Jon Schaffer's ICED EARTH bandmates have distanced themselves from the violence and destruction of property at the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday (January 6). The ICED EARTH guitarist and founder is among dozens of people wanted by the FBI for storming Capitol Hill that day.
Earlier today, singer Stu Block, bassist Luke Appleton, drummer Brent Smedley and guitarist Jake Dreyer released the following statement: "We want to thank those of you who have sent words of support in recent days. Some of you have been concerned by our silence, which we understand. We needed some time to properly process the information and find out some facts before we made a statement.
"First and foremost we absolutely DO NOT condone nor do we support riots or the acts of violence that the rioters were involved in on January 6th at the US Capitol building. We hope that all those involved that day are brought to justice to be investigated and answer for their actions.
"With broken hearts we are sending our love and compassion to everyone who has felt pain from the events on January 6th. We are deeply saddened and our hearts go out to the families of the lives lost that day. There are really no proper words to console. Just know we are with you in your shock, grief and pain. Much love to you all.
"Stu, Luke, Jake, Brent".
The FBI's Washington Field Office early Friday morning released 40 photos of people who are suspected of unlawful entry during a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol carried out on Wednesday during the final Congressional vote recording for the 2020 general election. Among them is a picture of Schaffer taken by Roberto Schmidt of AFP. In the photo, Schaffer can be seen at the front of a mob, sporting a hat from Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia group, and pointing his finger while yelling at someone out of the frame.
Less than two months ago, Schaffer was interviewed by German daily newspaper Die Welt at another Washington, D.C. demonstration supporting President Donald Trump and protesting the 2020 presidential election results. In the two-minute chat, the 52-year-old musician told journalist Carolina Drüten: "A group of thugs and criminals hijacked this country a long time ago. Now they're making their big move, and it's not gonna happen. And that's what it is. These are globalists. These are the scum of the earth. These are the criminals that are behind all the fraudulent fee on currency, they're behind all the wars, they're behind all the shit, they're behind divide-and-conquer tactics, behind the racial divide. It's all nonsense, it's all garbage. People need to wake up and snap out of the matrix, because they're going down. They've made the move. They're messing with the wrong people here — trust me on that. And we needed it to be open like this — open fraud, open theft. Because now we see you, and you're going down. Mark my words."
He added: "I think this goes beyond President Trump. President Trump is a populist. He's not your typical Republican. He's not establishment. He's not going out starting wars all over the place, like they do. Which is funny — where are all the Democrats that were anti-war? There's so much hatred for Trump, it's just ridiculous. He's dealing with a criminal mafia that has been in the shadows running the world, frankly, for a very long time. They wanna destroy all of our sovereignty and bring about global government. We're not having it. We can still do business together, the countries can still be at peace, but we're not gonna merge into some globalist, communist system. It will not happen. There will be a lot of blood shed, if it comes down to that — trust me. The American people will not go for that bullshit — once they understand what's actually happening. So, that's where we're at. Nobody wants this, but they're pushing us to a point where we have no choice."
Back in 2009, Schaffer raised eyebrows when he launched his SONS OF LIBERTY project via an appearance on a radio show hosted by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
More recently, Schaffer 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."
In a September 2020 Facebook Live chat, Schaffer said that he didn't trust his government. "I don't give a shit if it's an 'R' or a 'D' next to the name of the person," he explained. "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."
Block — formerly of INTO ETERNITY — made his live debut with ICED EARTH in November 2011.
ICED EARTH's latest album, "Incorruptible", came out in June 2017 via Century Media.
Jon Schaffer from Central Florida metal band Iced Earth? pic.twitter.com/p7v2wRLWRJ
— Lars❄️#FBR??NEW account (@a_fly_guy_no) January 8, 2021
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).