Music Features

Jesse "The Devil" Hughes (Interview)

It's no exaggeration to say that Jesse "The Devil" Hughes is just as charming, witty and likeable offstage as he is when playing the part of his onstage persona, Boots Electric.  After a recent gig at Bristol Thekla, Jesse regaled a small number of gig-goers with stories of Reading Festival and the Desert Sessions, being pulled over by the police for having an overweight band van in Swindon (including how the police made sure he still got to the gig on time), and purchasing a schoolgirl outfit for his adult girlfriend to wear on stage from a sceptical shop assistant at John Lewis.

Whilst diving through traffic and stopping for photos and signatures on the way to his hotel, the frontman of Eagles of Death Metal found time to answer a few questions for No Ripcord, and told of some interesting future plans for both bands.

So, did you enjoy that gig as much as the audience clearly did?

If you think for a second that you couldn't see from my face how much I was enjoying that gig, you'd be craaaaazy.

This gig was the last in the UK tour, is that right? How has the UK been?

Yes, it's the last one. I started the European tour in the UK because I love it. My roots are Welsh and Irish, and I relate to this country a lot. So I love it. And when I was on stage, I didn't want to say anything about it being the last show in the UK 'cause I wanted to make it feel like it was just gonna keep on going, you know?

Do you enjoy every gig as much as you enjoyed this one?

Dude, yeah. I was raised by some amazing people. They taught me that every day you get to do something you love is a gift. It's a magic, precious gift and if you forget that for one second, you're a fool. I'm a redneck from South Carolina and here I am in Bristol, England, kicking it around and having a good time. That is, as far as I'm concerned, the coolest fucking thing that could ever happen to me. So you're damn straight I enjoy every gig as much as that!

So what's next – is it more Boots Electric material or is it more Eagles of Death Metal material?

I'm definitely gonna do another Boots album, but we're gonna do another Eagles album first. I like Boots Electric, and I think it's working. I wasn't really sure what was gonna happen when I made a Boots record, I wasn't sure what was going to go on. But the band is so kick-ass. Tuesday (the bassist in Boots Electric) is only 21, and she's never really played big gigs like this before. But you couldn't tell for a second – there's not a snowball's chance in Hades!

Are there any working titles for the next Eagles album? The previous album titles (Death by Sexy, Heart On and Peace, Love, Death Metal) are legendary.

I'm thinking about Hell Bent For Whatever. You know, like Hell Bent For Leather [the American title of Judas Priest's fifth record].

And is there a release date in mind?

It would probably be released about June or July, maybe August... so you know, around December. I can tell you this. What Josh [Homme] and I want to do is a whole album of our favourite covers plus a whole album of originals. So that's about 16 to 20 songs. It'll be a lot of 50's rock and roll, like the Monotones and The Cleftones and stuff like that. And then we're also thinking about the idea of the new Eagles album being called Ladies Only, and there's a big fat picture of a ladies' night and it's just a row of chicks and Josh and I are in drag. Like Monty Python drag. The kind of ridiculous drag that doesn't make any sense. And we're also thinking of doing a Ladies' Night gig, where anyone can come in so long as they're dressed like a lady!

You know, Eagles started before Queens, technically. Josh, who has been the most amazing best friend, he's quite an interesting fellow. I remember sitting with him in biology in ninth grade. He was in eighth grade, and his class came to our school once a week to use the biology lab. And I remember him telling me, “I'm gonna start a band”. And by the time he was in 16, he was touring the United States. He tried to sneak past me!

Boots Electric are touring Europe until March 23.  For full details of upcoming dates and to purchase tickets, visit Boots Electric's website.