Eagles Of Death Metal have been pulled from French festivals
Andrew Trendell

10:21 23rd May 2016

Following the news that Eagles Of Death Metal have been pulled from a number of French festivals after frontman Jesse Hughes' controversial comments surrounding last year's terror attacks on the Bataclan in Paris, a survivor from the show has spoken out to give his perspective. 

On Friday 13 November 2015, terrorists carried out shootings at the iconic venue, murdering 89 people as part of a spate of attacks across the city.

Since then, Hughes has caused some controversy with a number of his comments. He called for more people to have guns for protection, before claiming that Bataclan security may have known the attacks were going to happen, and been in on the atrocities

The venue later slammed his views as 'insane', then apologised for his 'absurd accusations' and saying that he was under immense stress and turmoil following the incident, before just last week telling Taki's Magazine: "There's no denying the terrorists were already inside, and they had to get in somehow. During the shooting I went outside and the backstage door was propped open. How did that happen?"

Rock En Seine and Cabaret Vert festivals in France have since dropped Eagles Of Death Metal from their line-ups, saying they are "in total disagreement with Jesse Hughes' recent allegations".

Now, in a lengthy piece for Louder Than War, survivor Tony Scott has responded to Hughes' comments - comparing him to Donald Trump, but arguing that he hopes he gets the help he needs. 

"Like Trump, Hughes words are divisive and he’s using the media to garner publicity for his outspoken views," says Scott. "It’s hard to see who his views are directed at given the channels he’s using for his outbursts. The latest is an American self proclaimed right wing magazine. Perhaps he believes he is supporting Trumps campaign by doing so? Whatever his intentions, political or otherwise his comments are upsetting the online community that came together to show support to him and each other.

"It’s easy to see why his comments are causing so much hurt. Unlike a politician, his fans have invested time and emotion into a band whose music they buy and gigs they attend. There is a rapport between a band and its fans, some of which are dedicated followers. They already feel like they know him. This rapport is strengthened still as Hughes is a fellow survivor and the compassion extended in the community of survivors is also extended to him. Comments in the media like his are a stomach punch to those fans, especially when they are still dealing with their own trauma. He is alienating the very people who helped him get where he is. At his return gig at L’Olympia he expressed his love for the people of Paris yet his words bite into still raw wounds and he doesn’t appear to see the hurt they cause."

He continues: "His words are also causing division within the community when we should be supporting each other. There are some that staunchly defend Jesse Hughes and lambast other survivors for voicing their anguish at his comments citing that he too is a victim and entitled to his express his view. This kind of crosstalk is only exasperating peoples upset as it suggests that Jesse’s hurt is more valid than any other victim. The fact of the matter is that Hughes celebrity status puts him in the media lens and anything he says is amplified across the community. He is no more a spokesman for the events in Paris than any other survivor.

"His comments have also caused promoters to remove his band from the bill at two French festivals, Rock en Seine in Paris and Cabaret Vert in Charleville-Mézières. Rock en Seine would have been an important gig for the band given their solidarity with Paris but now that solidarity falls in tatters."

Scott adds: "It is clear that Jesse Hughes has issues that he needs to deal with and I hope that he gets the support he needs and, following these cancellations, takes time out to address his feelings and the impact it has on his fans, the other survivors and families of those that lost their lives in the Paris attacks."

Eagles Of Death Metal recently released a beer to help aid the victims of the Bataclan terror attacks.  


Photo: WENN