Still reeling from the terror attack that killed 89 people at their concert in the Bataclan theatre on Nov. 13, Eagles of Death Metal have opened up about the horror that occurred in Paris, and how U2 helped them overcome it.
“Bono knows that I’m a Christian, and he also knows I’m a mama’s boy,” Jesse Hughes told Rolling Stone magazine. “The very next day [after the attack], a courier came with a phone that had a note that said, ‘This is from Bono. Make sure you call your mom.’ I thought that was awesome.”
Hughes still struggles to talk about the attacks (which killed a total of 130 people across the city) without crying. “If I get emotional, I apologize,” he said during the interview, as tears welled in his eyes. “It’s not in a bad way. I really am very touched by the true sense of community that I’ve experienced in rock ‘n roll.”
Soon after the massacre, Hughes didn’t believe he could ever get back on stage again, however a phone call from Bono helped him find the strength. “He just prayed with me on the phone. He kept my head off of things,” the rocker said.
And perform again they did — on U2’s stage during their mega-concert in Paris at the Accorhotels Arena, no less.
“I feel bound to France forever now,” Hughes said. “The reaction of the country in general was wonderful to me, and so U2 gave me the opportunity to come back and go through my mourning process a little more naturally instead of feeling like I left my heart there.”
On Dec. 18, Eagles of Death Metal launched their Play It Forward website, which features 13 cover versions of their song “I Love You All the Time,” by bands as diverse as Imagine Dragons and Savages, as well as Florence and the Machine and My Morning Jacket. All the proceeds benefit those affected by the Paris attacks.
“I had no idea how eager and how sincere the response would be,” Hughes revealed about the response he has gotten from both fellow musicians and fans. “As someone who really, really needed this shit personally, I couldn’t feel more accomplished in our goal.”