After Paris, Eagles of Death Metal Announce the ‘Play It Forward Initiative’ With the Help of Some Rock Star Friends

The band will donate proceeds from their song “I Love You All the Time,” and urge artists covering the track to do the same.

image via (cc) Flickr user Michael Hart Photography

On November 13, California rock and rollers Eagles of Death Metal were playing a packed gig at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris when gunmen burst into the theater, killing dozens, and forever linking the band—and the venue—to what would soon become one of the worst terrorist attacks in modern European history.

Since then, the band has remained relatively quiet, granting a single interview to Vice about the Paris attacks, in which they discuss the tragic events of that night, as well as their plans for the future. Toward the end of their interview, lead singer Jesse Hughes explains that, in the wake of the attacks, the band’s cover of Duran Duran’s “Save a Prayer” was pushed to the top of the charts as the result of a fan-led effort to support the group. As a result, Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon announced that he’d be donating the royalty proceeds earned from the cover’s spike in popularity to the victims of the Paris massacre.

Inspired by Le Bon’s generosity, Eagles of Death Metal have launched what they’re calling the “Play It Forward Initiative.” The band has pledged to donate the rights and proceeds of “I Love You All the Time”—the fourth track on their 2015 Zipper Down album—to the Sweet Stuff Foundation, a charity that supports members of the music industry struggling with illness or disability. The band has also challenged the major streaming services, such as iTunes and Spotify, to do the same.

What’s more, Eagles of Death Metal have put out a call to other artists, asking them to cover their song and donate those proceeds to charity as well. It’s a call that has been answered from a number of major artists, such as jam-rockers My Morning Jacket:

And Mickey Melchiondo, better known as Dean Ween:

In the YouTube description for the cover, Melchiondo writes:

When [Eagles of Death Metal member] Josh [Homme] asked me to cover this tune, I dropped what I was doing on the most important (to me anyway) gig night of my life. I was debuting the tunes from my forthcoming Dean Ween Group" album. I came to the studio with our drummer Ray Kubian (who is a great singer as well) and I had a concept. One sample of handclaps and 8 tracks of grunting in the rhythm of the song and scat singing. I laid down a bass track for an anchor or a guide, sped the song up to 150 beats per minute when the original was about 115. One acoustic guitar, and Ray taking the lead vocal. It went perfectly--we used every track that we recorded. I then called Chris Shaw, who produced Ween's White Pepper album and mixed Moistboyz IV. He is the nest producer and engineer I know and he dropped his Saturday Thanksgiving travel plans to mix it for me. I feel so passionately about this track and I have set my personal goal at one million views and I'm asking everyone out there to share this link and keep sharing it until it reaches that goal.

In addition to established professionals like Melchiondo and My Morning Jacket, aspiring rock stars across YouTube have begun posting their versions of the song:

“Frankly, no one can do this alone,” explained Eagles of Death Metal member Josh Homme to Vice. “And the more united, the more solidarity, the more together it is, the more it’s like a beacon of compassion and love and a progression forward to be part of something greater.”

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