Eagles Of Death Metal this week opened up and shared their raw memories of the terrorist attack that saw 89 members of their audience murdered at the Bataclan in Paris on 13 November. In an emotional interview with the founder of Vice, the band described the horrific events from their own perspectives, with frontman Jesse Hughes declaring: “I cannot wait to get back to Paris… I want to be the first band to play at the Bataclan when it opens back up. Because I was there when it went silent for a minute. Our friends went there to see rock ’n’ roll and died. I’m gonna go back there and live.” Asked about the remainder of the tour, co-founder Josh Homme affirmed: “We have to finish the tour. We don’t really have a choice. Not only for ourselves and our fans, not only for Nick Alexander, but because this is our way of life.”
He also urged musicians to show their solidarity by covering EODM’s Love You All The Time, and called on music providers to donate proceeds to charity. “If you’re a country artist, if you’re death metal, if you’re a DJ, it doesn’t matter: cover that song,” insisted the guitarist. “I would challenge iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, whoever delivers music, to get on board and if that song is recorded, to donate all of it so it can be designated to help anyone who was a victim of the Paris attack and ruined by this to build again. No one could do this alone, and the more united, the more solidarity, the more together it is, the more it’s like a beacon of compassion and love and a progression forward to be part of something greater.” Bassist Matt McJunkins summed up the band’s attitude going forward: “Music is what we do – it’s our lives and there’s no way we’re not going to keep doing it. Hearing from people and hearing their stories, we don’t want that to stop. Anybody who wants to reach out to us, they are welcome… Playing every night, seeing those smiling faces in the crowd, that’s what keeps us going.”
EODM’s message of defiance ought to resound far and wide wherever there are shows to see; however, the French National Union Of Producers, Distributors And Theatres reported this week that following the attacks, ticket sales in Paris have slumped by 80% compared to the same period in 2014. The union are seeking €50 million in emergency aid to help keep the city’s live scene afloat, fearing many venues may have to close as Parisian gig-goers opt to stay at home. The union insist in a statement: “The implementation of this emergency fund is essential. Our 340 companies are composed mainly of small structures, having virtually no assets, and are extremely fragile. The mattress to absorb a crisis does not exist. That is why it’s necessary to reassure the profession by increasing the amount and define the scope of this emergency fund. This amount will cover the additional resources deployed to secure facilities, but also to deal with the decline of ticket sales as observed on this first week.” They also called on the industry to donate €1 for every ticket sold in December to a fund benefitting those affected by the Paris attacks.
In other metal-based charity fundraising news, a Go Fund Me campaign was launched this week to raise $150,000 for medical and funeral expenses after The Ghost Inside’s tour bus crash in Texas on 19 November. Driver Greg Hoke was killed, and band members Andrew Tkaczykt, Jonathan Vigil and Zach Johnson were hospitalised in critical condition after being airlifted from the scene. After ten days, the total stood at $143,000 – $10,000 of which was donated by Bring Me The Horizon. There was another tour bus crash this week when Fear Factory were involved in an accident on the way to Munich, but thankfully there were no serious injuries.
In other hospital news, as if Motörhead haven’t had it rough enough lately, guitarist Phil Campbell was hospitalised on Friday morning with an unspecified condition, necessitating the cancellation of shows in Berlin and Hamburg. In fact just about the best news this week was that a newly-discovered fossil has been named after Henry Rollins. Scientists from the University of Bristol dubbed the ancient worm Rollinschaeta myoplena, due to its impressive three dimensional muscle tissue. “Fossil muscle tissue is rare and usually not described in any detail by palaeontologists, but our discovery highlights that soft tissues preserved in fossils can offer details approaching what we can observe in living organisms,” explained student Luke Parry. “When choosing a name for our muscly beast, we decided to honour Henry Rollins, the legendary, muscular frontman of LA punk band Black Flag.”