Women in Music 2016

Eagles of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes: 'I've Been Around Guns My Whole Life,' But Paris Crowd Was 'Frozen in Fear'

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Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal perform at the Teragram Ballroom on Oct. 19, 2015 in Los Angeles, Calif. 

Hughes & Josh Homme give first print interview since Paris attacks to Kerrang! magazine.

The Nov. 13 attacks on France’s capital shook all lives, from those of the victims’ loved ones to the residents of Paris to the whole world watching, all with the incredibly painful realization: This happened. It could have happened anywhere. And it could happen again.

Of the 130 people who were killed, 89 had been enjoying a sold-out Eagles of Death Metal concert at Le Bataclan. U2’s Bono called the attacks the “first direct hit on the music industry.” From artists to fans, music lovers have experienced the changes that have come with the horrific happening, be it a canceled performance or tightened security at entertainment venues. Something that has not flinched since the Paris attacks? EODM frontman Jesse Hughes’ pro-gun stance.

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Fresh off of Tuesday night’s performance at the Olympia in Paris, Hughes and Josh Homme are also currently on the cover of rock mag Kerrang!, in which they give their first print interview since the tragedy. The gun paraphernalia in Hughes’ living room is mentioned in the first paragraph.

"I've been around guns my whole life,” Hughes told Kerrang!. “There's a certain thing that's unmistakable about impending doom, when death is on you. It took us a minute to get off the stage. I saw about seven people get shot before I got off. I knew two of the girls. I felt angry. I was yelling at one of them because they weren't moving. They were frozen in fear.”

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Hughes recounted the atrocities, pointing out that he wished those at the Bataclan had had the ability to defend themselves.

“All she had to do was back up three feet and roll over,” he said of one victim in the cover story. “And she didn't move. That bothers me, because they didn't know what to do. I have to wonder what was it that lacked in their lives that didn't prepare them."

Prior to the band’s recent, triumphant Paris performance, Hughes spoke to i-Tele television in France, asking, “Did your French gun control stop a single person from dying at the Bataclan? If anyone can answer yes, I'd like to hear it, because I don't think so.” 

The Kerrang! story mentions Hughes' “new guns,” including a hand gun which now belongs to his girlfriend Tuesday Cross, who Hughes initially could not find when trying to flee the venue.

"I know people will disagree with me,” Hughes told i-Tele. “Maybe until nobody has guns, everybody has to have them, because I don't want to see anything like this ever happen again, and I want everyone to have the best chance to live.”