Former DIVINE HERESY/SNOT and current VEXT singer Tommy “Vext” Cummings (pictured below) is one of a number of musicians who have come out in support of LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe, who is facing manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic.
Blythe, 41, is accused of causing the fatal injury that occurred at LAMB OF GOD‘s May 24, 2010 show in Prague. The singer allegedly either pushed or struck a 19-year-old fan named Daniel N. — a guitarist in a local metal band — and that person died almost a month later of bleeding in the brain.
Randy has been charged with causing “bodily harm of the fourth degree, resulting in the death of a fan” and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Speaking to Paige Montgomery of idobi radio, Tommy said (hear audio below), “I’ve known Randy probably for, like, eight or nine years now, and he’s just such an amazing guy. Even with me, or any frontman in metal, our job is to go out there and we basically display a part of ourselves that is ugly and intense and intimidating. And Randy, like many other frontmen, he’s an extremely intelligent, kind, compassionate and softspoken person. The sad thing is that sombody had to lose their life at a concert, and that’s a bummer, but trying to hold an innocent man accountable for something that… I saw three different clips, footage of this kid, who was clearly inebriated, jumping on the stage, jumping off the stage of his own volition, and then security and Randy escorting him off the stage where it looked like the giant security guard had pushed him off. And then afterwards, the guy trying to get on stage again and then just passing out, and he looks clearly introxicated. And I think the real fault… I also security and I’ve done bodyguard work — that’s what I do when I’m not touring — and from a general manager’s standpoint, not just being an artist, it’s security’s responsibility to make sure the band is safe and the fans, first and foremost.”
He added, “We’re living in a post-Dimebag Darrell where, honestly, that day changed everything. And we lost one of the greatest guitar players in the history of American rock and roll, not just metal, because the security guard failed to keep the band safe from the fans. And unfortunately, if I was in that situation and I was on stage and some guy jumped on the stage, I’d throw him off, too. I have done it. I’ve played in Europe and I’ve played with DIVINE HERESY where there was no security and I was basically… Kids were crowdsurfing and I picked them up and I dropped them back in the crowd. Thank God nobody got hurt. You know, the adrenalin is pumping, the fans are going off, it’s a certain style of music in a certain environment, and people have to be wary and careful about themselves.”
LAMB OF GOD had been touring Europe in support of its latest album, “Resolution”, when Blythe was arrested on June 27.
Many of Blythe‘s fellow musicians have cited 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. Some reports say that the late fan tried to mount the stage as many as three times that evening.
The band has set up a legal defense fund for Blythe, which has drawn criticism from some of its own fans. Guitarist Willie Adler addressed the issue in an online post, saying, “We are by no means requesting charity, nor are we demanding money from our fans. We have received dozens upon dozens of requests from supporters wanting to help in any way possible. This was a direct response to that in order to give fans a voice in all of this if they choose to do so. By no means are we trying to make a dime off of this.”