The Eagles of Death Metal have relived the storming of the Bataclan during the 2015 Paris terror attacks and say that “evil did not win”.
Members of the Californian rock group provided emotional testimony on Tuesday at a landmark trial into the attacks, which killed 130 people.
The band had been performing at the Bataclan concert hall in the French capital when it was stormed by terrorists of the so-called Islamic State (IS) group. The assailants burst through the hall’s main entrance and opened fire on the crowd at the concert.
The tour manager for Eagles of Death Metal was among the 90 victims killed during the hours-long assault at the Bataclan.
Singer Jesse Hughes and guitarist Eden Galindo told the court that the attacks had upended their lives forever.
“Being from a desert community in California, I know the sound of gunshots,” Hughes said, visibly emotional.
“I knew that death was coming,” he said, adding that the band “ran for their lives”.
Referring to the fans who had attended the concert, Hughes also said that “nearly 90 of my friends were murdered in front of us.”
‘I’ll never be the same’
Galindo told the court he had escaped the Bataclan through a side door, unaware whether the gunmen were chasing them.
He told the trial that he eventually sheltered in a police station “with others there covered in blood.”
“I live a different life. I’ll never be the same,” the guitarist said he thinks of the victims’ families and prays for them every day.
Hughes finished his testimony by quoting former Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne. “Evil did not win,” he said. “You can’t kill rock and roll.”
Salah Abdeslam is the sole surviving member of the IS terrorist cell that attacked several areas of Paris on 13 November 2015. All other suspects were killed by French police or detonated suicide devices.
Abdeslam told the court in February that he had changed his mind about detonating an explosive vest during the attack. He has also broken done in tears, asked for forgiveness and expressed condolences for the victims.
The unprecedented trial is expected to conclude on 29 June, nearly seven years after the attacks.