Video: Eagles Of Death Metal Describe Escaping The Terrorist Attack In Paris
In an interview with VICE, the Eagles of Death Metal talked about the night of Nov. 13, when terrorists stormed their concert in Paris, killing 89 people, including their merchandise manger Nick Alexander.
Eagles of Death Metal, formed in Palm Desert in 1998 by Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes, were on stage at the Bataclan in Paris when terrorists attacked the crowds at the venue. Footage from the concert shows the band mid-song as gunshots ring out over the music. The band spoke out about the incident for the first time in an interview with VICE founder Shane Smith at the media outlet's Los Angeles office.
Guitarist Eden Galindo said that when the gunshots first echoed through the theater, he thought it was the P.A. system. Galindo hid with vocalist Jesse Hughes in a corner. Another crew member spotted the gunman reloading, and yelled to the rest of the band and crew to run. He said they ran upstairs and into the dressing room, searching for Hughes' girlfriend, Tuesday Cross. However, Hughes spotted another gunman upstairs. The group fled back down the stairs and out another exit, where they reunited with Cross.
Bassist Matt McJunkins chose to hide in a room room on the side of the stage rather than dart across the stage. He was not alone, accompanied by fans, some of whom had been injured. They began barricading the door, and their only weapon was a bottle of champagne they found in a mini-fridge.
Drummer Julian Dorio said he was initially shocked at how much louder the gunshots were than the rock band. He smelled the gunpowder as he crouched behind his drums and saw the gunmen "just relentlessly shooting into the audience." Dorio crawled behind the gear to the right of the stage, and he ran with others while the gunmen were reloading.
Sound engineer Shawn London said one of the gunmen looked at him and opened fire, but the shot hit his console instead. He threw himself to the ground.
"Buttons went flying everywhere," he said. "We all just huddled on the [ground]. I think [the gunmen] thought I probably got hit because I went down so quickly and everyone else around was injured—there was blood all over. He stays there and continued to shoot and shoot and slaughter and just scream at the top of his lungs, 'Allahu Akbar.' And that's when I instantly knew what was going on."
The band ultimately managed to escape and make it to the police station safely. The station was chaos, and Galindo said there were other fans there, covered in blood.
Homme, the founder of Eagles of Death Metal who was not in Paris with the rest of the band that night, found out about the attack before it hit the news via a text.
"The one thing that all the guys in the band kept sharing was…that people came out of their homes to help. The fans that were in there, even when injured, were attempting to help each other and the band," he said.
Hughes tearfully said that many fans died because they would not leave their friends, including Alexander, whom he said stayed quiet as he bled out, hoping that no one else would get hurt. Hughes also said that the terrorists killed several fans who were hiding in the band's dressing room, excluding one who was able to hide beneath Hughes' leather coat.
Hughes and Homme agreed that the band must finish the tour. The band said their record label will donate all the publishing proceeds from any band in any genre who covers their song, "I Love You All The Time," to victims of the attacks. Homme is also raising money for the victims via his Sweet Stuff Foundation. Donations may also be made to the French Red Cross.