Official says US band safe after attack at Paris theater
NEW YORK – All members of a California-based band that was to perform at the Paris venue where one of Friday night’s deadly attacks occurred are safe and have been accounted for, a U.S. official briefed by the Justice Department said.
The band Eagles of Death Metal was supposed to perform at the Bataclan, a theater located in eastern Paris near the trendy Oberkampf area. People inside were taken hostage.
It was unclear how many people were inside the theater. French authorities have said that at least 120 people at six sites were killed in shootings and explosions in the city Friday night.
The U.S. official was not authorized to discuss the briefing publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Earlier Friday, management for the band said they were “trying to determine the safety and whereabouts” of the band and its crew.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution, quoting the brother of the band’s drummer, reported Friday night that all band members escaped the concert hall unharmed. The paper identified the drummer as Atlanta native Julian Dorio.
“They saw a man with a machine gun just opening fire,” Dorio’s brother Michael Dorio told the newspaper. Michael Dorio said his brother told him band members hit the floor when they spotted the gunmen, then ran out a backstage door.
They dashed to a nearby police station, where Julian Dorio borrowed someone’s cellphone to call his family in Atlanta, Michael Dorio said.
Josh Homme, one of the founders of the band and the leader of another popular group, Queens of the Stone Age, was not performing in Paris with Eagles of Death Metal, according to a publicist for the Eagles’ record label.
The band, formed in 1998 in Palm Desert, California, was celebrating the October release of “Zipper Down” with a European tour. It’s their first album in seven years.
The AJC said Julian Dorio is not a full-time member of the band but had joined it on a European tour.
Homme formed Eagles of Death Metal with his best friend, Jesse Hughes. Though their name is Eagles of Death Metal, the band’s sound is a mix of blues rock and garage rock.
Their website lists about two dozen dates planned for the year, including stops in Munich, Stockholm, Rome and Barcelona.
In an interview in June with The Associated Press, the band spoke excitedly about releasing new music and heading on tour.
“You know, I’m telling you the truth, but this is the coolest job in the world,” Hughes said, sitting next to Homme. “Right now I’m sitting in an interview with my best friend in London at Koko’s Ballroom talking about myself. It doesn’t really get much better than this!”