Jesse Hughes (musician)

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Jesse Hughes
Eagles of Death Metal @ Steel Blue Oval (1 3 2010) (4416148631).jpg
Hughes playing at Steel Blue Oval (2010)
Background information
Birth name Jesse Everett Hughes
Also known as The Devil, Boots Electric, J Devil
Born (1972-09-24) September 24, 1972 (age 44)
Greenville, South Carolina, U.S.
Genres Alternative rock, garage rock revival, blues rock, hard rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, percussion, flute
Years active 1998-present
Labels AntAcidAudio, Downtown Records, MapleMusic Recordings (Canada)
Associated acts Eagles of Death Metal, Desert Sessions, Queens of the Stone Age

Jesse "The Devil" Hughes (born September 24, 1967) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is best known as the frontman of the California-based rock band Eagles of Death Metal, with whom he has recorded four studio albums.

Early life[edit]

At age 7, Hughes' mother, Jo Ellen, moved him to Palm Desert, California. In high school, he became friends with Josh Homme (later of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age). They became good friends after Homme stopped a bully from picking on Hughes. Hughes graduated from the 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]

Main article: Eagles of Death Metal

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 spoke out against Muslims in an interview with Gavin McInnes for Taki's Magazine. In the interview, he claimed that Muslims "[celebrated] in the streets during the attack". As a result of these controversial statements, he and his band were banned from two French music tours.[5][6] He spoke out against Islam and liberal values as the reason why the attack happened. He also speculated about an involvement of the Muslim security personnel.[7]

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.[8]

In September 2011, Hughes released his first solo album under the nickname Boots Electric. The album, Honkey Kong, was released on Dangerbird Records.[9][10] He played his first[citation needed] show in Columbus, Ohio, on August 12, 2011, at the CD 101 Summerfest Eve.[11]

On December 6, 2012, Jesse Hughes became an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.[12]

In 2015, Hughes appeared in the Björn Tagemose-directed silent film Gutterdämmerung, starring Iggy Pop, Grace Jones, Lemmy and Henry Rollins.[13]

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".[14] Hughes has also said "I wanted to be a Republican politician, for God sakes. I’m a conservative, dude".[15]


Hughes uses many different nicknames, including "J. Devil" (or simply "The Devil")[16] 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 thirteen. "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."[17]

Musical equipment[edit]

Hughes is currently endorsed by Maton guitars[18] and Orange amplifiers.[19]


  • 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 [20]


  • 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 [21]


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

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. ^ Britton, Luke (May 22, 2016). "Bataclan survivor responds to controversial comments by Eagles Of Death Metal frontman | NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  6. ^ Wright, Hayden (May 23, 2016). "Paris Festivals Drop Eagles of Death Metal After Anti-Muslim Remarks". Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  7. ^ McInnes, Gavin (14 May 2016). "Surrendering to Death". Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Paul Miles. "Sex Tips From Rock Stars by Paul Miles". Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  9. ^ Andrew Martin (August 4, 2011). "Eagles Of Death Metal Frontman Preps Solo Debut, 'Honkey Kong' | Prefix". Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Play Full Music Albums Free - Spinner". Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  11. ^ [2] Archived March 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "Iggy Pop, Grace Jones, Henry Rollins to Star in Silent Movie Gutterdämmerung". 
  14. ^ "Queens of the Stone Age Interview: Josh Homme". November 30, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Jesse Hughes". Rockin Lifestyle. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ Blevins, Tal (October 20, 2004). "Eagles of Death Metal: Local-Eyzed in San Francisco". Retrieved July 20, 2007. 
  17. ^ "Eagles of Death Metal Part 2: Jesse Hughes". November 4, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  18. ^ Maton website
  19. ^ [3] Archived December 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "Boots Electric "Honkey Kong" album trailer". YouTube. August 2, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  21. ^ [4] Archived February 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]