The Eagles of Death Metal were in the middle of a sold-out show at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Friday when the cross-city terror attack broke out.
Shootings occurred at six different locations across the French capital, in addition to explosions at the Stade de France stadium, and over 100 have been reported dead in the hostage situation at the Bataclan. Europe 1 journalist Julian Peace, who was inside the building when the shootings began, said two or three people who were not wearing face masks began shooting with Kalashnikov machine guns. As of 12:25 a.m. in Paris, police had finished an assault on the venue, with officials saying at least four of the attackers were dead, according to CNN.
The Eagles of Death Metal updated their fans just before 1:30 a.m. in Paris through their Facebook page. "We are still currently trying to determine the safety and whereabouts of all our band and crew. Our thoughts are with all of the people involved in this tragic situation," they wrote.
Earlier in the evening, Emily Dorio, the wife of Eagles of Death Metal drummer Julian Dorio, told the Washington Post that all of the band members were able to get off stage and are safe. Dorio's brother later told Atlanta-area Channel 2 Action News that the band was about six songs into their show when they heard machine gunfire, and they escaped through a door at the back of the stage that led to the street.
While the Eagles of Death Metal may not be a household name, they are an underground band that's well-respected in the music community. The American group was in the middle of a European tour when the Paris attacks began and originally had a concert scheduled in Tourcoing, France -- a city about 143 miles north of Paris near the Belgium border -- for Saturday night.
If you haven't heard of the band before today, here are five things you should know about the California rockers:
1. They've had a lot of different band members.
Singer Jesse Hughes formed the band with his high school buddy, Queen of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, in Palm Desert, California, in 1998. The two are the only permanent band members, but they've worked with at least 20 other musicians, including Dave Grohl, Brody Dalle and Jack Black. While in Paris on Friday, they were touring with Dorio (drums), Dave Catching (guitar, vocals, bass), Matt McJunkins (bass), and Eden Galindo (guitar, vocals).
The band has released four albums -- including their most recent, Zipper Down, which was released last month -- but their sound is straight rock n' roll. They got their name after a friend of Homme's tried to get him to become a fan of death metal by listening to the Polish band, Vader, according to The Prague Post. Homme promptly labeled Vader "the eagles of death metal," and he liked the phrase so much, it became the name for his band with Hughes.
So what does the band sound like if they're not death metal? Homme has described it as "bluegrass slide guitar mixed with stripper drum beats and Canned Heat vocals."
3. The band saved Hughes' life.
The Eagles of Death Metal frontman has been very open about his past struggles with drug addiction and credits Homme for helping him overcome his demons. In fact, Hughes' mother called Homme at one point, feeling like he was the only one her son would listen to.
4. You've heard their music before.
Since Eagles of Death Metal dropped their debut, Peace, Love, Death Metal, in 2004, their music has been featured on TV and in video games and movies. Among the many: "Cherry Cola," "Flames Go Higher" and "High Voltage” have been featured in nationwide commercials; "Wannabe in L.A." made its way to four video games; "Chase the Devil" was featured in both Tony Hawk’s Project 8 and the action film, Bitch Slap; and the band made a cameo in the 1997 flick, Epic Movie, as the group, Aslo's Camp Band.
Homme is married to Dalle, a musician who most famously fronted The Distillers. They have two kids, 9-year-old daughter Camille Harley Joan and 4-year-old son Orrin Ryder, and announced that they were expecting a third child in August. Adorably, Homme has tattoos for both kids. Homme and Dalle were just in Paris in September for a wedding.
As for Hughes, he has a 15-year-old son, Micah Edwards, who he described as a "mini me." Both musicians still live in the Palm Springs area.
Our hearts go out to those affected by the tragedies in Paris.