agles of Death Metal formed in Palm Desert, California, in 1998 by friends Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme, who are the only permanent members of the band. They first appeared on Josh Homme's The Desert Sessions Volumes 3 & 4, released later that year. Over the first few years, however, Homme was busy with his other successful project, Queens of the Stone Age.
Despite their name, Eagles of Death Metal (or 'EoDM'), they are not a death metal band at all, in fact they are not even heavy metal. Legend has it that while Hughes and Homme were in a bar a guy exclaimed "This is death metal, dude!" to the Scorpions' "Wind of Change", to which Homme replied "No it's not. This is like the Eagles of death metal". Then the idea came to him, What would the Eagles sound like to death metal; the band got their name. In 2003 Homme later described the sound of the band as a combination of "bluegrass slide guitar mixed with stripper drum beats and Canned Heat vocals."
Their debut album, Peace, Love, Death Metal (2004) saw them some success when several songs were used in American television commercials for Ask.com, Comcast, Payless ShoeSource, Nissan Motors, Budweiser, Pontiac Motors, Wendys, as well as in the trailer for the film Thank You for Smoking and a promotional disc for the film Grindhouse. The first song on the album, I Only Want You, was also used on the soundtrack for the PS2 game Gran Turismo 4, as well as by Microsoft in advertising for Windows 8, and "Miss Alissa" was featured on Nike's FIFA World Cup 2014 campaign video.
After Death by Sexy arrived in the spring of 2006, that autumn, the band had an opening support slot with Guns N' Roses, but this lasted for only one show. Axl Rose referring to the band as, "Pigeons of Shit Metal" from the stage that night; the Eagles of Death Metal subsequently used the phrase on a T-shirt in an effort to thumb their noses at it.
For the album's part, several tracks were used for commercial purposes other than music for Chase the Devil was included in the soundtrack for Tony Hawk's Project 8, Don't Speak (I Came to Make a Bang!) found its way onto the soundtrack for Electronic Arts' Need for Speed: Carbon. Cherry Cola was used in a Microsoft 'Zune' commercial, while Don't Speak was featured in Epic Movie, where the band is seen playing it live; the track also used the Guy Ritchie-directed Nike advertisement for UEFA Euro 2008.
On October 21, 2008, ahead of their third album release, the band performed a live concert at the Hollywood & Highland Virgin Megastore in Los Angeles for the launch of the video game Midnight Club: Los Angeles. With Wannabe in L.A. also used in the game, it was also featured in the music game Guitar Hero 5 and the racing game DiRT 2. I'm Your Torpedo and High Voltage were also featured in the 2009 Austin set film, "Whip It". That third album, Heart On, finally arrived a week later with a North American tour following.
In 2010, touring bassist Brian O'Connor was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy, so Josh Homme, along with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones, announced a concert at the Brixton Academy in London to raise money for his treatment with Abby Travis filled in on bass.
The track High Voltage was then featured in an online campaign for Head & Shoulders in 2010.
In September 2011, Hughes released his debut solo album Honkey Kong.
Zipper Down arrived in 2015 with the membership of Jesse Hughes (a.k.a.: The Devil / Boots Electric; vocals, guitar), Dave Catching (a.k.a.: Darlin' Dave, Davey Jo; guitar, vocals, slide bass), Matt McJunkins (bass, vocals), Julian Dorio (drums) and Eden Galindo (guitar, vocals), but before it could make a name for itself or the band, sinister events were to launch the group into fame during their European tour in November of that year...
While the band was playing a sold-out concert to about 1,500 fans at 'Le Bataclan Theatre' in Paris in November 2015, a group of terrorists, working for the militant group ISIS, attacked the city. Along with attacks on various restaurants, and a failed one at the soccer stadium where a game was playing and the President of France was in attendance, one of the key targets was the concert hall itself where shooters entered and began firing guns at random into the audience and taking hostages; killing 89 with many more injuries. When police raided the event, guns blazing, three of the attackers killed themselves by blowing up bombs attached to their vests, another was shot by police. A Europe wide manhunt for the mastermind then followed.
A couple of days later, a raid on a suburban Paris house rounded up a dozen more in the process of planning another attack, more militants killed themselves by way of self-bombing while the remaining were rounded up after the police expended more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition; among the dead was the man who planned the whole carnage.
The band managed to escape the incident by getting off stage in time. However, 36 year-old Nick Alexander, who worked the band's merchandise table during the group's European tour, was among the people killed in the terror attack; the attack was the largest since the famed '911' terrorist event in New York City, and the largest seen in Paris since WWII.