Drummer Jeremy Spencer (pictured below) of Las Vegas metallers FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is one of a number of musicians who have come out in support of LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe, who is facing manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic.
Blythe, 41, is accused of causing the fatal injury that occurred at LAMB OF GOD's May 24, 2010 show in Prague. The singer allegedly either pushed or struck a 19-year-old fan named Daniel N. — a guitarist in a local metal band — and that person died almost a month later of bleeding in the brain.
Randy has been charged with causing "bodily harm of the fourth degree, resulting in the death of a fan" and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Speaking to Rustyn Rose of Metalholic.com, Spencer said, "I think it's really unfortunate [what happened]. From the video that I've seen, it doesn't really look like that would be something that would cause somebody to die. But I guess you really never know; none of us really know the facts. I just think it's a tragedy all the way around. I think for fans these days, especially after the 'Dimebag' Darrell incident, I just think don't [go up] on stage unless you're invited — I mean, that's the only time. Because everything changed after that day. I really feel for Randy, and I wish him the best, and I hope it gets worked out and he gets out and all that stuff. And I feel sympathy for the family of the victim, too, so it's really bad all the way around. These days, it's almost better to stay off the stage unless you're invited, I think. That's my take on it, anyway."
A number of other rockers have come 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 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."
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH bassist Chris Kael simply tweeted, "Everything changed on December 8, 2004. #stayoffthestage #FreeRandyBlythe," while ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian wrote, "It's complete and utter bullshit for him to be treated like a criminal for something he didn't do. Now fans can see firsthand why there's no stage diving anymore. Especially in the post-Darrell world we live in . . . Of course it's sad that this person died, it's a tragedy, but it's not Randy's fault."