Jesse Hughes (musician)

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Jesse Hughes
Eagles of Death Metal @ Steel Blue Oval (1 3 2010) (4416148631).jpg
Hughes performing in March 2010
Background information
Birth nameJesse Everett Hughes
Also known as
  • Boots Electric
  • J Devil
  • The Devil
  • Fabulous Weapon
Born (1972-09-24) September 24, 1972 (age 46)
Greenville, South Carolina, U.S.
OriginPalm Desert, California, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass
  • drums
  • flute
Years active1998–present
Associated acts

Jesse Everett Hughes (born September 24, 1972) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He is best known as the frontman of the rock band Eagles of Death Metal, with whom he has recorded four studio albums and a live album.

Early life[edit]

Jesse Hughes with Eagles of Death Metal live at Rock am Ring 2019

Jesse Everett Hughes was born in Greenville, South Carolina on September 24, 1972. At age seven, he moved with his mother Jo Ellen to Palm Desert, California. In high school, he met Josh Homme, and they became good friends after Homme stopped a bully from picking on Hughes. Hughes graduated from Greenville Technical College with a degree in journalism and worked as the manager of a video depot in Palm Desert for several years.

Recording career[edit]

Eagles of Death Metal[edit]

Hughes and Homme formed Eagles of Death Metal in 1998. Hughes credits Homme with saving his life, claiming that during the recording of the second Eagles of Death Metal album Death By Sexy, he fell into serious drug addiction and that Homme not only drove him to rehabilitation, but paid for it as well.[1]

Le Bataclan attack[edit]

On November 13, 2015, the Bataclan theatre in Paris was attacked by terrorists while Eagles of Death Metal were performing. Hughes escaped with the rest of the band via the backstage,[2] however the band's merchandise manager, Nick Alexander, was killed.[3] The terrorist attacks killed 89 fans at the theatre, and 130 people overall.[4]

Months after the Paris attacks, Hughes made a series of controversial statements. Hughes blamed Islam, liberal values, and French gun controls laws for the attacks, and claimed that Muslims "[celebrated] in the streets during the attack".[5][6] He also speculated that the attack at the Bataclan was an inside job, saying that security personnel who did not report to the venue that day "had a reason not to show up".[7] As a result, he and his band were dropped from the lineup of two French music festivals.[8][9] The management of the Bataclan said that Hughes and his manager were refused entry to the venue when he tried to visit on the anniversary of the attack; he and his management claim this was not true, and that he never tried to enter.[10][11][12]

Other projects[edit]

Hughes is one of the characters in the book Sex Tips from Rock Stars by Paul Miles published by Omnibus Press in July 2010.[13]

In September 2011, Hughes released his first solo album under the nickname Boots Electric. The album, Honkey Kong, was released on Dangerbird Records.[14][15] He played his first[citation needed] show in Columbus, Ohio, on August 12, 2011, at the CD 101 Summerfest Eve.[16]

On December 6, 2012, Jesse Hughes became an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.[17]

In 2015, Hughes appeared in the Björn Tagemose-directed silent film Gutterdämmerung, starring Iggy Pop, Grace Jones, Lemmy and Henry Rollins.[18]


Hughes uses many different nicknames, including "J. Devil" (or simply "The Devil")[19] as well as "Boots Electric" ("Boots" for short) and "Fabulous Weapon" (both of which were band names used by Hughes' father). In an interview, Hughes revealed that his band mate Josh Homme gave him "The Devil" nickname when he was 13. "I used to get picked on a lot by Karl Doyle" says Hughes, "And when I would get picked on severely, or if it really made a point to me, I would get vengeance, but I would get vengeance in the way that I could, which was mostly clever and all consuming. Joshua once witnessed me in the moment I was about to enact vengeance upon someone, and he just said, 'You're the fucking devil dude,' and it stuck."[20]

Musical equipment[edit]

Hughes is currently endorsed by Maton guitars[21] and Orange amplifiers.[22]


  • Maton MS500 Electric
  • Maton BB1200 Electric
  • Maton EAJ85 Jumbo Acoustic
  • Yamaha AES1500
  • Custom Gretsch Duo Jet with orange finish and black rooster knob in place of master volume knob [23]


  • Ernie Ball Wah Pedal
  • Boss DD-6 Delay
  • TC Electronic Nova Drive Overdrive/Distortion
  • Boss TU-2 Tuner
  • EHX Mini Q Tron
  • EHX Deluxe Memory Man Classic Chassis
  • MOOG MF-102 Moogerfooger Ring Modulator
  • MXR Phase 100
  • Boss BF-3 Flanger
  • Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer
  • Vox V8474 Wah
  • Custom L.A. Sound Design Pedalboard[24]


  • Orange Rockerverb 50w combo
  • Orange 4x12 Cabinet
  • Laney Amplifer

Personal life[edit]

In a 2007 interview, bandmate Josh Homme stated "Jesse Hughes and I have a theory; we’re socially liberal but government conservative guys".[25] Hughes has also said "I wanted to be a Republican politician, for God sakes. I’m a conservative, dude".[26]

In 2017, Andrew Julian Vega, a former friend of Hughes, obtained a restraining order against Hughes after he made threats against Vega's life.[27]

In March 2018, Hughes criticised the March for Our Lives protesters in a series of posts on Instagram, calling them "pathetic" and "disgusting vile abusers of the dead". He accused the survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting participating in the protest of "exploiting the death of 16 of our fellow students for a few Facebook likes and some media attention", while accusing one of them, Emma González, of treason.[28] Hughes later deleted the posts. Amidst criticism for his comments, he apologized five days later, saying: "I was not attempting to impugn the youth of America and this beautiful thing that they accomplished. I truly am sorry, I did not mean to hurt anyone or cause any harm."[29]

Selected discography[edit]

Year Band or artist Album
1998 The Desert Sessions Volumes 3 & 4
2002 Fatso Jetson Cruel & Delicious
2004 Eagles of Death Metal Peace, Love, Death Metal
Jesse Hughes A Pair of Queens
2005 Queens of the Stone Age Lullabies to Paralyze
2006 Eagles of Death Metal Death By Sexy
2008 Eagles of Death Metal Heart On
September 2011 Boots Electric (solo artist) Honkey Kong
2011 on Miracle Boots Electric (solo artist) Untitled 4 song 12 inch LP
2015 Eagles of Death Metal Zipper Down


  1. ^ [1] Archived July 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Singer for Eagles of Death Metal escapes Paris attack". ABC News. November 13, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  3. ^ "EODM merch manager Nick Alexander killed in Paris attack".
  4. ^ "Horror unfolds at Paris' Bataclan theater". USA Today. November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  5. ^ McInnes, Gavin (May 14, 2016). "Surrendering to Death". Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  6. ^ Hunt, Elle; Chrisafis, Angelique (February 15, 2016). "Eagles of Death Metal frontman: 'Everybody has to have guns'". The Guardian. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  7. ^ Blistein, Jon (March 10, 2016). "Jesse Hughes: Bataclan Security 'Had a Reason Not to Show Up'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  8. ^ Britton, Luke (May 22, 2016). "Bataclan survivor responds to controversial comments by Eagles Of Death Metal frontman". NME. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  9. ^ Wright, Hayden (May 23, 2016). "Paris Festivals Drop Eagles of Death Metal After Anti-Muslim Remarks". Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  10. ^ "Bataclan reopens with Eagles of Death Metal singer 'refused entry'". The Guardian. November 13, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  11. ^ "Eagles of Death Metal frontman turned away from Bataclan - BBC Newsbeat". BBC Online. November 13, 2016. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  12. ^ "Eagles of Death Metal Member Wasn't Denied Entry to Bataclan, Says Band's Manager - Billboard". Billboard. November 12, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  13. ^ Paul Miles. "Sex Tips From Rock Stars by Paul Miles". Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  14. ^ Andrew Martin (August 4, 2011). "Eagles Of Death Metal Frontman Preps Solo Debut, 'Honkey Kong' | Prefix". Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  15. ^ "Play Full Music Albums Free - Spinner". Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  16. ^ [2] Archived March 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Jesse Hughes (Boots Electric), Leader of Eagles of Death Metal Becomes an Ordained Minister with the Universal One Church". Archived from the original on April 16, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  18. ^ "Iggy Pop, Grace Jones, Henry Rollins to Star in Silent Movie Gutterdämmerung".
  19. ^ Blevins, Tal (October 20, 2004). "Eagles of Death Metal: Local-Eyzed in San Francisco". Archived from the original on March 10, 2008. Retrieved July 20, 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  20. ^ "Eagles of Death Metal Part 2: Jesse Hughes". November 4, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  21. ^ "Maton Guitars Australia".
  22. ^ [3] Archived December 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Boots Electric "Honkey Kong" album trailer". YouTube. August 2, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  24. ^ [4] Archived February 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Queens of the Stone Age Interview: Josh Homme". November 30, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  26. ^ "Jesse Hughes". Rockin Lifestyle. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013.
  27. ^ "Eagles of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes Subject of Restraining Order Following Alleged Death Threats: Report - Pitchfork".
  28. ^ Snapes, Laura (March 26, 2018). "Bataclan survivor Jesse Hughes calls March for Our Lives 'pathetic'". The Guardian. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  29. ^ Kreps, Daniel (March 31, 2018). "EODM's Jesse Hughes Apologizes After March For Our Lives Tirade". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 31, 2018.

External links[edit]