This week, Kürsch revealed he has officially left the band following Schaffer’s arrest for his involvement in the U.S. Capitol riots last month.
On Jan. 6, Jon Schaffer of Iced Earth and Demons & Wizards was identified among the Pro-Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building. Shortly after, the guitarist was included on the FBI’s wanted list before Indiana police confirmed he had been arrested on Jan. 17.
Currently, Schaffer faces six charges including “engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building.” According to Indiana police, Schaffer allegedly sprayed police with bear spray.
Jon Schaffer, Columbus, IN, has been arrested in connection to Jan 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol. Schaffer faces 6 charges including engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building. Schaffer was allegedly among rioters who sprayed Capitol police with “bear spray.”
— FBI Indianapolis (@FBIIndianapolis) January 18, 2021
According to WishTV, some of the other charges Schaffer is facing include “disrupting the orderly conduct of government business” and “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority.”
At the end of January, Schaffer waived his preliminary hearing after he was charged with multiple federal crimes from the U.S. Capitol riots. As a result, his attorney and legal team agreed to handle all further court proceedings in Washington, D.C. where he was extradited. Then, on Jan. 26, we learned that he was in the custody of the U.S. Marshals.
Following all of this, Schaffer’s Demons & Wizards bandmate Hansi Kürsch has confirmed he is no longer involved in the 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.”
In mid-January, we learned 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. As well, both of the band’s merch is no longer available on Century Media’s webstore. So far, the label has not released a statement regarding Schaffer’s arrest.
Schaffer’s Iced Earth bandmates have also released a statement denouncing the events that transpired last month. However, they failed to address Schaffer’s involvement in the insurrection. Additionally, singer Stu Block attempted to clarify his stance on the riots after a now-deleted post seemingly showed he was in support of the U.S. Capitol breach.
Along with all of this, fans recently took to Schaffer’s Kickstarter campaign to share their thoughts on his arrest. Many are now requesting that their donations to his Kickstarter for Wicked Words & Epic Tales, “a collection of Jon Schaffer’s lyrics, interviews and a chronicle of the artwork that they inspired” be refunded. However, some are praising the guitarist’s actions at the Capitol. So far, the campaign has earned 666 backers and raised over $100,000.
What are your reactions to Hansi Kürsch parting ways with Jon Schaffer? Are you surprised he left Demons & Wizards? Let us know in the comments below.