Following Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer’s arrest due to his involvement in the attack on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, singer Stu Block and bassist Luke Appleton are leaving the heavy metal band.
Schaffer, who is the band’s last remaining founding member, was taken into custody by the FBI in his home state of Indiana on Jan. 17 for participating in the insurrection. Due to Schaffer’s notoriety in the metal community and long white beard, he was spotted quickly by many in photos of the attack. He is facing six charges and is currently being held in custody in Indiana, awaiting a hearing for his case.
Block, who had been the lead vocalist for Iced Earth since 2011, announced his departure from the band on his Facebook page on Monday.
“Well, there are times and events when you have to take stock and re evaluate your life, work, and trajectory for the future. That being said I have informed Jon and his current management that I must announce my resignation from Iced Earth with immediate effect,” Block wrote. “Before I made any personal decision I needed the last few weeks to process the situation as well as respect others in our camp processing the situation. I thank you all very much for respecting this. It’s the best decision in many ways for my personal/ professional growth going forward. Time to move on, heal and prosper.”
Appleton also posted at the same time on his Facebook, though his message was much more brief.
“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. “I would like to thank everyone who has sent me their support and love during this difficult time.”
Block and Appleton, along with other Iced Earth members Jake Dreyer and Brent Smedley, had previously released a statement disavowing Schaffer’s actions.
“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,” the other members wrote in their statement. “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.”