On This Week’s Last Words: What Does Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer At The Capitol Raid Mean for Metal?

Andreas Lawen, Fotandi, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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Last week, the world saw history in the making as an angry mob of Trump-supporting election deniers broke into the Capitol Building, causing destruction and looting the United States Senate chamber with little to no resistance from the Capitol Police. As photos of the riot emerged, one of the protesters involved was quickly identified as Jon Schaffer, the founding guitarist and chief songwriter behind American power metal act Iced Earth. Jon’s participation in this violent insurrection is certainly not a great look for his band — but what does it mean for metal as a whole?

On 2021’s first episode of our heavy metal talk show Last Words, hosts Katy Irizarry (Season Of Mist), Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves/Ex Man Podcast), and returning co-host Zeena Koda discuss the issues that have arisen surrounding Schaffer’s involvement in the attack on the Capitol. Having worked as a publicist for some time, Katy acknowledges that this is a bad situation for the band — but isn’t sure this will shake metal to its core.

“One might call this a ‘PR crisis,'” says Katy, “but is this a metal crisis, is the question. I don’t see it that way. Jon Schaffer is an individual — he does not represent metal as a whole.”

“And one thing I can say is, you’re not the only resident Iced Earth fan,” added Doc. “I love Iced Earth. We were label-mates with Iced Earth. And it’s a weird thing because I think when I heard about it, it didn’t really hit me too hard. Because here’s the thing, sick riffs have no political connotation…and I think I have a relative ability to separate the art from the artist.”

Check out the latest episode below:

And if you want to hear the band go on a deep dive into Gatecreeper’s surprise-released new album, check out the full, uncensored version of this episode via the Last Words podcast below or wherever else you get your podcasts:


Words by Chris Krovatin