Eagles of Death Metal on Paris Attacks: 'I Didn't Know How I Was Ever Going to Get Back Onstage Again'

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

It's been just over a month since an ISIS terrorist attack killed 89 people attending an Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan in Paris and one can only imagine what that time has felt like for the band's members and all others affected by the incidents of Nov. 13. 

To say EODM have made the best of the situation is not to suggest they've acted as opportunists, but rather survivalists. In an emotional interview with Rolling Stone, the band's Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme discuss how they've managed to get by, including the band's return to stage in Paris with U2 and its determination unite with their fellow musicians for a righteous cause. 

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"Bono knows that I'm a Christian and he also knows I'm a mama's boy," Hughes said. "The very next day [after the attack], a courier came with a phone that had a note that said, 'This is from Bono. Make sure you call your mom.' I thought that was awesome. It was the first time that I really got to talk to my mom without being in a police station and that meant the whole world to me at that moment."

Hughes continued, "Bono called because I needed advice. I felt like the best person to ask for advice on how to deal with this is someone who’s rubbed elbows with world leaders. And he just prayed with me on the phone. He kept my head off of things and then U2 visited the memorial site and delivered lyrics of ours that he thought were appropriate. And that particularly was important to me because I really wanted to be out there. I didn’t want to be in some safe house. I take personal pride in being really close to my fans. I knew a lot of the people personally that didn’t make it and that little detail, just on a personal note, is something that nobody else would ever know that it mattered, but it mattered to me. I didn’t know how I was ever going to get back onstage again."

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Meanwhile Homme, who also leads Queens of the Stone Age and was not performing at the Bataclan show, said that this has inspired him with a new sense of purpose. 

"I generally don't carry the flag for anything," he said. "I'm usually on my own exploration that's often dark, mysterious and perverse. But I find myself and my bandmates -- and Jesse -- in this situation where we're magnetically drawn to this moment to shine a light on a part of ourselves that is ready to help, ready to move, ready to go."

In this spirit, Homme and Hughes launched the new charity campaign Play It Forward benefiting those affected by the attacks with the proceeds from their musical friends covering EODM's "I Love You All The Time." Pearl JamFlorence + the Machine, Kings of Leon and many more have so far participated. 

"Roses grow in shit, and this is a shitty situation," he says of the cause. "It's funny how things this terrible, when you're close to them, how they stop your life in its tracks.... This is where I realize the importance of the arts and music to be able to move quickly to unite people. It's a rare moment when these elements are conjoined."

Read the full interview here


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