Ex-ICED EARTH Singer STU BLOCK Wants To Release Solo EP This Year: 'It's Gonna Be Different'

February 8, 2023

During an appearance on the latest episode of "The VoiceHacks Podcast With Mary Zimmer", former ICED EARTH singer Stu Block spoke about the solo music he is currently working on. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When I create my own art, I've been taking my sweet-ass time doing it — I know — but it's something that is gonna outlive me. And so I just want it to be good. So I've got a lot of stuff and a lot of songs that I wanna get out there, but it's gonna take a while. I do wanna be release my first EP, at least, by the end of this year, but we'll see how it goes… I wanna do single and then EP — so drop a single and then EP. Drop a couple of pieces of simple merch with each release — nice and easy."

He continued: "I was gonna do the crowdfunding thing, but I'm really enjoying doing the home-recording thing, and I have a lot of great friends. I've been talking to a really awesome producer right now that I've worked with in the past, and we're super excited to work on it together. So, yeah, I think it'll be fun. We're just taking our time. I wanna do something different."

As for the musical direction of his solo material, Block said: "It's gonna be different. Yeah, you're gonna hear what you would expect in certain areas, but there's gonna be stuff that I think you wouldn't expect totally… It's gonna be a fun record. I think it'll be a fun EP, too. I love the emotional roller-coaster aspect of music, so that's kind of my feel — let's try and do a nice little emotional roller-coaster EP. And I think it'll be fun."

Back in August 2021, Stu said that Jon Schaffer "fucked up real bad" when he got involved in the violent protest at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 that left several dead, including a Capitol police officer.

In April 2021, the ICED EARTH leader pleaded guilty for his role in the Capitol riot. Although he was initially charged with six crimes, including engaging in an act of physical violence and targeting police with bear spray, he pleaded guilty to only two charges: obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress; and trespassing on restricted grounds of the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Block, the Canadian-born vocalist who had fronted ICED EARTH since 2011, officially quit the band in February 2021, stating at the time it was "the best decision in many ways" for his "personal and professional growth going forward."

Stu addressed Jon's involvement in the Capitol riot as well as his departure from ICED EARTH in an interview with Canada's The Metal Voice. Speaking about his former bandmate, he said: "We all make bad decisions, man, and [Jon] fucked up real bad. And I'm sure he knows it, and I think everybody with half a brain knows it… The line that was crossed with going in and all that kind of stuff… He had so much going on. It was a shame. It hurts, 'cause you've got plans, and all of a sudden, you can't tell someone what to do — you can't tell a very strong-willed individual what to do; you can't. And so it would be lost words."

He added: "At the end of the day, I don't hate him. I'm not writhing in hate for him. I feel sad. I feel bad that everything went down the way it did. And maybe one day we'll talk. I don't know. I'm not too sure. But I think he knows that I still have a place in my heart for him, because I've seen that man do a lot of amazing, wonderful things for people. But I just wanna move on. And that's what it is."

Following the initial reports that Schaffer was involved in the riot, his ICED EARTH bandmates distanced themselves from his actions. Block and bassist Luke Appleton later posted separate statements on social media announcing their resignations. BLIND GUARDIAN frontman Hansi Kürsch also quit DEMONS & WIZARDS, his long-running project with Schaffer. The allegations also apparently affected Schaffer's relationship with his longtime record label Century Media, which had released albums from both ICED EARTH and DEMONS & WIZARDS. As of mid-January 2021, the Century Media artist roster page did not list either band.

According to CNN, prosecutors and Schaffer's attorneys agreed to recommend that he get between three and a half and four and a half years in prison, based on how fruitful his cooperation is with the government.

The government agreed not to oppose Schaffer's release during the sentencing phase.

As part of the plea deal, Schaffer agreed to cooperate with investigators and potentially testify in related criminal cases, according to CNN. In return for Schaffer's assistance, the Justice Department might later urge the judge to show leniency during his sentencing.

As part of the agreement, the Justice Department has offered to sponsor Schaffer for the witness protection program.

In August 2021, Block announced his permanent return to his pre-ICED EARTH band INTO ETERNITY.

Before joining INTO ETERNITY in 2005, Block began his musical career singing for various bands in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. After two albums with INTO ETERNITY, Block joined ICED EARTH in 2011, with whom he recorded three LPs: "Dystopia" (2011),"Plagues Of Babylon" (2014) and "Incorruptible" (2017).

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