It's been nearly a year since an Eagles of Death Metal concert at Le Bataclan in Paris went from rock show to brutal massacre in a matter of minutes, and the lives of the band, their fans, and their loved ones were forever changed by the events that took place on November 13, 2015.
Now, Julian Dorio — a drummer best known for his work with The Whigs, who was touring with Eagles of Death Metal last year — has opened up to Billboard and penned his recollections of that terrible night, sharing excruciating details about the attack itself and his harrowing escape from the venue. (Trigger warning: The following description of Dorio fleeing the Bataclan is detailed and gory.)
I went to the venue close to showtime. It was packed. The shooting occurred out of nowhere. I'll never forget how loud and powerful it was. It dwarfed us. I hit the deck, and the gunpowder just hit my nose. I also smelled iron, which I realized soon after was from all the blood. Within minutes, I managed to find an exit door. In the billionth of a second before I pushed it open, I thought, There’s going to be a shooter on the other side. But what are you going to do? You can’t go back. I opened the door. There were people running everywhere. I took a right and ran.
Dorio continues to walk us through what happens next: He hops in a cab, he heads to the police station, he calls his wife, Emily, and the number of casualties continues to grow. The recovery was slow and confusing, and Dorio reveals that the emotions he felt were contradictory, to say the very least: "I was so sad, and grieving the people who were lost. And yet I was so grateful to come home to my family and friends, grateful that I was unharmed. I can walk, I can still play the drums. You feel guilt, helplessness, watching people get hurt and killed and not being able to reach out and help them. That’s a very powerless feeling and does not go away quickly."