Iced Earth Guitarist Wanted By FBI For Role In Trump Mob, Bandmates Speaks Out
Ariel Pink and John Maus weren’t the only musicians at the big Trump rally in Washington, DC this week. Louder Sound reports that Jon Schaffer, founder and guitarist of the Florida power metal band Iced Earth, was also in attendance — and unlike the others, he was actually photographed taking part in the violent mob inside the Capitol building.
Schaffer is now wanted by the FBI for his role in the insurrection, with a page on the agency’s website seeking the public’s assistance to identify and locate Schaffer and other persons of interest. The Metropolitan Police Department Of The District Of Columbia is offering a reward of up to $1000 for information that could lead to their arrest.
Blind Guardian frontman Hansi Kürsch, who also plays with Schaffer in the band Demons & Wizards, has spoken out about the assault on the Capitol. “We are deeply shocked and our thoughts are with the relatives of the deceased,” he wrote. “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,” Blind Guardian’s statement continues. “We ask for your understanding that in view of the hourly news situation we will not make any further comments at present.”
Schaffer is a known Trump supporter who previously attended another Washington, DC rally in November to protest the results of the election. “A group of thugs and criminals hijacked this country a long time ago,” he told the German newspaper Die Welt at the time. “Now they’re making their big move, and it’s not gonna happen. And that’s what it is.”
UPDATE: Schaffer’s Iced Earth bandmates Stu Block, Luke Appleton, Jake Dreyer, and Brent Smedley have also spoken out, sharing the following statement on Instagram.
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