DISTURBED‘s David Draiman and GWAR‘s Oderus Urungus are continuing to speak out in defense of LAMB OF GOD vocalist Randy Blythe, who has been jailed in Prague, the Czech Republic, where he is accused of causing the death of a fan at one of the band’s shows in 2010. Blythe was arrested last week at the Prague airport and charged with manslaughter in connection with a 2010 Prague concert at which he allegedly shoved a local fan off the stage. The man, who is said to have stormed the stage three times during the show, reportedly suffered a brain hemorrhage that resulted in his death 14 days later.
Blythe faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Although he posted the Czech equivalent of $200,000 in bail, the decision to release the singer is still subject to appeal and so it will take some time for the state prosecutor’s office to give approval.
Draiman: “The only thing [Randy] is guilty of [is being involved in] a horrible accident. Someone comes up on stage, they get thrown back into the pit. [I’ve] done it a hundred times myself. The fault should be in the hands of the venue security who were supposed to ensure that no one got up there. It’s a dangerous thing to try.”
Oderus: “I LOVE Europe and its many pleasures and fully support Euro metalheads. What I am concerned about is the lack of outrage. There should be shows, protests, and continual harassment of the authorities until Randy is free. There should be a mob of metalheads outside the jail where he is being held, 24-7, so when he gets out he can see with his own eyes that he has not been abandoned. All of the video of the incident shows it for what it truly was… a tragic accident. Fucking let him out already!”
A number of other rockers have come to Randy‘s defense, with many of them citing the 2004 shooting death onstage of PANTERA guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott as the reason why musicians are so defensive nowadays about fans invading the stage.
Draiman‘s bandmate and drummer Mike Wengren told The Pulse Of Radio not along after Dimebag was shot that his death had cast a shadow over live performing. “I think one of the most scariest things is, you go up onstage, and there’s this energy transfer between the band and the crowd, and you almost feel invincible. You feel very empowered. Never in a million years would anyone ever think something like that was even possible, and I think it just caught everyone off guard. It’s pretty scary.”
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH bassist Chris Kael simply tweeted, “Everything changed on December 8, 2004. #stayoffthestage #FreeRandyBlythe,” while ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian wrote, “It’s complete and utter bullshit for him to be treated like a criminal for something he didn’t do. Now fans can see firsthand why there’s no stage diving anymore. Especially in the post-Darrell world we live in . . . Of course it’s sad that this person died, it’s a tragedy, but it’s not Randy‘s fault.”
LAMB OF GOD had been touring Europe in support of its latest album, “Resolution”, when Blythe was arrested. The band canceled the rest of its shows and returned home to Richmond, Virginia on Sunday (July 1) — all, of course, except Blythe.
LAMB OF GOD‘s publicist, Adrenaline PR, issued a statement on June 30 stressing that “under no circumstances was there a fight of any kind involved [during LAMB OF GOD‘s 2010 concert]. This incident deals with a fan that three times during the concert jumped the barricade and rushed Randy during the performance. It is alleged that the third time, security was not able to reach him and that Randy pushed him back into the audience where supposedly he fell and hit his head.”