Iced Earth singer Stu Block and bassist Luke Appleton have both quit the band following the arrest of guitarist Jon Schaffer for his alleged role in the Capitol riot on January 6. Their announcement also follows the departure of Hansi Kürsch from Demons & Wizards, a metal duo Schaffer was also involved with.
Block joined the band in 2011, singing on Iced Earth’s Dystopia, Plagues of Babylon and Incorruptible. According to his departure statement, Block is looking to “embark on a new chapter,” but has not provided further details.
“Well, there are times and events when you have to take stock and re evaluate your life, work, and trajectory for the future,” Block wrote on Facebook. “That being said I have informed Jon and his current management that I must announce my resignation from Iced Earth with immediate effect.”
Appleton joined one year after Block and performed on the records Plagues of Babylon and Incorruptible. “In response to recent events & circumstances, I have notified Iced Earth’s management and Jon that I will be resigning as the Iced Earth bassist with immediate effect,” Appleton wrote.
Both Iced Earth and Demons & Wizards were removed from Century Media‘s artist page following Schaffer’s arrest. The guitarist is currently facing six charges, for which he was denied bail and extradited to Washington D.C. One of the charges against Schaffer involves the alleged use of “bear spray” against a Capitol police officer.
Prior to Schaffer’s arrest, Block made social media posts that appear to have been in support of Schaffer, writing “Nuff said #love,” and “Oh it’s happening! History in the making. Sending love to my friends in the US and all over the world!” on January 6. When asked if he condemned the actions during the Capitol storming, Block replied “and where in my statement would you get that impression?,” however the singer maintains that he misread the message, mistaking “condemn” for “condone.”
“In the craziness of responding to so many comments, some very hateful in nature which were also coming at me in rapid fire, I read the word as “condoning” which I DO NOT!!” Block explained. “I see that this inaccurate misinterpreted screenshot has been shared on various social media pages and I want to go on record to say this AGAIN: I absolutely DO NOT condone nor do I support ANY acts of violence or anything else that ANY protester or rioter was involved in on January 6th at the US Capitol building.”