The California-based rock duo Eagles of Death Metal were swept up in a global terrorism drama Friday night while playing a packed house at Paris’ famed Bataclan concert hall. The theater seats about 1,500 people.
Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes are the frontmen of the irreverent hard-rock outfit that has a strong following in the U.K. and Europe and social media fan sightings that include actors Juliette Lewis and Ed Begley Jr. The Eagles at present are promoting their first album in seven years, “Zipper Down,” released in October on Universal Music’s T-Boy imprint.
There were conflicting reports about the band’s whereabouts following the shooting and hostage-taking by multiple gunmen inside the theater.
Entertainment Weekly reported that Homme is not on tour with the band at present and that all of the band members escaped after the shooting began. It was not immediately clear how many musicians were on stage at the concert. Relatives of band members told CNN and the Washington Post that all of the musicians escaped the theater.
In a message sent as French police stormed the theater, Eagles of Death Metal’s official Twitter feed said they were “still trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew.”
The band’s website went down as news of the hostage situation spread. Hughes and Homme are described as best friends who formed the band in 1998 in Palm Desert, Calif. Homme has also been a member of rock band Queens of the Stone Age. Hughes released a solo album, “Honkey Kong,” in 2011 under the moniker Boots Electric, according to Rolling Stone.
The band had a guest shot on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in October to promote “Zipper Down.”
Frontman Hughes has been celebrated for a falsetto that has drawn comparisons to Queen’s Freddie Mercury. A 2004 review of the group in Variety described Eagles of Death Metal as “less a metal band than a burlesque show that fuses boot-scootin’ desert country and glam-rock theatrics.”