During a September 8 Facebook Live chat. ICED EARTH founder, songwriter, guitarist and producer Jon Schaffer was asked if he has any intention of ever going into politics. He responded (see video below): "I'm too much of a rabble-rouser. I'm not politics material. I'm not politically correct. I'm never gonna say things that I don't believe in because somebody's lining my pockets. I have no interest in that garbage. And I think there's a few people out there like that, but they're few and far between. But still, it's really not a thing that I'm interested in."
He continued: "I spend a lot of time and energy trying to get people to do some research. I'm not trying to convince somebody of anything. I'm just saying just check it out. Use your own power of discernment. But don't make judgments based on mainstream media manipulation. These people lie all the fucking time; it's what they do. They're feckless traitors. That's what Congress is. They deceive all of us. I don't care if it's Parliament or whatever system you have — it's a joke. They're criminals, and they're owned by criminal bankers, and that's just the reality of it.
"I would rather be a guy that inspires people to get fired up about this. This is a big deal. This is about the future of the human race. This is no joke by any stretch. We have to educate ourselves.
"People think they don't have any power, but they have a tremendous amount of power — I mean, an unbelievable amount of power," Schaffer added. "The system and the control grid wants to make you feel like you have no power and they enforce their rule through fear, intimidation and psychological warfare. It's all garbage.
"I think part of it is the currency system and the way they just print money out of thin air, and it's not backed by anything, it's allowed people to have this illusion of wealth, which tends to keep people soft. But at the end of the day, it's all debt based, so that's another form of slavery. And if you're living in that kind of system, it's a way to keep people calm, because they think everything is okay. It's not okay. It hasn't been okay for a very long time. It's just now you're starting to see everything come to a head.
"I'm not a left-or-right guy. I'm an American — that's my country; that's where I live. I don't trust my government. I don't give a shit if it's an 'R' or a 'D' next to the name of the person. I try to understand the bigger picture. I've done a lot of reading and a lot of studying. I'm a man of my convictions, and I don't say stuff that I don't truly believe. And I have changed my position a few times through the years, because I've learned more — not because I was trying to be politically correct or trying to kowtow to somebody's opinion.
"I don't really care if people like my view," he said. "I really don't care. It is what I feel, and I'm being honest about it based on the research that I've done, and I've done shitloads of it. I can make these claims and back it up.
"I feel like I can have more of an effect through the music than I ever could trying to get into that arena, which is just full of trash. And it is up to all of the people to turn that around. You can't put your hope into one president or one person, or a mayor or a governor or whatever. You've gotta be out there and actively put pressure on these people, let 'em know you're paying attention. If you're not paying attention, they're gonna rob you and steal everything. Your freedom too. Not just your money. They're gonna steal your fucking freedom. 'Cause they're a bunch of sick control freaks."
This past July, Schaffer raised eyebrows when he voiced his controversial views on the coronavirus crisis during an interview with MetalSucks's "The Quarantinecast", claiming that COVID-19 is "a psychological warfare campaign on the people more than it is a serious pandemic." Implying that a shadowy cabal of elites is using a global crisis as a cover to profiteer and entrench their power, Schaffer said: "I think there's a lot more going on than meets the eye here — in fact, I know there is. Legitimate doctors and scientists are being censored and banned on YouTube constantly. It's unbelievable levels of fraud."
Schaffer and former ICED EARTH vocalist Matt Barlow announced last month that they were reuniting as the SCHAFFER/BARLOW PROJECT.
SCHAFFER/BARLOW PROJECT will release its debut EP, "Winter Nights", in November. The effort sees the two musicians putting their unique spin on five Christmas classics and two ICED EARTH songs. The EP features holiday classics like "Silent Night" and "Little Drummer Boy", as well as new interpretations of the ICED EARTH tracks "Watching Over Me" and "I Died For You".