After guitarist Jon Schaffer's involvement in the Capitol Building riots of January 6, several members of Iced Earth have either quit the Florida metallers or distanced themselves from the band.
In separate Facebook statements, vocalist Stu Block and bassist Luke Appleton formally announced their departures from the group.
Block's post reads: “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's statement, which was posted at the same time, reads: “In response to recent events and 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!!!”
Hours after Block and Appleton declared their departures from the band, TMZ approached Jake Dreyer – who no longer lists himself as Iced Earth's guitarist in his Instagram bio – for an update regarding his status with the band.
Dreyer revealed that he was hired to play with Iced Earth from 2016 to 2018, but is now focused solely on playing with his other band, Witherfall. “It's unfortunate how this tragedy unfolded,” he said regarding the riots.
Schaffer – who turned himself into the authorities on January 17 – is facing six criminal charges relating to the violent riot on January 6. They include engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building and disrupting the orderly conduct of government business.
According to the FBI, Schaffer sprayed United States Capitol police officers with bear mace in an attempt to push the officers back and breach the Capitol building.
Schaffer is reportedly one of at least 400 people under investigation by the FBI over their roles in the violence and insurrection.