On Friday, Nov. 13, terrorists launched seven coordinated assaults across Paris, killing at least 130 people. The deadliest of the attacks took place at Le Bataclan, a 1,500-person capacity concert hall, where American band the Eagles of Death Metal were playing. Eighty-nine people were killed as gunmen stormed the venue and opened fire.
The band recounted the evening with harrowing detail—how the realized what was happening, the terror they saw, how they eventually escaped, and the first people they called after—in an emotional sit-down interview with VICE.
Guitarist Eden Galindo remembers when the men opened fire, an hour into their set. “At first, I thought it was the PA cracking up. And then I realized real quick that it wasn’t.” They all shared memories of what they did next, as they had been split in the chaos. Matt McJunkins remembered a particularly desperate account of being trapped in a bloodied room, holding onto a bottle of champagne in case he needed a weapon. After multiple rounds of fire, the group finally got out. Their sound engineer Shawn London, remembers, “When we got out front, we had to jog over bodies that were dead.”
The group then headed to the police station—and Jesse Hughes says the first person he called was Josh Homme, who was not present that evening but is a founding member of the band. “I called Joshua,” the singer says in a particularly endearing moment. “That’s what you do when you’re in trouble. You call Josh. And I instantly stopped worrying a little bit, at least about the uncertainty of things.” Homme joins the group midway through to recount trying to track down all members from overseas.
No members of the band were injured that night. Their merch manager, Nick Alexander, died that evening. Three members of their record label — Thomas Ayad, Marie Mosser, and Manu Perez — were also killed in the attack.
When asked later in the interview what this event means for the future of EODM, one thing is certain: they will return to Paris. “I cannot wait,” Hughes said of returning to the City of Light, “I want to be the first band to play in le Bataclan when it opens back up.”
The interview is streaming in full above.