On January 6th, the nation was shocked and horrified by the actions of thousands of pro-Trump supporters as they stormed and illegally invaded the U.S. Capitol.
Later that evening, news quickly spread of a photo taken by Getty Images photographer Roberto Schmidt that unofficially portrays Jon Schaffer (rhythm guitarist/songwriter of Florida-based heavy metal band Iced Earth and outspoken conservative) among those who had infiltrated our Capitol.
Shortly after, the FBI posted a ‘most wanted’ list of photos hoping to seek information that will assist them in identifying individuals who actively participated in the trespassing and violence towards the U.S. Capitol building. Among depicted in the FBI gallery is the aforementioned Getty shot by Schmidt.
Today, Iced Earth (sans Schaffer) have finally released an official statement on the matter. In a collective message by vocalist Stu Block, bassist/backing vocalist Luke Appleton, lead guitarist Jake Dreyer and drummer Brent Smedley, they said:
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
Note that Schaffer isn’t mentioned at all in the above statement, nor is his alleged participation in Wednesday’s riots addressed.
As Blabbermouth reported, German daily newspaper Die Welt uploaded a video interview they conducted with Schaffer last November at a Washington, D.C. pro-Trump rally. In the two-minute video, Schaffer claims that “a group of thugs and criminals hijacked this country a long time ago” and that they’re “messing with the wrong people.” You can read the full transcript below.
My name is Jon Schaffer. I’m from Indiana. 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.
When asked if he was expecting violence or clashing of groups at the November event, Schaffer stated:
If somebody wants to bring violence, I think there’s a lot of us here that are ready for it. We don’t want that, but if they bring it, we’re gonna respond to that — trust me.
In the same interview, Schaffer 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.
Featured concert photo by Johnny Perilla