Surrendering to Death
Eagles of Death Metal recently finished a Canadian tour and I got to sit down with vocalist Jesse Hughes and discuss the Bataclan attack in Paris that killed 89 of his fans. You’d think he’d want to avoid the topic, but he was actually eager to get into it. He sees it as a catharsis.
Hughes is not happy with the way the media has treated the story. Details are randomly pulled from his interviews and entire angles are edited in later that are diametrically opposed to his beliefs. Jesse Hughes has been ordained as a minister by the Universal Life Church. He’s pro-gun, pro-Trump, and pro-life. He recognizes that Islam is the problem and political correctness is literally killing us.
Takimag: It’s hard to talk about the attack without sounding like you’re blaming the victims, but it’s impossible to deny fear of Islamophobia and fear of guns led to a lot of deaths that night.
Jesse Hughes: I saw fear fall like a blanket on the whole crowd and they fell like wheat in the wind—the way you would before a god. I was totally alert from the very beginning. The first thing I needed to do was find my girl. Fear took a backseat and “where’s my girl?” took over. I could smell gunpowder in the backstage area and I knew someone fired a round back there. I saw a guy with an FALand when he turned to face me his eyes looked like marbles. He was stoned out of his mind, and we now know they were on Xanax and cocaine. I recognized him. I’d seen him earlier in the day and noticed him staring at us.
They were in the venue early. That implies some staff were in on it.
I got in a lot of trouble for saying that. I know for sure that they were in there early. I remember them staring at my buddy. I just chalked it up to Arab envy. You know what I mean? When a Muslim sees a cocky American dude with tattoos, he stares at him. I realized later it was Abdeslam and he was staring at my buddy because they thought he was a threat. 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?
Do you think political correctness is killing our natural instincts and making us vulnerable?
Definitely. There were two girls who were involved. They were at the venue and vanished before the shooting, and these women were in traditional Muslim garb. They knew people wouldn’t check them because of the way they were dressed. They got caught a few days later.
The fear of offending Muslims is a terrorist’s greatest weapon.
Look at the guys who bombed Brussels. They were wearing black gloves on one hand. Their luggage was too heavy to lift, but they didn’t want anyone helping them with it. Nobody brought any of this up until after the bombs went off.
We’d rather die than be called a bigot.
How is a faith being associated with racism? Just take out the word “Islam” and replace it with “communism.” It’s an ideology. The same way the Rosenbergs could sell nuclear secrets from within America is the same way Muslim terrorists can attack us from within. It’s okay to be discerning when it comes to Muslims in this day and age.
Where is this push coming from? Is it all our fault?
Of course not. When you’re at a soccer game in Europe and you see the words “United Arab Emirates,” you know there is a lot of Arab money floating around and influencing the dialogue. The conversation is constantly being steered away from scrutiny. They think we’re fools.
Arab money is a pollutant. So many movies are made with Arab money. George Clooney doesn’t kiss the ass of the Arabs for no reason. American movies are the best way to influence the hearts and minds of the world.
You never see bad guys in movies who are Arab terrorists. It’s always Germans or French…
Or conservative Christian rednecks. They’re apparently what’s wrong with everything in the world now, including global warming. What about the other ice age we went through? There were no Christian Republicans back then. What caused that meltdown?
The other problem with that is, when you get rid of these Christian rednecks, you create a vacuum and it gets filled with people way worse. It gets filled with Islam. You end up replacing evangelism with sharia law.
Politicians behave better when they know people are watching. We behave better when we believe Jesus is watching us.
These atheists tell us we don’t need religion, yet everyone seems to be creating flimsy substitutes to replace it. Rehab is just Lent. Meditation is just Latin Mass. Seeing a therapist is just talking to your priest.
And the thing about the Bible is it’s written down. A therapist can change his diagnosis just like that and there’s no way of calling him out on it.
Let’s get back to the attack. Why didn’t the cops come in earlier? It seemed like the killing went on forever.
The press heard some kids were locked away in rooms so they reported it as a hostage situation. Those kids were hiding. This misinformation meant the cops set up outside for a negotiation while inside dozens of people were dying.
The terrorists would go up to bodies and stick them with the gun. If they budged, they’d shoot them again. One girl got up and said she was scared. The guy said, “Don’t be scared, you’ll be dead in two minutes,” and then he shot her, BOOM.
The French are so concerned with racism, they’re letting Muslims get away with murder.
A day after, at the stadium, Muslims booed the moment of silence and we barely heard about it in the press. I saw Muslims celebrating in the street during the attack. I saw it with my own eyes. In real time! How did they know what was going on? There must have been coordination.
I’ve heard you say you credit your childhood with your survival. You had a real dad who stuck around and taught you about guns.
I knew what gunfire was. I was able to think through it. I was also able to remember practical lessons of my life because I had to be in fights as a kid. My mom didn’t go sue anyone. I didn’t have playdates. I had some practical upbringing growing up in the desert where you got to get yourself out of your problems.
Also, the reason I’ve done well with this healing process is everything I was raised to believe was affirmed that night. In a way, that’s a blessing of God. When the first bullets started being fired, people looked at me. I remember that. It pissed me off because I knew right then and there it was going to be bad. I knew these kids had no idea what was coming. None. They’d never heard a gunshot in real life and it hit them so hard.
Political correctness kills.
Davey [bassist Dave Catching] was in the middle of the stage and when the lights went on, he saw shit he’d never seen before in his life, awful stuff. It has no parallel. It’s not just death. It’s the most unsuspecting, innocent victims you can imagine—people who are gripped in terror and can’t move as a result of it.
It’s like a metaphor for all of Western civilization.
I watched about seven people die. A couple of them were three feet from the barrier. They could have fallen backwards and been alive but they were too scared to even turn around. I remember a woman just standing with her hands up in a surrender pose. The terrorist finally saw her and all she did was go, “No no no.” She surrendered to death in front of my very eyes. I was yelling at her, “HEY!” and I don’t think she could hear me. She was so terrified, I think she’d already given up.
Is it fair to say the liberal mentality created this need to surrender?
I will lay the blame right in its lap. When you tell people they can’t help themselves and that they’re children, you weaken them to a point where three feet away is life and they can’t see it because they’re too scared.
In a way we’re unarmed twofold. We’re literally unarmed and we’re also mentally unarmed.
It’s like the bleating sheep from Animal Farm. You suggest anything that strays from the narrative and this chorus of bleats comes to drown you out. This attack didn’t happen by accident.
I went to Paris after the attacks and was disgusted by the lack of rage. They didn’t blame Islam. In fact, many blamed the Jews. They seemed more concerned with us promoting xenophobia than laying blame on the terrorists.
I hung out with plenty of Parisians who were fucking pissed off, but it was mostly cops and military. During the attack, one cop finally realized it wasn’t a hostage situation and yelled out, “It’s a turkey shoot” as he charged in, holding his gun. He got shot right through the hand and into the neck and kept going. He took a terrorist out, chased another one into the hallway, who then blew himself up, and did it to another guy, who blew himself up on stage. Our amplifiers were a gory mess.
Did that cop live?
Yes, I met him in triage. I hung out with him. Great guy.
You went to the hospital?
I had pieces of teeth and human bone pulled out of my face. A girl got shot right next to me by the shooter at the top of the stairs who I had met earlier. She stepped one step in front of me and her head just exploded. It blew pieces of her teeth and skull into my face.
Why don’t we hear about this?
The media wants to summarize it, and important details get lost. The most important detail being when they started shooting, they were already inside. If they were hanging out enough to let three people go, then they knew security dudes. They knew bouncers. They knew doormen.
Do you think a percentage of the security staff was Muslim?
I know they were. Look, security guards backstage are notorious for being dicks. They check your ID every few minutes and nobody goes back and forth without being checked, even if you’re in the band. This guy didn’t care what we did. He didn’t even look at me.
The only time he seemed remotely interested in us was when he said to my girlfriend, “Do you speak French?” and “Where are you from?” She said she was from Texas and he was getting frustrated because that’s not what he meant. Then she said, “I’m American” and he lost interest. I honestly think he was trying to determine if she was Arab or not. She’s Mexican and she could easily pass for Lebanese and I think he was going to warn her if she was Muslim.
I kept opening up the back door to smoke and that’s usually a big no-no because of the sound ordinances. I’ve played there before and opening up that door to smoke got you in big trouble. This time, the security guy walks right past me and anxiously looks down the alleyway in either direction.
Maybe one of the reasons the cops are so much more pragmatic about this threat is that they are the ones who have to go into Les Banlieues and confront these people. Naïveté is a luxury they can’t afford.
When the cops went in after the attack, they shut down, what, 450 mosques? They found recruitment material in every single one of them. What the fuck is wrong with us that we don’t know about that?
Parisians think everyone is innocent, but the cops don’t. They even investigated you.
I was a person of interest, yes. They interrogated me for four days. I ended up helping them a lot by getting cell-phone footage. It was the cops and the FBI who asked me about the promoter and the security. This isn’t something I brought up to them.
We had eight police officers in our audience that night. They all had the same conversation with their wives, which was “Should I bring my gun or not?” All of them said no. When we went back and played Paris again they stood in the same places they stood at the original show and they opened their jackets and showed me their guns as if to say, “Not tonight, motherfucker.” It was beautiful.
Islam is crying wolf about Islamophobia in order to anesthetize us and make us easier prey.
They know there’s a whole group of white kids out there who are stupid and blind. You have these affluent white kids who have grown up in a liberal curriculum from the time they were in kindergarten, inundated with these lofty notions that are just hot air. Look at where it’s getting them.
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