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INTERVIEW: Jesse Hughes
Laurie Tuffrey , October 24th, 2012 07:11

We talk to the Eagles Of Death Metal frontman about his new series of On The Road, tracing the history of Black Sabbath AND we've got a pair of Marshall headphones to give away

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Jesse Hughes, frontman of Eagles Of Death Metal and Boots Electic and all-round man of rock, has returned for another stint as presenter on VICE and Marshall Headphones' online show On The Road.

In the new series, Black Sabbath and the Birth of Heavy Metal, Hughes meets up with original Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, before taking a trip round the Midlands to visit the Marshall factory, meet some of Sabbath's contemporaries and find out why the Black Country gave birth to some of England's finest heavy metal exports.

Have a watch of the trailer below, and you can see more episodes here:

We asked Jesse a few questions about his trip, and scroll down to enter our competition to win a rather natty pair of Marshall headphones.

Firstly, why Black Sabbath?

Jesse Hughes: That’s an easy one. Because they’re my favorite band of all time, they’re the band that Ilistened to when I was learning to play music. The very first songs I learned how to play were Black Sabbath songs, albeit very high on drugs.

How did you like the Midlands? What were you expecting from the places you were visiting? Tewkesbury doesn’t exactly sound that rock ‘n’ roll.

JH: I love the Midlands - it just reminded me of the South where I’m from, particularly Greenville, South Carolina. I really know what to expect . I mean you hear so many stories. And I was quite scared as a child when I listened to Judas Priest and Black Sabbath; I remember they scared the crap out of me. You’re right, Tewkesbury doesn’t sound very rock ‘n roll, but then neither does Akron, Ohio or Savannah, Georgia... So to be really honest, I expected nothing but the best, because all I’ve ever heard was the best.

What was the highlight of your trip?

JH: Well, in fact, there were several highlights. The chief highlight of every night was to get naked and freaky geeky behind closed doors with Tuesday Cross [Hughes’ girlfriend and bassist in Boots Electric]. Getting to meet the riff meister behind Diamondhead… Getting to meet the band members of Quartz was of course phenomenal… But it was meeting Krusher and finding in him “a brother of the cog call”, if you will… A lot of people run around acting like magicians, but this man is a true wizard, and I love him so much.

Any lowlights? Getting kicked back by Ozzy’s old front door must have hurt?

JH: Well actually it didn’t hurt very much… I mean, it’s like my very worst blow job, it was amazing.

You went to visit a collection of the plaster cast dicks of rock’s good and great - any surprises there?

JH: Well, there were several surprises. The first surprise was how amazingly adept I wasn’t at handling a dick... I mean I thought I’d be much better at it considering how many times I handled my own. And then of course when I was handling Jimi Hendrix’s dick, it spoke to me in an angelic voice, and said “you’re not so bad”.

Your mission was “to deduce why it all started in the UK, and in particular in the Midlands” - what are your findings Mr Hughes?

JH: My findings are, that the quality of the geography and by that I mean the physical land that all of these great and amazing bands have come from is of the same quality as these bands themselves, so I guess I learned that it all stands to reason. You have to understand I’m from the South and in the South, there’s a certain quality of person because of a certain quality of life. My quality of life is dictated by poverty and hard times but just like the music from the South and the music of the Midlands the people embraced a joy and an attitude that allowed them to overcome everything that sucked... I was immediately able to relate to the place. Some parts of the country look exactly like Georgia and South Carolina… Actually everything that informed what I would go on to use to make music and everything that makes up part of my favorite and most cherished memories was immediately identified in the Midlands and the Black Country of England.

I think what I learned, not necessarily the most, but the best, is exactly why these bands that have come from these places are so truly near and dear to me and why it made so much sense for this to be the next series, why I love doing it so much and why my interview with Bill Ward is probably one of my finest moments... I have to say that Ward is a true hero of mine and he represents everything I always hoped rock ‘n’ roll would be. His humility and sincerity, and his insight into Little Richard with the coolest, greatest and most religious moment I’ve ever had in rock ‘n’ roll. I really love that I look up to him and admire him, and I want to thank you so much for doing the interview and I also learned that getting freaky geeky with my baby Tuesday Cross somehow felt more magical in the freaky forests and along the freaky cemeteries of England than it would in David Blaine or David Copperfield’s jacuzzi.

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WIN: PAIR OF MARSHALL HEADPHONES

One lucky reader will be the winner of a pair of Marshall headphones, as modelled by Jesse in the series - to be in with a chance of winning, just e-mail your answer to the following question to comps@thequietus.com, with MARSHALL in the subject line, by midday Wednesday October 31. The competition's only open to UK residents, and to read the Quietus Competition terms & conditions, click here.

Q: Black Sabbath's Ozzy Osborne famously got peckish for some raw meat during a show, but which of the following animals' heads did the frontman bite off?

A. Hamster
B. Bat
C. Guinea pig
D. Noc, the talking whale