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Eagles of Death Metal tell of Bataclan massacre horror

Published 26/11/2015

Mass confusion and panic overcame the Bataclan when two gunmen stormed an Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Paris theatre, according to the band's graphic first-hand account of the massacre.

Eighty-nine of the Paris attacks' 130 deaths were at the band's gig on November 13, where Islamist gunmen struck, firing indiscriminately at the crowd. More than 100 more were injured in the venue.

In a video interview with Vice News, vocalist Jesse Hughes, 43, recalled how the gunmen, after storming the venue, killed everyone who had fled into a dressing room apart from "a kid who was hiding under my leather jacket".

In the 25-minute interview, bass player Matt McJunkins said he too sheltered in a separate dressing room as some fans rushed to barricade the door with chairs.

One stood wielding a champagne bottle in preparation for a fight.

A woman who had been shot in the leg was comforted by others who applied pressure to her wound.

McJunkins said: "Her blood was running out on the ground. There was a leak for some reason and the whole room was starting to get flooded.

"It started trickling down the stairs and we were worried that might alert someone that there were people in this room."

Hughes broke down as he spoke of the selflessness of those caught up in the horror, including 36-year-old merchandise manager Nick Alexander, from Colchester, who was killed.

He said: "(Nick) stayed quiet and never called for help until he bled out, because he didn't want anyone else to get hurt."

Sound engineer Shawn London recalled the chilling moment he made eye contact with one of the gunmen from behind his console.

When the gunfire first erupted, many people ran to hide behind his desk.

London said: "He looked right at me. He shot at me and missed. It hit my console and buttons went flying everywhere."

The gunman must have presumed London was dead, he said, due to the amount of injured people around him and how quickly he dropped.

Hughes fought back tears as he explained the guilt he felt from leaving his fellow musicians on the stage, and not knowing if they had made it out alive.

He said the hallways of the venue were "like a labyrinth" as terrified concert-goers searched for a way out.

"People just didn't seem to know what to do," he said.

Drummer Julian Dorio has vowed to finish their Paris gig, saying he is "counting down the days" until they can do so.

Hughes told Vice he "cannot wait" to get back to Paris.

He said: "I want to be the first band to play in the Bataclan when it opens back up, because I was there when it went silent for a minute."

Co-founder Josh Homme said: "We don't really have a choice. We have to finish the tour."

The band also vowed to donate the royalties from covers of their music to the victims' families. They challenged music streaming services, such as iTunes and Spotify, to follow suit.

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