Two weeks after ISIS militants besieged the Nov. 13 concert of rock band Eagles of Death Metal, the group has opened up for the first time about the terror they experienced during the horrific attack.
Lead vocalist Jesse Hughes, guitarist Eden Galindo, bassist Matt McJukins, drummer Julian Dorio and sound engineer Shawn London agreed to sit down with Vice co-founder Shane Smith to discuss their the incident. The band’s co-founder Josh Homme — who was not present at the Bataclan theatre during the incident — also spoke with Smith for the interview.
Each band member offers a detailed account of how they responded to the attacks and the immediate efforts they made to escape the gunfire.
“The power of the band off the stage through the PAs is hard to trump and the initial shots were so powerful for me… I knew something was wrong,” Dorio said. “I kind of bailed off of my stool. Almost immediately, the gunpowder hit my nose.”
London detailed what he witnessed near the entrance of the theatre.
“These kids were having a blast, they were having a great time,” he said. “The smiling, the dancing, the singing along with each song… and then, out of nowhere, I heard what I thought were these firecrackers directly behind me.”
London witnessed two gunmen enter the venue and begin relentlessly firing rounds into the crowd. One of the men fired at London, but missed.
“He stayed there and continued to 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.”
London managed to escape the theater, while Dorio and other band members sought refuge in various rooms backstage.
When Homme joins the interview, he details his memory of first learning of the attacks. Later Homme and Hughes emotionally discuss the loss of Eagles of Death Metal merchandise manager Nick Alexander as well as their feelings of gratitude toward fans, efforts to support victims and plans to eventually return to site of the massacre.
“I want to be the first band to play in the Bataclan when it opens back up. Our friends went there to see rock and roll and died. I want to go back and live.”
Watch Eagles of Death Metal’s full interview below: