Iced Earth Singer on Jon Schaffer Rioting: “#love”
Iced Earth songwriter and guitarist Jon Schaffer found himself in the media yesterday when he was identified as one of the rioters who stormed the Capitol at President Trump’s urging. A photo of the outspoken conservative inside the Capitol angrily pointing forward was widely shared by a number of mainstream news outlets, and metal fans were quick to identify Schaffer by his trademark hair, goatee and wrist tattoo.
Then, today, Washington, D.C. police, working alongside federal investigators, released images of 38 of the rioters — one of whom is Schaffer — who are wanted for “unrest-related offenses.” Authorities are offering “a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for a crime committed in the District of Columbia.”
The backlash on social media from the metal community has been swift despite Schaffer’s conservative views being out in the open for years, with many folks renouncing their fandom and threatening to trash their band merch. But the incident has left Iced Earth fans wondering what Jon’s bandmates think: are they embarrassed by his behavior or complicit in it?
We now have an answer about at least one of them. And it’s Iced Earth vocalist Stu Block (ex-Into Eternity).
Block, who is Canadian, shared an image on his personal Instagram account yesterday of a giant red heart with the simple caption, “Nuff said #love.” One now-former Iced Earth fan commented on the post (screen shot below), saying: “I unfortunately can no longer support the band you are in. Much love and respect for you as a person and a great singer but Jon no longer gets a dime from me. I will follow and support you in all future endeavors. I hope Jon realizes that being self centered and ideological does not just affect him but his extended family. God Bless you and your family.” Block’s response didn’t help his cause for being on the right side of history, although at least he wasn’t a dick about it: “t[h]is is your decision and how you feel and I must absolutely respect that.”
MetalSucks has reached out to Iced Earth guitarist Jake Dreyer (also of Witherfall) for comment on Schaffer’s recent actions but has yet to receive a response.
Frequently seen sporting a confederate flag bandana, Schaffer has repeatedly expressed a distrust of the government (with a special emphasis on the federal reserve), claimed that Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 because of illegal immigrants, and said that teachers should be armed.
Meanwhile, in July, Schaffer told MetalSucks’ that he did not believe the coronavirus pandemic to be a real threat, referring to it as the “plandemic,” claiming that coronavirus case counts have been artificially inflated, and suggesting that the current economic shutdown was orchestrated by a small group of global elites with profits in mind:
“I believe this is a psychological warfare campaign on the people more than it is a serious pandemic. I think there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye here, in fact, I know this is. I mean, legitimate doctors and scientists are being banned or censored on YouTube constantly, it’s… unbelievable levels of fraud. Not saying we don’t have a problem but the human race has faced this kind of thing for millennia, I mean, it just goes on and we don’t shut down the global economy. The death and unrest out of these decisions is going to be a thousand times worse than the virus.”
Asked about spikes in specific parts of the country, Schaffer replied:
“I think that’s where we have to start questioning the data, the way the tests are. I mean, look, the information is out there; turn off the television. I don’t give a shit what network you’re listening to, they’re lying to you. That’s the reality of it. There’s no excuse anymore in this day and age for people not to be able to figure out the tyranny we’re living under, there’s just no excuse.
“But you need to disconnect from the mainstream media sources; and I’m not saying listen to Fox News, because in this country it’s Pepsi or Coke. You have two choices, its a duopoly on mind control and I don’t go for either one of those situations.
“I’m just telling you, man, there’s so much evidence out there and if you understand the game plan of the handlers themselves, than you’ll understand why I wrote the things I did in Sons of Liberty, the things that I did on ‘Dystopia,’ and ‘Plagues of Babylon’ [Iced Earth’s 10th and 11th studio albums, respectively] for that matter, because I read their game plan. I’ve read their battle plan, I’ve read their books so I know what they’re up to.
“It’s not rocket science. It’s literally about putting pieces of a puzzle together to see what the controllers of our society and what their vision of the future is and how they’re going to get to that point. This is just another move in this Plandemic.
“There’s a lot to it, but you know, I’ve done thousands of hours of research and this is my understanding of the situation. It goes back, this whole movement is being funded by a very small group of people that have very dark designs for the future of humanity and the world and this is what’s happening. It’s just clear. It affirms everything I’ve studied for decades.”
Pressed for more details regarding these alleged global controllers, Schaffer said:
“It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. The global elite families that run the Federal Reserve banking system, that’s basically all of the central banks around the world. It’s absolutely the way the world works. So start with reading ‘The Creature From Jekyll Island,’ research the council on foreign relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg.
“All of these things are real, they’re happening, and you’re never going to hear about it on the mainstream news because they’re the gatekeepers of what’s happening. It’s not paranoid conspiracy theory, it’s conspiracy fact. And anybody that is naive enough to think that people with power would not conspire to keep their power, is living in a fucking fantasy. Period.”
He went on to assert that he had no interest in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine:
“I don’t know when my band [Iced Earth] is going to be able to get back together because there’s all these criminal governors all over the states saying, ‘there’s never going to be another public gathering until there’s a vaccine.’ Well, fuck you. Nobody’s going to forcibly vaccinate me. Not happening.”
On top of all of that, in November, the German newspaper Die Welt interviewed Schafer while he marched in a similar demonstration. At that time, he told the paper that “[The establishment] will go under. They mess with the wrong people, believe me.”