The Eagles of Death Metal were in the middle of a headlining set Friday night at the Bataclan, a concert hall in Paris' 11th arrondissement, when shooting broke out in the crowd. Two or three unmasked gunmen "came in with what looked like Kalashnikovs and fired blindly on the crowd," according to Julien Pierce, a Europe 1 journalist who was inside the Bataclan, reports Fox News. It led to a hostage crisis in which at least 100 hostages were held, according to the Associated Press.
The band was reportedly not among them, according to the wife of Eagles of Death Metal drummer Julian Dorio. "We are just holding our breath and saying prayers for everyone," Dorio's wife, Emily, said according to the Washington Post. "He called to say that he loved me and he was safe. Everyone onstage was able to get off." However, a Facebook post from the band says they're still trying to account for all members.
Despite their name, the Eagles of Death Metal are not a death metal band. A garage rock project put together by guitarist/vocalist Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme, occasional drummer and also founder of the Queens of the Stone Age, the band's name comes from a joke a friend of Homme's once made, trying to turn Homme on to death metal. That friend played Homme the Polish band Vader and described it as "The Eagles [referring to the American classic rock band] of death metal." Homme loved the term so much he borrowed it for the group.
Homme once described the band's sound as "bluegrass slide guitar mixed with stripper drum beats and Canned Heat vocals," according to the Prague Post. The group dropped its first album, Peace, Love, Death Metal, in 2004 to mostly positive reviews. They've released three albums since, with their most recent Zipper Down dropping in October, led by the single "Complexity."
The release coincides with the Vice documentary The Redemption of the Devil, which follows a tumultuous year of Hughes' 40th year of life, one in which he apparently became ordained as a Protestant minister, prepared for his marriage with adult film star Tuesday Cross and fit recording sessions in between. This absurd collection of events are par the course for the Eagles of Death Metal. It's a project that's always been characterized by its humor and ability to pull together the most disparate musical elements into an always unpredictable and rowdy rock 'n' roll amalgam.
Check the trailer for the group's The Redemption of the Devil below.