On November 13th, Eagles of Death Metal were performing at Paris’ the Bataclan when terrorists opened fire inside the venue. The atrocity was part of a coordinated attack across the city that left 130 dead, 89 of which were inside the Bataclan. Though the band’s merch seller Nick Alexander and Mercury Records staffers were among the victims, the band themselves managed to escape. They released a statement a few days later, but now, the band has spoken publicly about the incident for the first time in an interview with Vice.
Co-founder Jesse Hughes, as well touring members guitarist Eden Galindo, bassist Matt McJunkins, and drummer Julian Dorio, recounted the harrowing incident in excruciating detail. One by one, they discussed their recollections of the tragic events, including Hughes’ encounter with one of the terrorists while searching for his girlfriend. Co-founder Josh Homme, who was not on tour with the band at the time, discussed his initial reaction upon learning the news from half a world away.
In a second interview with just Hughes and Homme, the pair revealed that they’ve written down the names of every one of the victims. “We represent the fans that did not make it, the people who did not make it, whose stories may never be told,” Homme said. Asked what he would say to the victims, Homme responded, “I sort of just want to get down on my knees and say, ‘Whatever you need.’ There’s nothing I can really say, because words fail to grasp the thing.”
Hughes said the band will continue to exist, and even hopes to be the first band to play the Bataclan when it reopens. “I cannot wait to get back to Paris … Our friends went there to see rock ‘n’ roll and died, I’m going to go back there and live.” Homme added that the band plans to finish the entirety of their European tour, saying, “We don’t really have a choice. Not only for ourselves and our fans, not only for Nick Alexander, not only because this is our way of life … it’s the human condition.”
What’s more, Eagles of Death Metal are launching a fundraising campaign for victims of the tragedy, encouraging bands to cover their song “I Love You All The Time” so they can donate all publishing earnings. Homme’s own Sweet Stuff Foundation is also currently seeking donations for those affected by the attacks.
Watch the full interview below.
In a separate statement posted to Instagram, Dorio wrote, “Absolute and unnecessary evil turned our world on its head. I am beyond grateful that I was able to find a way out of the venue, but I am mourning those who did not, including our mate, Nick Alexander. My thoughts are with their families.”
Dorio went on to to thank individuals who offered him aide during the attacks, including a man named Arthur, who “selflessly put us in a taxi before himself,” and Fabrice, who gave Dorio a phone so he could call his wife. He concluded his post by saying, “I will never forget it. I am forever changed but hold fast to the love around us. I’m counting down the days until I get to finish that concert. Peace & love.” Read his full remarks below.