U2’s Bono on Paris attacks: ‘This is the first direct hit on music’

U2 have been forced to cancel their Paris gigs following the terrorist attacks

U2 frontman Bono has called the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday “the first direct hit on music”.

“If you think about it,” he said on Saturday (November 14), “the majority of victims last night are music fans. This is the first direct hit on music that we’ve had in this so-called War on Terror. And it’s very upsetting. These are our people… The cold-blooded effect of this slaughter is deeply disturbing and that’s what I can’t get out of my head.”

He was speaking to Irish broadcaster RTÉ after cancelling U2’s shows in Paris over the weekend, following the attack on Eagles Of Death Metal’s sold-out gig at the 1,500-capacity venue Bataclan, where 89 people were killed by gunmen.

U2 were rehearsing nearby at the time, and Bono commented, “Our security locked it down quickly and we got our crew out of there safely. Then we watched TV like everyone else in disbelief at what was happening. This could be me at a show, you at a show. It’s a very recognizable situation. All our thoughts are with the Eagles of Death Metal fans.”

NMERichard Johnson/NME


Bono also addressed questions about whether he would go back to Paris, saying “I think music is very important and that U2 has a role to play. I can’t wait until we get back to Paris and play. And that’s the feeling we’re getting from fans is these people will not set our agenda. They’ll not organise our lives for us.”

U2 were in a similar situation after 9/11. “We were the first big band allowed back into New York after 9/11,” Bono said. “The feeling in Madison Square Garden was unbelievable. The feeling was, ‘This is who we are. You can’t change us. You’re not going to turn us into haters. You’re not going to change the way we go about our lives.’ I hope that will be the feeling at Bercy when we get back there.”

Listen to the full interview below: