Shortly before boarding a flight to New York earlier today after spending more than a month at a Prague, Czech Republic prison on manslaughter charges, LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe spoke to TV Novaabout his ordeal and vowed to “clear his name.” You can watch the seven-minute chat below.
On how he is feeling after being released from prison:
Randy: “I’m relieved to be out of Pankrác jail. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exactly fun. I’m relieved to be out of jail, but if it’s necessary for me to return to Prague to go to this court thing, I certainly will. I’m no flight risk.”
On the alleged incident that resulted in a death at a LAMB OF GOD concert:
Randy: “This concert that happened, it was a… I’ve played thousands of concerts. To people who are not used to this type of music, I know it must seem crazy and violent, the appearance, but that sort of activity is normal at a concert, that type of dancing. That sort of behavior is normal at concerts. It is very tragic that a young man died. I feel very bad that a fan of my band is dead and that his family has to go through it — it’s terrible, I feel awful for them — but it’s a tragic coincidence in my mind.
“As I told the judge and the police when I gave my statement, that concert was, like, one of literally thousands I’ve played… I certainly did not know anyone was hurt. When I showed up in Prague, I was very surprised to be arrested. We had no knowledge whatsoever that someone had been injured, much less died.”
On what his prison experience was like:
Randy: “Prison is not exactly a fun place to be, but I had three meals a day, a roof over my head and clothes on my back, so I tried to be grateful for what I had instead of what I [didn’t] have. I read a lot, I wrote a lot, I wrote some new songs, I exercised in my cell and I talked to cellmates. There’s not much to do in prison.”
“Some prisoners who knew I was and I signed some autographs for them and for some guards. But even the people that didn’t know who I was, they knew why I was in there; obviously, this case is in the media. The inmates were very cool to me. Nobody was mean to me at all. I had no problems.”
On whether he will return to Prague:
Randy: “Of course — if it is necessary. My bail, there was an appeal against it twice. I’m no flight risk. I’m an international touring artist. I have to clear my name. So, yes, I will come back here if I’m called to court.”
Blythe was arrested at the Prague airport on June 27 and was accused of shoving a local fan off the stage during LAMB OF GOD‘s May 2010 concert in the city. 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 nearly a month later.
After the court doubled Blythe‘s bail last month from about $200,000 to about $400,000, the prosecutor once again filed a complaint against the singer’s release. A Prague court on Thursday (August 2) dismissed the request that Blythe be banned from leaving the country.
The Prague Municipal Court’s ruling against the prosecutor of the Prague 8 District Court was made Thursday afternoon at approximately 4:00 p.m. behind closed doors.
“The decision was reached yesterday at the end of a closed session,” said Martina Lhotáková, spokeswoman for Prague’s Municipal Court.
“The only condition of release was the approximately 8 million Czech Koruna bail [which has already been paid],” she added.
Blythe‘s Czech attorney Martin Radvan told Radio Prague that Blythe will have to return to the Czech Republic to face trial. “That’s what he wants to do,” Radvan said. “As a world-renowned artist, in a specific genre of music, of course, he cannot afford to simply disappear.”
Radvan added that Randy‘s stature as a public figure makes it highly unlikely that he would vanish before the trial, saying, “There would be posters with his picture all around the world, and if he wants to continue performing, he will have to return. And he wants to return because he believes he is not guilty of anything he has been charged with.”
The lawyer said earlier today that the police investigation is unlikely to be completed until winter. “We don’t know yet if [the fan’s death] was caused by our client or in a different way,” he said.
Jonathan Crane, a reporter from the Prague Post, told WTVR-TV that a legal expert believes the Blythe‘s defense team should have quite a strong case. “Even if Randy was responsible for the alleged attack, the expert said that who is to say that he wasn’t accidentally kicked or trodden on or left without help by fans below the stage,” Crane said.
During an appearance on the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania radio station 105.9 The X, Crane discussed the way that both the Czech media and police have been handling the incident. He explained, “At the start, the Czech tabloids were quite vociferous about Blythe and the reputation of LAMB OF GOD, and portraying Blythe especially to be quite a violent person, an aggressive person.”
He added, “Obviously, there have been these videos put up on YouTube of the alleged incident. LAMB OF GOD‘s management say this is the key to proving Blythe‘s innocence, that you can clearly see it’s a security guard that throws a boy or a man off the stage. Now, other people I’ve spoken to here, who were at the gig … they say actually the man in the videos is not Daniel, the young man who unfortunately died two years ago.”
Pictured below: Randy Blythe at Prague airport earlier today (August 3) (courtesy of TV Nova)