ICED EARTH mainman Jon Schaffer 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 Metalholic.com, Jon said (see video below), “I like Randy a lot — he’s a great guy, and I really feel bad for what he is going through. I saw some video tape and I am not convinced that there was any wrongdoing. You can’t fucking charge a stage and keep doing that kind of stuff after what happened to Dime [referring to late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darell Abbott, who was killed onstage in 2004) and expect people to not… And it’s not even that anybody really overreacted; it’s just normal… This stuff happens at shows all the time. It sucks… I’ve seen so many times where I’m like, ‘Oh my God…’ Bodies just come flying over the barricade. And OK, the security guys usually catch them, but if there is a whole and somebody, you know… I see it a lot, and a lot of these guys are so wasted, they get up and, like, ‘Yeah!’ and they still keep coming, and I’m [thinking], ‘You’re gonna feel that tomorrow, dude.'”
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.”