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Eagles of Death Metal drummer celebrates life a year after Paris attacks

© Alysse Gafkjen, Billboard Magazine | Portrait of Julian Dorio

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-11-06

Nearly a year after his brush with death in the terrorist attacks on Paris last November, Eagles of Death Metal drummer Julian Dorio is overcoming grief and trauma with the imminent arrival of his first child, he told Billboard Magazine on Thursday.

Julian Dorio was two weeks into his tour as a fill-in drummer for Eagles of Death Metal when terrorists burst into the Bataclan concert hall in Paris and killed 90 people. He spoke to Billboard about his efforts to deal with the trauma of that night, and about how his life has changed.

“There’s before Paris, and after Paris,” he told Billboard, remembering how unremarkable the hours leading up to the attacks were. He and his wife had come to Paris on their honeymoon a few months earlier, and Dorio visited a restaurant the two of them had particularly liked. He invited the bartender there to come to the show, but his shift went too late.

“Thank God he couldn’t make it,” Dorio told Billboard.

When the shooting started, Dorio managed to escape through an exit door. Once outside, he reunited with two other band members and took a cab to a police station, from which he was able to call his wife and tell her he was okay.

'So many contradictory emotions'

The following weeks were confusing ones.

“I remember feeling so many contradictory emotions at once. I was so sad, and grieving the people who were lost,” Dorio told Billboard. “And yet I was so grateful to come home to my family and friends, grateful that I was unharmed.” Watching people get hurt and being incapable of helping them left Dorio feeling guilty and powerless, he said.

Dorio found himself unable to pick up drum sticks after the attack, but in early December he returned to Paris along with the rest of the band to open the U2 concert. His wife was reluctant to let him go back to Paris, but for Dorio the experience was cathartic. Not only was he playing drums again but he was surrounded by crying people who shared the same pain he felt.

Making new memories

When the Eagles of Death Metal returned to Paris the following February to perform the shows that had been rescheduled, Dorio was feeling somewhat defiant. “It was like, ‘We’re f—ing playing. F— those people who make us feel like we’re not going to do what we love,’” he told Billboard.

Heeding the advice of the trauma specialist he had been working with, Dorio brought his wife with him on that trip so the two of them could create new memories together in Paris. A short time after they returned to their home in Nashville, Tennessee, she told him she was pregnant. The couple is sure the baby was conceived during their trip to Paris.

“This is our redemption,” Dorio told Billboard.

Dorio and his wife expect the baby to arrive this month.
 

Date created : 2016-11-06

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