JAG PANZER guitarist Mark Briody has offered more information about the circumstances that led IN FLAMES vocalist Anders Fridén to refer to ICED EARTH mainman Jon Schaffer as "the only person on this planet that I can't stand."
As previously reported, Fridén slammed Schaffer in a recent interview over comments Schaffer made during ICED EARTH's 2002 North American tour, which featured IN FLAMES and JAG PANZER as the opening acts. Speaking to the Swedish magazine Close-Up, Anders said, "there were lot of complaints [from Jon on the tour], and our part of the stage was getting smaller and smaller, even though we'd sold out some of the venues before on our own. I could barely stand by the mic stand, that's how tight it was between the drum set and me. Then [I had issues with some of] his statements, which are [very] pro-America, to say the least. He talked shit about Swedes and Europeans in front of us and the other support act JAG PANZER, whose drummer [Rikard Stjernquist] is of Swedish descent. The drummer said 'What are you saying? I'm half Swedish,' to which [Jon] responded, 'Yeah, but you've lived in America for a long time, so we're not talking about you.' I've gotten along with everyone we've toured with, and I didn't think it was [that bad], even though we had differences of opinion, but [Jon] is the only person on this planet that I can't stand."
Writing to the message board of the German ICED EARTH fan site Iced-Realm.de, Briody said, "One minor clarification: Rikard is not 1/2 Swedish. He is fully Swedish. He was born in Stockholm, speaks Swedish and carries a Swedish passport.
"O.K., here's the story -
"There had been limited stage room for us and IN FLAMES for several of the shows. Montreal was particularly bad so Anders decided to talk to Jon about it. It did not go well. Jon told him to take a hike (but not in those words). [ICED EARTH vocalist at the time] Matt [Barlow] told me that Anders approached Jon with an attitude. I wasn't in the room so I'm just relaying what I was told.
"The limited stage room didn't bother me. Of course I would have wanted more room, but we weren't the headliner so we just deal with things like that.
"One thing that I didn't care for is that Anders discussed the subject with us stating that both JAG PANZER and IN FLAMES should have more stage room. But he approached Jon and suggested that JAG PANZER remain with the limited stage but IN FLAMES get more room. I didn't think that was too cool. But it was no big deal either. Things like this happen on tour all the time."