Eagles of Death Metal: ‘We can’t wait to return to the Bataclan’
The band says they were inspired by the “shared heroism” they witnessed during the attack in Paris that killed 89 people
The Eagles of Death Metal were inspired by the “shared heroism” they witnessed during the Bataclan theatre massacre, and “can’t wait” to return to the venue to play once more.
Members of the band hid and others attempted to flee as gunfire rang out suddenly during their performance, and they became witnesses to the horror that would ultimately claim 89 lives in the bloodiest of the November 13 attacks in Paris.
The fear and confusion the band felt as Jihadists fired indiscriminately on the crowd in the iconic rock venue have been replaced in the days since by grief, and defiance.
“I want to be the first band to play in the Bataclan when it opens back up because I was there when it went silent for a minute,” Jesse Hughes, the band’s front man, told Vice in an interview released on Wednesday.
“Our friends went there to see rock and roll and died. I’m gonna go back there and live.”
The bandmates clearly find it difficult to cope with the fact that so many young people who did no more than come out on a Friday night to watch them play lost their lives. Among the victims was Nick Alexander, the band’s British merchandise manager.
“You’re stuck writing down names of everyone who didn’t make it,” says Josh Homme, a co-founder of the band who was not touring at the time but was the first to speak with the band after the attack. “All these names it’s hard to believe… for God’s sake their parents. I wish I could talk to their parents.”
“A great reason why so many people got killed is so many wouldn’t leave their friends,” says Hughes. “So many people put themselves in front of people.”
Hughes describes running to the band’s dressing room in search of his girlfriend before finding himself face to face with a gunman, and fleeing in the opposite direction.
Matt McJunkins, the bassist, was barricaded in a room backstage with several fans, some of whom had been shot, preparing to use a champagne bottle as a weapon if necessary.
Shawn London, the sound engineer, says one gunman looked directly at him, and fired a shot that hit his console, sending “buttons flying everywhere”.
“He stayed there and just continued to shoot, and slaughter, and scream at the top of his lungs ‘Allahu Akbar!’”
Despite the savagery they witnessed, the band says the attack has only reinvigorated their desire to make music and entertain people.
Asked what he would like to say to for fans in France and around the world, Homme’s message is simple:
“Don’t move, we’ll come to you.”