In a brand new interview with Sweden's RockSverige.se, vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza of San Francisco Bay Area metallers EXODUS was asked if the murder of PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott made him more cautious about meeting people or being on stage. He responded: "Yeah, it did! Especially for me, because I had just gotten out of EXODUS and who knew if someone was gonna get pissed off and shoot me or the new guy or whatever? People are like that. It was a new level of violence brought into our world that we'd never seen before. Same thing with [John] Lennon. It's just hard to really fathom completely from start to finish."
He continued: "But on stage, of the millions things to think about, I'm not thinking about that. I'm thinking that people are excited that I'm playing there. They're having a good time and I'm gonna rock their world."
Souza added: "I remember one time when I was on tour, this guy was threatening me and giving me horns, so I went down to kinda sing with him and this motherfucker hit me in the face, and hard too, so you never know what's gonna happen. I continued the show, and then I went out looking for him after wanting to kick his ass."
During a May 2010 LAMB OF GOD show in the Czech Republic, 19-year-old concertgoer Daniel Nosek sustained a head injury that allegedly led to the fan's death. LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe was charged with manslaughter in the case, but was eventually acquitted.
Regarding the practice of stage diving, the presiding judge in the Blythe case stated "ninety percent of the audience" must have known that jumping off the stage was prohibited at the venue, as a barrier was in place and concert security had successfully prevented fans from hopping the barricade during the show. The judge also noted that Blythe's hand gestures calling for a round of applause could have been misunderstood as an invitation for fans to come up onto the stage.
A number of rockers came to Randy's defense, with many of them citing the 2004 shooting death onstage of PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott as the reason why musicians are so defensive nowadays about fans invading the stage.
DISTURBED singer David Draiman said: "The only thing [Randy] is guilty of [is being involved in] a horrible accident. Someone comes up on stage, they get thrown back into the pit. [I've] done it a hundred times myself. The fault should be in the hands of the venue security who were supposed to ensure that no one got up there. It's a dangerous thing to try."
Draiman's bandmate and drummer Mike Wengren told The Pulse Of Radio not along after Dimebag was shot that his death had cast a shadow over live performing. "I think one of the most scariest things is, you go up onstage, and there's this energy transfer between the band and the crowd, and you almost feel invincible. You feel very empowered. Never in a million years would anyone ever think something like that was even possible, and I think it just caught everyone off guard. It's pretty scary."