We’ve all heard the news, whether from a friend, our televisions or the Internet. No matter how we realized the event had happened, we were all truly heart broken. To know many music lovers, musicians, entrepreneurs and families lost not only their lives but people they loved as well, was devastatingly tragic.
On November 13th, 2015 a series of attacks took place throughout France. Three shooters entered The Bataclan Theatre and immediately started shooting around an hour into the Eagles of Death Metal’s set. There were said to have been 89 deaths in the venue with an additional 368 sustaining injuries. Among those killed was the band’s merchandise manager, Nick Alexander. The attacks were also said to have been a retaliation against France for it’s air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. ISIS claimed responsibility and France launched its biggest air strike in response, just two days following the atrocious attacks against Paris. Among all of the chaos and victims were the band themselves. Though EODM co-founder Joshua Homme was not present, this interview with VICE shows how heavily both he and the members that were there that night were effected by this tragedy. Watch below.
VICE interviewed them just over a week after the attack, and gained insight as to what happened in many different areas of the building as the band and their fans fought for their lives. This interview also takes the glamour out of speaking with a highly regarded band and exposes the vulnerability that comes with being thrown into such a hostile and terrifying situation. That is something we don’t see in the music community as often as we think. It brings humility to the music scene, and forces us to sympathize with these guys just from knowing their first-row points of view of the attacks.
After watching this, the thing that will stick with me indefinitely is that most lives were lost because they were practicing humility the best they could; by blocking friends or simply not leaving them behind. Such a tragically beautiful fact and idea; that we can protect one another even in such harrowing situations. The band members present during the attack were Jesse Hughes, Matt McJunkins, Eden Galindo, Julian Dorio, and their sound engineer Shawn London. These men tell their versions of the brutal attack that occurred that night in the very different sequences dependent on their position on stage and who was around. The band explains first-hand just how terrifying this was. Then you hear Josh Homme’s version and his feelings on the subject. It is stated by Jesse Hughes in the interview that Josh was likely the first person in the world to truly know what had happened because of the real time connection to the band. It is clear to see on their faces how thankful they are to be alive today and how devastated for their fans family’s and friends for those lost.
The important thing about this band- especially in the context of this event- is that they stand up for the music. This attack not only hit close to home in terms of our nation’s allies, but also in our most sacred, regarded safe place; the music scene. The place where adults, teenagers, kids get to listen to the music that holds them together. The place that people around the globe get to be in the same physical room as their biggest heroes. Music is a powerful thing, and I commend The Eagles of Death Metal for powering forward for those victims. The Eagles of Death Metal is an American band founded by Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme in 1998.
It’s very important to me that they were there because since ATYPICAL SOUNDS thrives in Brooklyn, NY, most of us have seen this band grow from the ground up. EODM handled this situation with such grace and humility, showing the world that love and solidarity is what will overwhelm violence. That we should never give up, but not harm others in the process. We cannot be afraid, we have to show the people who initiated and facilitated these attacks that we are not afraid.
Once this interview was made public, tons of my friends were sharing it on Facebook. I won’t even lie, I cried. Everyone had heavy hearts. Most importantly though, everyone agreed with continuing to pursue their love of music with as much passion and strength and love as we have ever had before. We won’t be scared; it was like a universal chant for love, strength and solidarity. We will not back down; music is in all of our souls and it showed very frequently in the comments, shares and conversations that this was a global thought.
As music enthusiasts here at Atypical, the Beasts know it is our way of life, not only an interest we share with all of you. We all know the joy and love of being in the crowd, soaking up the energy and soul that reverberates off the walls, and many of us know that connection from onstage just as well. This news hit us pretty hard considering we spend a massive amount of our time at shows, and this could have been anyone we know. But most importantly it was everyone that we know, we are all a family.
ATYPICAL SOUNDS offers our deepest condolences to all of the victims and their families, and we hope that through continuing to strive for local music scenes to thrive and keeping touring bands moving, we can help bring hope to those feeling discouraged about music because of these attacks. Josh Homme’s Sweet Stuff Foundation is currently raising money for the victims of the Paris attacks. All donations received before December 31 will go to the families of those who lost their lives while indulging in their passions.