Iced Earth Issue Statement on Jon Schaffer’s Capitol Riot Involvement
Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer was among those photographed during the riot at the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 and his bandmates have now issued statements concerning his involvement expressing that they don't condone the riots or acts of violence.
Both Luke Appleton and Stu Block posted a group statement on their Instagram accounts (seen below) that reads as follows:
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.
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
Earlier this week, Block was pressed for a comment on Schaffer's involvement and initially offered, "I live in Canada and do not really engage in political stuff or share my beleiefs [sic]. I have chosen to spread love and not comment or allow any hate on my [social media]. I hope yo [sic] understand," he added.
In addition, Blind Guardian, a band that counts Hansi Kürsch amongst its ranks, also offered up a statement. Kürsch is a bandmate of Schaffer's in the band Demons & Wizards. Posted at the Blind Guardian website, the statement reads:
We are deeply shocked and our thoughts are with the relatives of the deceased. We expressly distance ourselves from any kind of violence irrespective if applied against institutions or persons. The incidents will be thoroughly investigated and the responsibles will be brought to justice. We ask for your understanding that in view of the hourly news situation we will not make any further comments at present.
Not long after Schaffer's photo surfaced amongst the images from the riot at the Capitol building, it was revealed that the musician was a "person of interest in unrest-related offenses" in a photo shared by the MPDC (Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia).
A day later, Schaffer's name appeared in the "Most Wanted" section of the FBI's website. Schaffer’s image lies in the ‘Seeking Information’ subcategory, not to be confused with the FBI’s famous Top 10 Most Wanted list.