Eagles of Death Metal singer Jesse Hughes has responded to the Manchester attack at an Ariana Grande concert on Monday that left 22 people dead and more than 50 injured.
“My prayers and deepest sympathies are with Ariana Grande, her band, crew, fans and families,” Hughes wrote in a statement sent to Fox News. “With so much still unknown, I hope we all resist the temptation to speculate and jump to conclusions. I’ve learned, if we keep love in our hearts, no darkness can ever prevail against the light.”
The California-based rock band has previously experienced tragedy first-hand. On Nov. 13, 2015, the group was performing at the Bataclan music hall in Paris that was targeted by terrorists.
In a series of attacks that evening, 130 people died, including 89 at the concert. Members of the band escaped the venue unharmed.
Hughes, who returned to Paris in 2016, said at the time that he felt a “sacred” responsibility to finish the show that was interrupted by gunfire.
“There’s been just such an outpouring of support for us and love for us,” said the 44-year-old frontman to iTELE’s Laurence Ferrari in February 2016. “It’s overwhelming. I just don’t want to let anyone down. This show I’m supposed to put up like a barrier against anything that’s not fun and that we’re really just supposed to have fun there tomorrow. I think that’s what we really need to do is just have fun together so that we can put some of this (expletive) behind us and really leave it there so it doesn’t follow us around for the rest of our lives.”
Asked if the trauma he and others experienced has changed his views on gun control, Hughes, co-founder of the band, said he believes everyone should be armed.
"I think the only way that my mind has been changed is that maybe until nobody has guns everybody has to have them. Because I don't ever want to see anything like this ever happen again and I want everyone to have the best chance to live and I saw people die that maybe could have lived," he said.
"I wish I knew for sure if they could have had a better chance because there were some real angels, real wonderful people in that show that aren't alive today and I really wish they were."
HBO unveiled a documentary in February 2017 directed by Colin Hanks, son of Oscar-winner Tom Hanks, titled “The Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis,” which explored the aftershocks of the terrorist attack and the band’s return to the Paris stage three months later.