Eagles of Death Metal, the rock band that was playing in the Bataclan Theatre on the night of the Paris attacks, have spoken for the first time since the event.

The band were an hour into their set when the gunmen opened fire

The band were an hour into their set when the gunmen opened fire Image by Screengrab from Youtube

In an exclusive interview with Vice founder Shane Smith, the band recalled the terrifying details of the night of the attacks, when gunmen opened fire on the young crowds gathered for the concert, killing 89 and wounding hundreds more. Visibly disturbed, the band shared harrowing details of how they managed to escape and what they saw on the night when their own merchandise manager Nick Alexander died.

In a highly emotional retelling, they spoke of becoming aware of the shooting. Drummer, Julian Dorio, recalled how he realised something serious was happening: “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.”

Dorio goes on to recall how he hid behind the gear on stage and crawled on his hands and knees to the other side of the stage where he became aware of people exiting through a fire exit, including his band mates, and got up and ran.


Jesse Hughes has vowed to play the Bataclan theatre again soon

The founder and vocalist of the band Jesse Hughes described how he ran upstairs from the stage to find his girlfriend Tuesday Cross. Hughes instead ran into one of the gunmen and became aware that he was being followed by other people who thought he’d found an exit. He describes running back out and onto the street and finding his girlfriend there along with some of the other band mates.

The band described the scenes at the Bataclan theatre as chaotic, with the backstage area turned into a “labyrinth” with people unable to find exits. Jesse Hughes goes on to describe how the gunmen killed everyone who had gone to hide in the band’s dressing room: “The killers were able to get in and killed everyone except this one kid who hid under my leather jacket.”

He described the heroism of those in the theatre: “A great reason why so many people were killed is because so many people wouldn’t leave their friends, so many people put themselves in front of them.”

Founders Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes end the interview by saying that they want to keep playing for those who died and for rock ‘n’ roll. “I can’t wait to go back to Paris,” Hughes said, “I want us to be the first band to play the Bataclan when it reopens.”

Watch the video here.