UPDATE: Stu Block has retracted his original post detailed below and has issued a new statement, further clarifying his position in the wake of Iced Earth bandmate Jon Schaffer’s involvement in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building.
Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer was amongst the mob present inside the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 when Trump supporters forcefully and unlawfully entered, forcing senators certifying the 2020 election to evacuate and shelter in place. Singer Stu Block was pressed for his stance on social media, and he did not condemn nor condone his bandmates’ behavior. Instead, he pushed for love.
Schaffer has since been branded a “person of interest” for unlawful entry into the United States Capitol, as seen online amongst other images of rioters shared by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia.
The actions that took place have been condemned by leaders across the country, President Trump himself (who led a protest group directly to the Capitol after using words of escalation such as “fight”), and countless heads of government from across the globe.
Block, in an apparent response to the mob violence, posted a large image of a heart on Instagram, writing, “Nuff said. #love.”
For some fans, however, it did not feel like enough was said by Block. The singer was pressed for a position on Schaffer’s participation in attacking the nation’s capitol following inflammatory and false rhetoric that the 2020 election was fraudulent.
“Stu, first off, love you dude. But, gotta know where you stand with Jon being there. From one cat dad to another,” one fan wrote (via Metal Injection — the comment section no longer appears visible despite the post indicating 119 comments were made).
“Thank you and I totally understand you want to know,” said Block, “I would too if I were you.”
He deferred comment, noting he is not a U.S. citizen. “I live in Canada and do not really engage in political stuff or share my beleiefs [sic]. I have chosen to spread love and not comment or allow any hate on my [social media]. I hope yo [sic] understand,” he added.
Updated Statement From Stu Block
Following the general election for President of the United States, Block solicited opinions from fans after Joe Biden was named President-elect after the handful of days it took for votes to be tallied. “Interesting result,” remarked Block, who then asked, “What are your thoughts on the decision?”
In the months leading up to the election, Schaffer had espoused conspiracy theories related to the coronavirus pandemic. He was in staunch denial that the pandemic was real, and blatantly disregarded growing numbers of hospitalizations related to the virus, furthering his repudiation of its very existence, as heard on the MetalSucks’ QuarantineCast podcast.
His ideas shared there were on par with those expressed in Iced Earth’s 2014 concept album, Plagues of Babylon, in which global elites release a plague upon the world as a means of enslaving humanity, albeit wrapped in a fictitious setting for the purpose of the record.
The Iced Earth guitarist had also traveled from his home state of Indiana to attend a pro-Trump rally in Washington D.C. on Nov. 15. While there, he spoke with the German media outlet Die Welt, who has now uploaded their video interview with him. It is his belief that there is a designed plan for a global government and that Donald Trump is a populist president removed by the shadowy elites running the world.
Schaffer also expressed he and other like-minded individuals were prepared for violence if provoked, but that violence was not their outright aim.