As breaking news continues to develop in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks – on Wednesday, French authorities raided a building in Paris suburb Saint-Denis in search for additional suspects – more stories from those directly affected by the attacks are being shared. Puscifer members Maynard James Keenan and Mat Mitchell were not in Paris, but had a very close connection. They spoke with SiriusXM’s Octane host Grant Random to detail the harrowing moments they experienced when their bandmate, Matt McJunkins, was caught in the deadly terrorist attacks at Le Bataclan.
Random told the bandmates he was looking forward to talking to them because of their sense of humor, but when the world was rocked by the attacks, he asked them to talk about what unfolded. McJunkins, who plays in both Puscifer and A Perfect Circle, was touring as the bassist for Eagles of Death Metal when the attack took place.
“It was an awful 24 hours, just trying to figure out where he was,” the Tool and Puscifer singer revealed. “I guess Junk had gotten a hold of somebody’s cell phone in the venue and texted his or called his significant other to say that he was pinned down. The rest of the band got out, but he did not. And then that’s all we heard. We were simply in the dark for the next 12 hours waiting to hear anything.”
Even after the group had seen that the authorities were actually in the building, they still hadn’t heard from McJunkins. “We had no idea if he was a casualty or not,” Keenan continued. “Of course we were up all night and so the show the next day was understandably – we were just exhausted, so it was of course hard to hold back the emotions a little bit, so it wasn’t, this was not our favorite show.”
When Random asked how they continued to perform, Keenan remarked, “You barely do. And you know we weren’t in it — just the thoughts of our friend going through it. We have no idea what he saw yet, we have no idea if he saw all this, or whether he was hiding under [something]. I have no idea. I don’t know that he wants to talk about it.”
They went on to discuss how to move forward after an attack that affected so many, including the music community, so profoundly. Keenan acknowledged that the world is different now, but gave this advice: “Just don’t slow down, don’t stop what you’re doing, but maybe just be a little more aware.”