Eagles of Death Metal, the band that was playing at Paris' Bataclan concert venue during this month's terrorist attacks, say they want to be the first act to perform at the club when it reopens. In an emotional interview with Vice, the California-based group described their experiences the night of November 13th, when heavily armed gunmen stormed the Bataclan and killed 89 people, coinciding with a series of attacks at other locations around Paris. The interview is the first that the band has given since that night.
"I cannot wait to get back to Paris," singer Jesse Hughes told Vice. "I cannot wait to play. I want to come back. I want to be the first band to play in the Bataclan when it comes back up. Because I was there when it went silent for a minute. Our friends went there to see rock ’n’ roll and died. I want to go back there and live."
"there's nothing I can really say."
In the interview, each member of the group describes the moments they realized that the venue was under attack, about one hour into their set, and how they fled to safety amid the chaos. Sound engineer Shawn London was directly fired upon when the gunmen entered, and ducked behind his equipment. Julian Dorio, the group's drummer, described how he looked out at the audience from behind his kit. The band also recounted how the attackers killed everyone who had been hiding in their dressing room, except for one fan who was able to hide under Hughes' leather jacket.
Eagles of Death Metal had been scheduled to perform across Europe through early December, but the band has since suspended its tour and returned to the US. Josh Homme, one of the band's founders who was not at the Bataclan that night, said the group will finish the tour, adding that it has decided to donate all royalties from one of its songs to support victims of the attack.
"We have a song called 'I Love You All The Time.' If you're a country artist, if you're death metal, if you're a DJ, it doesn't matter, cover that song and we'll donate the publishing (royalties)," Homme told Vice founder Shane Smith. "Also, I would challenge iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, whomever delivers music to get onboard and if that song is recorded, to donate all of it so the entirety of it can be designated to help anyone that was a victim of this Paris attack, and ruined by this, to build again."
The Bataclan's management has vowed to reopen the venue at some point, though a date has not yet been fixed. Eagles of Death Metal say they've been overwhelmed by the support they've received across the globe since the night of the attacks, yet they admit there's little they can do to ease the suffering of those who lost loved ones on November 13th.
"I sort of want to just get down on my knees and just say 'whatever you need,' because there's nothing I can really say, because words just fail to like, grasp the thing," Homme said, holding a list with the names of everyone who died at the Bataclan that night. "And that's OK too. It's OK that there aren't words for that. Maybe there shouldn't be."