Priest sorry for saying attacked Bataclan Eagles of Death Metal gig 'inspired by Satan'

Eagles of Death member Jessie Huges mourns in front of the Bataclan concert hall  in Paris, France on Dec 8, 2015.
Eagles of Death member Jessie Huges mourns in front of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France on Dec 8, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - A French priest apologised Sunday for a homily in which he said the Eagles of Death Metal concert that was attacked by extremists in Paris last month was "inspired by Satan".

"I regret fuelling a controversy about some musical genres. It was completely inappropriate and indecent," Francois Schneider told his parishioners in the town of Wissembach in northeastern France, according to his diocese.

Shortly after ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) terrorists attacked Paris on Nov 13, Schneider criticised the band playing at the Bataclan concert hall where 90 people were killed.

A total of 130 people died on the night of horror in the French capital, where a team of nine known attackers targeted the national stadium, restaurants and bars as well as the Bataclan.

Members of Schneider's congregation complained to his diocese.

"Sometimes we are overwhelmed when faced with the diversity and strangeness of some artistic expressions," the priest said.

In a similar case, a priest from the eastern city of Lyon was removed from duty after saying that those who died at the Bataclan were the "Siamese twins" of their murderers.

Despite its name, the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal does not play death metal but rather a hard-charging garage rock.

They are known for loud guitars, a heavy rhythm section and tongue-in-cheek humour.

"The 'death metal' side is ironic. If they have songs that speak of the devil, it's the devil from cartoons," said Jean-Pierre Sabouret, a rock music journalist who survived the attack by hiding for several hours.

"To say that Eagles of Death Metal are a Satanic or metal group would be as idiotic as saying that Mozart played jazz," he said last month.