Who Is The Eagles Of Death Metal, The U.S. Band Caught In The Paris Attacks?

Photo: Danny Payne/REX Shutterstock
Updated at 11:45 a.m. on November 18: The Eagles of Death Metal released a statement via their Facebook page expressing grief for their fallen colleagues, friends, and fans after the terrorist attack that broke out during the band's Paris concert on Friday — as well as a message of solidarity in the aftermath. "While the band is now home safe, we are horrified and still trying to come to terms with what happened in France... Although bonded in grief with the victims, the fans, the families, the citizens of Paris, and all those affected by terrorism, we are proud to stand together, with our new family, now united by a common goal of love and compassion." The band also thanks the French police and international agencies who handled the crisis. They announced that all shows are postponed until further notice, before adding, "Vive la musique, vive la liberté, vive la France, and vive EODM."
Updated at 4:05 p.m.: Nick Alexander, a British citizen who was selling Eagles of Death Metal merchandise at the Bataclan concert, was confirmed dead by the BBC.
The Eagles of Death Metal, the band playing the Bataclan nightclub during the Friday night attack on Paris, is not a death metal band. Rather, the band was formed in 1998, in Palm Springs, CA, when Josh Homme (of Queens of the Stone Age) and Jesse Hughes had an inspiring conversation in which the pair were trying to figure out what the '70s rock band The Eagles would sound like as a death-metal outfit. The result: Eagles of Death Metal, a charmingly irreverent blend of 1970s-inspired blues-rock infused with humor. ("Just when you thought it was safe to take your ladyfriends out again, Eagles of Death Metal are perched and ready to swoop in," reads the band's tongue-in-cheek Facebook bio.)
The band initially appeared on The Desert Sessions' (Homme's own band) Volumes 3 & 4 before releasing its debut LP, Peace, Love, Death Metal, in 2004. The group, whose electric live show has an exaggerated emphasis on machismo that walks the line between parody and earnest rocking, is known for lyrics focusing on sex, fast cars, and other somewhat stereotypical aspects of California life. In other words, Eagles of Death Metal is a quintessentially American band. The group was in Paris Friday night as part of a world tour that has since been canceled. The band recently told Rolling Stone that it just "want[s] everyone to belong" at its shows — and was clearly looking forward to playing the packed venue. Bassist Matt McJunkins posted this anticipatory photo from the Bataclan earlier that afternoon.
According to drummer Julian Dorio’s brother Michael, who spoke with Atlanta's Channel 2 Action News, the band was several songs into its set when chaos began. "He said they were playing, about six songs into the show, they heard, before they saw anything, they heard automatic machine gunfire. It was so loud, it was louder than the band, and they hit the stage floor," Michael recounted. "As they got up to try to evacuate they saw men with machine guns just shooting anything and everything in the venue. They heard more than they could see because of the stage lights. I don't know if it was seated or standing but Julian, the lead singer and some of the crew, there was a door back of the stage that led to a street and they flew out the back door."
Though an early report from NBC News stated that one of the band members had been killed in the attack, a representative for the group confirmed to Rolling Stone that all members of the band were indeed safe. "We are still currently trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew," the group posted in a statement on Facebook. "Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation." The Eagles of Death Metal is now preparing to return home, according to the AFP, cutting short a European tour that would have included a show in northern France tonight and culminating with a December 10 performance in Portugal.
For full coverage of the attacks on Paris, click here.

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