Eagles of Death Metal Talk Sharing Stage With U2, Play It Forward Campaign
A little over a month has passed since an Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris was the target of a deadly terrorist attack. Since then, frontman Jesse Hughes has been in awe of the outpourings of support his fellow musicians have shown him. “If I get emotional, I apologize,” he says, as tears well in his eyes and his voice deepens with emotion. “It’s not in a bad way. I really am very touched by the true sense of community that I’ve experienced in rock & roll.”
The day after the November 13th assault, in which ISIS terrorists took the lives of 89 concertgoers and one of the band’s crew members at Bataclan, help from fellow rockers came immediately. “Bono called me to check in on me and was praying with me on the phone,” Hughes says. And then, three days later, Duran Duran spoke up. Eagles of Death Metal had covered the New Wave group’s haunting and now prescient 1982 single “Save a Prayer” on this year’s Zipper Down. Now Duran Duran singer Simon LeBon was telling the world they’d donate all earnings from the cover to charity. “[We are] considering options that are useful, peaceful and uniting,” LeBon tweeted. When Hughes and Eagles cofounder Josh Homme heard this, they were moved by the band’s selflessness and decided to create their own charitable campaign, Play It Forward, for which they asked other bands to cover their catchy, feel-good Zipper Down track “I Love You All the Time.”
“We took a cue from Duran Duran, which is a really cool sentence for me to say,” says Homme, who doubles his time in Queens of the Stone Age and is speaking on a break from rehearsal. “I got to talking with Jesse, like, ‘How can we echo this same thing?'”
“My first idea was that everyone should cover ‘Save a Prayer’ for charity,” Hughes says. “But ‘I Love You All the Time’ was the next song on the set list in Paris, which made it even more symbolic.”
On December 18th, Eagles of Death Metal launched their Play It Forward website, which features 13 cover versions of “I Love You All the Time” by bands as diverse as Imagine Dragons and Savages, as well as Florence and the Machine and My Morning Jacket. For each song, the band provided links to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and its own Play It Forward store in an effort to make it as easy as possible for fans to listen to the songs and, by proxy, send the band’s royalties to the Sweet Stuff Foundation, an organization that regularly assists musicians in need and is currently allocating all donations to give to victims of the Paris attack. Pearl Jam also recorded a version of Eagles of Death Metal’s “I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)” live in Rio de Janeiro, which they put out as a single benefiting Play It Forward. What has astounded Hughes and Homme is the breadth of artists who submitted songs.