be alone! But he does it with such love because he loves people and he’s interested in you too. He’s what I call an over complimenter. When he meets you he’ll compliment you, like, 400 times.”
Josh doesn’t lie. Jesse’s first words to me were “I’m better now.” And what was wrong before?
“I wasn’t on the phone with a beautiful girl.”
Oops, there go my legs.
So there you have it, how to be sexy. You don’t have to do anything, just let The Eagles Of Death Metal condemn you to death by sexy. That’s their slogan, by the way. And through radios and stereos all over the world they’re achieving it ever so successfully. “Ever so sucsexually,” Josh corrects. Of course.
The Eagles Of Death Metal debut album, Peace Love Death Metal is out now thru Shock.
— Melanie Sheridan