Josh Homme Was Inspired to ‘Play More and Play Louder’ After Terror Attacks
Two years after the terror attacks that left dozens dead at an Eagles of Death Metal show in Paris, band co-founder Josh Homme remains as determined as ever to spread joy through music — and rededicated to the charity efforts that have long gone hand in hand with his entertainment career.
Homme spoke with NME about both subjects on the eve of his solo set at this year's A Peaceful Noise festival, scheduled to take place Nov. 25 in London. The second annual edition of the event, the show will benefit two charities — the Nick Alexander Memorial Trust, established in honor of the crew member killed in the Paris attack, and the Sweet Stuff Foundation, founded by Homme in order to help musicians pay for treatment associated with illness and/or disability.
Explaining that he established Sweet Stuff with his father and brother after seeing more than one of his peers struggle to cover medical bills, Homme admitted that it was difficult to maintain focus on the foundation after the tragedy in Paris — but pointed out how prevalent these issues remain. "It’s difficult to live in the world where you need green paper before you can die," said Homme. "We were just setting up this charity to be able to help in this way, when the unfortunate events in Paris occurred. There’s a lot of pressure dealing with something like that. You want to make sure as much as every donation goes somewhere that really helps. It’s nice to be able to make sure the money goes where it should go."
Of course, leading any kind of charity initiative is a logistical undertaking, and Homme admitted Eagles of Death Metal weren't really prepared with a non-profit infrastructure capable of handling everything the victims of the Paris attack might have needed. But he came away inspired by a widespread willingness to help, a belief that "people want to be part of something beautiful," and an even greater drive to make a difference with his art.
"In my life, music is more necessary than it’s perhaps ever been," added Homme. "Music is how you explain yourself. It’s how you respond to things in terrible times, how you exorcise those demons. And music is how you can celebrate the ability to stand back up on your feet. It was mandatory to play more and to play louder."