ICED EARTH singer Stu Block has responded to fans who are outraged over the fact that the band's leader Jon Schaffer is suspected of unlawful entry during a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol carried out on Wednesday (January 6) during the final Congressional vote recording for the 2020 general election.
A photo of Schaffer storming the Capitol building was posted online and he is now among the "persons of interest" sought for "unrest-related offenses" by the Metropolitan Police in Washington, D.C. In the photo, Schaffer can be seen at the front of a mob, sporting a hat from Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia group, and pointing his finger pointed while yelling at someone out of the frame.
Stu, the Canadian-born vocalist who has fronted ICED EARTH since 2011, shared an image of a red heart on his Instagram on Wednesday, along with the simple caption: "Nuff said #love". This led a number of his social media followers to weigh in on yesterday's events, with one person writing: "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 responded: "t[h]is is your decision and how you feel and I must absolutely respect that."
Back in 2009, Schaffer raised eyebrows when he launched his SONS OF LIBERTY project via an appearance on a radio show hosted by far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
More recently, Schaffer voiced his controversial views on the coronavirus crisis during an interview with MetalSucks's "The Quarantinecast", claiming that COVID-19 is "a psychological warfare campaign on the people more than it is a serious pandemic." Implying that a shadowy cabal of elites is using a global crisis as a cover to profiteer and entrench their power, Schaffer said: "I think there's a lot more going on than meets the eye here — in fact, I know there is. Legitimate doctors and scientists are being censored and banned on YouTube constantly. It's unbelievable levels of fraud."
In a September 2020 Facebook Live chat, Schaffer said that he didn't trust his government. "I don't give a shit if it's an 'R' or a 'D' next to the name of the person," he explained. "You can't put your hope into one president or one person, or a mayor or a governor or whatever. You've gotta be out there and actively put pressure on these people, let 'em know you're paying attention. If you're not paying attention, they're gonna rob you and steal everything. Your freedom too. Not just your money. They're gonna steal your fucking freedom. 'Cause they're a bunch of sick control freaks."
Block — formerly of INTO ETERNITY — made his live debut with ICED EARTH in November 2011.
ICED EARTH's latest album, "Incorruptible", came out in June 2017 via Century Media.