The Eagles of Death Metal have recently become worldwide household names, just not in a way anybody wishes to achieve stardom. Well, everyone knows who they are now because of the recent tragedies that occurred during their live show at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris.
Formed in 1998 by Jesse Hughes and Joshua Homme, the Eagles of Death Metal were about an hour into their set at the Bataclan when chaos ensued. Homme was not present at the Paris show.
Terrorist attacked several locations throughout Paris, France. That night saw 130 people die, with many more still critically wounded due to the senseless acts. In this interview, the Eagles of Death Metal talk about that night and the friends and fans they lost, including their own merch guy Nick Alexander, from this horrific event.
Vice News founder Shane Smith sat down with the Eagles of Death Metal in their Los Angeles offices and talked about the tragedies that happened in Paris. This is the first time the band has spoke about the incident since that night on Friday, Nov. 13.
This emotional interview shows that the band members are still horrified and shocked over the events. Below are some excerpts from that interview followed by the full interview.
Smith asked the band how the tragedy started. Guitarist Eden Galindo responded:
At first, I thought it was the PA cracking up, and then I realized real quick that it wasn’t. And I recognized what, what it was. That time Jesse ran, he ran towards me, and we went in the corner of the stage. We weren’t sure if they were targeting us, or what was going on, you know? Boot, who’s also on the crew, he ah, I guess saw, he saw the gunman like run out of, cartridge run out, and so he took it out to put another one in. And that is when he (Boot) was like let’s go. And then we (Hughes) got up and ran off the stage we (Hughes) went up the stairs, went in the dressing to find Tuesday (Hughes’ girlfriend) but she wasn’t there. He (Hughes) kept going up, and then he came running back down because he saw the gunman upstairs.
Smith then asked Galindo how he got out of the building:
After we come back downstairs, we go out the side exit door onto the street, onto this little street. The kids were, they saw us and they were helping and they were being so helpful and they were being so great and they were like come this way, come this way.
Smith then asked bassist Matt McJunkins his experience through the ordeal:
Yeah when the shooting started, threw down my bass, hid for a second, sort of behind the curtain, sort of behind the monitor desk, and immediately, you know, people started pouring through, there’s like a door, ah to get up to the stage. Stage access and people were coming, and Steve, our tour manager, he was there and, and he’s the first person I saw, and just.. the look on his face, of like, we both… had the same thought, he was like there’s, there’s no exit over here. And he was trying to tell people that. Ya know.
Everyone’s running, well everyone is sort of going up into this room, or you know, just to escape the gunfire, you know, naturally, instinctively, from my perspective, I see the shooting, to see it, to see, you know, the pops go off, the lights flashing, sort of dive over, and then just have to make that decision whether do I really want to run across the stage, or do I wanna just go in this room , hope for the best. So I went into the room with a bunch of people and there’s a bunch of people all helping each other to get up there, you know, holding on and just like lets ya know we’re in this. And as soon as we get there were a few people that have been shot, and were bleeding. People started, we started grabbing chairs to barricade the door. Ah there was like a mini fridge and (chuckles) someone had left a bottle of champagne in the room for like a post show thing. We had, that to use in case. (motions in a stabbing manner)
This prompted Smith to ask if he intended to use the bottle as a weapon. McJunkins replied:
Yeah, cause that’s it. That’s all we had. There was a woman in front of me, who, it was scary cause she was bleeding, you know she got shot right there here (points to thigh) on her upper thigh. And there was nothing to do, except, there was this guy, I don’t know, he was holding her and just keeping pressure on her and she had a friend, who was doing the same thing, and this guy was just trying to like, keep her comfortable, and like , I mean, her blood was running out on the ground. The gunfire got closer. It went on for… you know 10-15 minutes. It just didn’t stop. And then it would stop, and then there was a sence of relief, and then it would start-up again. And then there was an explosion, that just shook the whole room, probably the whole building, and a, of course we didn’t know what that was. so we didn’t know if some one was trying to bomb the place, or maybe trying to maybe blow up the whole venue. Or what.
Smith then turned his attention to drummer Julian Dorio. Smith asked Dorio what he saw happen. Via tele-video, Dorio replied:
I think what really shocked me at first was that we’re a loud rock band, you know? The power of the band on the stage through the PAs, is hard to trump and the initial shots were so powerful for me that, I immediately, I knew something was wrong. I kinda bailed off of my stool. Almost immediately, the gunpowder hit my nose. I turned, looked, sort of through my drum hardware, to the side of an amp, and that’s when the second round started. And I saw two guys out front, and that might just be the most awful thing ever, is them relentlessly shooting into the audience. That’s when I started crawling. I basically stayed almost on my chin. Crawling to the right side of the stage, behind the drum riser. Keeping all that gear in front of me. And once I got to the other side of the stage, Eden mentioned it earlier, and I think Boot and who else I saw the moment of opportunity to run, to that door. They ran in front of me, I saw them, I hopped up, and I ran right behind them.
Smith now turned his attention to co-founder Jesse Hughes. Smith asked Hughes what happened to him during the event as he was looking for his girlfriend Tuesday:
I ran up. I didn’t see her on side of the stage so I ran up to the dressing room. And just like he said, I threw the door open, she wasn’t in there. Then I opened up the hallway door and that’s when I saw…the a..shooter and um he turned on me and he brought his gun down and the barrel hit the a…door frame, and I was like oh f**k. And I turned around and I started, cause I could tell people were following me, you know, this was the situation where everyone was looking for the place to go you know. And a I realized that, and I was like no, no, no do not f*****g come this way. Do not. And we started heading back down and a, we got to that exit door and I still hadn’t seen Tuesday and Julian got out in front of me. Eden was like standing with me (turns to Eden) actually I think if you think about it, you were like what the f**k dude. It was almost like let’s move, let’s go, but I didn’t know what to do, but when Tuesday saw Julian and I heard her voice (deep breath) I knew she was cool and then Eden and I, Eden grabbed me I think and we headed out.
In a separate interview conducted, Smith talked to founders Hughes and Homme. Smith asked where the band goes from here. Hughes stated:
I pledge to every person, who loves rock & roll, enjoy me, I will never, I may be scared, and maybe I went through some bad s**t but I’m breathing. I get to talk to my son tonight. and a, I have a house that is paid for because rock & roll’s blessed me, and been very good to me, and I’ve been blessed with beautiful friends, I feel like I have a life of blessings and I’m not gonna walk around acting like it sucks. I wanna spend my life smiling with my friends and entertaining them. I cannot wait to get back to Paris. I cannot wait to play, I wanna come back. 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, and our friends went there to see rock & roll and died. I wanna go back there and live.