On Saturday night, the Eagles of Death Metal band, which was onstage at the Bataclan theater in Paris on November 13 when Islamic terrorists killed 89 people, played their first concert in Europe since the massacre.
Nick Alexander, the merchandising manager for the Eagles of Death Metal, was murdered in the attack; Eagles of Death Metal lead singer Jesse Hughes said he died protecting a friend by “staying quiet and never call[ing] for help until he bled out, because he didn’t want anyone else to get hurt.”
The band performed at Stockholm’s Debaser Medis Saturday night, but before they did, EODM frontman Jesse Hughes was interviewed in a moving and riveting interview on the Swedish morning show Nyhetsmorgon.
Asked how it felt to perform again after the massacre, Hughes responded, “There’s a heaviness in my heart; it’s difficult to pretend it’s not there. We started here in Sweden so we could build up the momentum to get to Paris … I don’t want to let anyone down.” Tearing up, Hughes continued, “I know there’s a lot going into this that’s really, it’s intense for everybody. That’s kind of what it’s supposed to be; it’s not supposed to be easy.”
Speaking of the band, Hughes said, “It’s not inside us to let the bad guys win … I don’t let anyone rent-free in my brain. It’s just not in me. I don’t deliver the message of the enemy. Ever.”
Hughes pointed out the terrorists started shooting simultaneously with the last note of the song the band was playing, adding, “On the very last note of the song, almost a diabolical syncronicity.” Hughes fled the stage; he recalled, “By the time I got to the side of the stage, I could taste copper pennies in my mouth ‘cause I was breathing in the blood that was being blown into the air.”
As the tears really started to flow, Hughes continued, “I really love my fans. I get to know them, y’know? For ten years I’ve been touring around the world; I look forward to seeing these different groups of kids that are going to be waiting … There were a few girls who had been waiting out in front that I had been speaking with and hanging out with who actually took me to a knife store so I could buy a switchblade, and I saw a couple … a couple of those girls go down.”
Desperately looking for his girlfriend, Hughes was almost butchered by one of the terrorists. He stated:
I went back up into the backstage area to look for her and she wasn’t there and then I opened up a hallway; and when I went inside the hallway, there was a dude at the end it holding a gun. He didn’t see me. The door shut behind me, and I was trying to back up, like very sneaky – but he noticed me. I thought I was dead just waited for the shot to hit me. When he went to pull his rifle down, the barrel of his gun hit the doorframe, thank God. When it hit the doorframe, I hit the door, and I opened the door. He started firing, and his rounds shut the door behind me; the bullets pushed the door shut behind me.
Hughes confessed, “I’m a raw nerve.”
Speaking of the fans that will return to see the band perform in Paris, Hughes said, “I don’t really think it’s very difficult for me … they’re probably in a car, or taking a train by themselves to get there. That journey alone has got to be terrifying. As soon as I get them in my arms, though, I don’t want to let them go.”
Remembering the slain, Hughes concluded, “I didn’t see a single coward; I didn’t see anyone do anything cowardly. I just saw people doing some of the most beautiful things a person could do. For lack of a better way to describe it, my friends died very beautifully. They died very well, with great courage.”
The Eagles of Death Metal will perform in Paris on Tuesday at the Olympia.