Schaffer, the veteran band’s lone remaining founding member, was photographed inside the U.S. Capitol as part of the violent mob who stormed into the building with the intention of stopping the certification of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. He was arrested on January 17th, and is facing six federal charges related to the incident, including using a pepper-based bear spray during the riot. He remains at the Marion County Jail in Indiana, and is awaiting to be transported to Washington, D.C., for a hearing on the case.
Previously, Schaffer’s Iced Earth bandmates issued a statement in which they condemned the violence at the Capitol but didn’t mention the guitarist by name. Now, Schaffer’s actions have led to the departure of at least two members.
Block, who had been Iced Earth’s singer since 2011, made the following announcement on his Facebook page:
“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.
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.”
Appleton announced his departure from Iced Earth as well:
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!!!!”
As of now, Iced Earth drummer Brent Smedley and lead guitarist Jake Dreyer have not made any statements regarding their status in the band.
Over the weekend, the U.S. Senate voted on whether to convict Donald Trump for his role in inciting the insurrection. Despite 57 out of 100 Senators finding Trump guilty, the former president was acquitted, as 67 votes were needed to secure a conviction.
See the social media posts from Stu Block and Luke Appleton below.