Iced Earth’s Stu Block and Luke Appleton have officially left the band
The fallout from Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer's arrest for his involvement in the U.S. Capitol insurrection is continuing on. This week, Iced Earth vocalist Stu Block and bassist Luke Appleton announced they have officially quit the band.
The news arrives as Schaffer faces six federal charges for the U.S. Capitol riots that took place on Jan. 6.
After being placed on the FBI's wanted list, Iced Earth and Demons & Wizards' Jon Schaffer was arrested by Indiana police on Jan. 17. Currently, the metal musician is facing six federal charges for his role in the U.S. Capitol insurrection last month. According to Indiana police, Schaffer was allegedly one of the Pro-Trump supporters who sprayed Capitol police with bear spray.
Over the past few weeks, a lot of details about Jon Schaffer’s arrest and court hearings have been reported. So far, Schaffer has been in front of a federal magistrate twice, but has chosen to stay in federal custody. Then, at the end of January, we learned that Schaffer was being extradited to Washington, D.C. after his legal team agreed to handle all further court proceedings there.
Soon after, on Jan. 26, the jailed guitarist was reportedly in the custody of the U.S. Marshals. Then, earlier this month, we learned that Schaffer is actually still being held in Indiana's Marion County Jail nearly a month after his arrest. As well, he is the only Indiana citizen arrested for the U.S. Capitol insurrection that actually voted in the 2020 election.
Now, it looks like Schaffer's Iced Earth bandmates Stu Block and Luke Appleton are parting ways with the musical project. On Monday, both the vocalist and bassist shared statements confirming they have quit Iced Earth.
In his statement, Block says he needed some time to process Schaffer's arrest and involvement before deciding to leave the band.
"Well, there are times and events when you have to take stock and re-evaluate your life, work, and trajectory for the future," Block says. "That being said I have informed Jon and his current management that I must announce my resignation from Iced Earth with immediate effect. 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. Much love and respect to you all. Don’t fret! Stay tuned for some exciting things to come! Time to embark upon a new chapter. Be good to each other."
Well, there are times and events when you have to take stock and re evaluate your life, work, and trajectory...
In a separate statement, Appleton announced his own resignation as the bassist for Iced Earth.
"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. I would like to thank everyone who has sent me their support and love during this difficult time. Thank you!!!"
In response to recent events & circumstances, I have notified Iced Earth’s management and Jon that I will be resigning...
Shortly after Schaffer's arrest, Iced Earth released a statement denouncing the events that transpired at the U.S. Capitol last month. However, they failed to address Schaffer’s involvement in the insurrection. Additionally, Block came under fire following an attempt to clarify his stance on the riots after a now-deleted post seemingly showed he was in support of the U.S. Capitol breach.
Block and Appleton's announcements arrive shortly after Schaffer's Demons & Wizards collaborator Hansi Kürsch confirmed he is no longer involved in the musical project. On Monday, Feb. 1, he shared a statement with Rock Hard which has been translated from German.
“I told Jon and Century Media [Demons & Wizards’ record label] on Monday that I was leaving the Demons & Wizards project with immediate effect. My collaboration with Jon on Demons & Wizards is over.”
As well, in mid-January, it was brought to light that Century Media may be taking action following Schaffer’s arrest. Both of Schaffer’s projects – Iced Earth and Demons & Wizards – have disappeared from the label’s online roster. Although the bands no longer appear on the label’s current roster, they are also missing from the roster of former artists. Additionally, both of the band’s merch is no longer available on Century Media’s webstore.
What are your reactions to Stu Block and Luke Appleton quitting Iced Earth? Are you surprised? Let us know in the comments below.