ICED EARTH’s JON SCHAFFER Is In U.S. Marshals Service Custody

ICED EARTH guitarist Jon Schaffer has been transferred to federal custody on Tuesday (January 26) to be extradited to Washington, D.C.

Indiana Public Media reporter Brock E.W. Turner tweeted a few hours ago that officials with U.S. Marshals Service revealed the 52-year-old musician was under its supervision.

Turner wrote: “US Marshals confirmed tonight Jon Ryan Schaffer (Indiana man accused in Capitol insurrection) is in their custody. I’ll share more updates when available.”

Schaffer, who resides in in Edinburgh, Indiana, was photographed wearing an “Oath Keepers Lifetime Member” cap during the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He is facing six federal criminal charges after he was accused of spraying a police officer with a pepper-based bear repellant.

The Oath Keepers describe themselves as an association of former law enforcement and military personnel dedicated to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” But the Anti-Defamation League describes it as “a large but loosely organized collection of right-wing anti-government extremists who are part of the militia movement, which believes that the federal government has been coopted by a shadowy conspiracy that is trying to strip American citizens of their rights.”

Indiana Public Media reported last Friday that Schaffer waived a preliminary hearing after he was charged with multiple federal crimes at this month’s insurrection.

Prior to being transferred to federal custody, the guitarist was held in the Marion County Jail after surrendering to police on January 17.

The government lawyers and Schaffer‘s legal team have mutually agreed to handle all proceedings in Washington.

Last week, government lawyers asked the judge to not offer Schaffer a bond when he goes in front of U.S. magistrate.

Schaffer must prove to the federal magistrate that he is not a threat to himself or the public before being released on bail. Others who have been charged for insurrection at the Capitol have been given bail but ordered to surrender their firearms, avoid contact with other alleged Capitol rioters and stay away from all state capitol buildings. Some other alleged rioters have been prohibited from using social media and participating in any political rallies.

Schaffer made his first court appearance on January 18 after turning himself in to police in Hamilton County the day before. He faces six federal charges, including engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building.

Authorities say Schaffer was photographed and seen on surveillance video carrying a pepper-based bear repellant and arguing with Capitol Police officers inside the Capitol.

Just hours after the insurrection, ICED EARTH fans recognized Schaffer in a photo released by federal investigators in which he could be seen at the front of a mob, wearing black leather fingerless tactical gloves and pointing his finger while yelling at someone out of the frame.

Schaffer is believed to be one of at least 400 people who are being investigated by FBI officials over their roles in the insurrection.

More than 150 criminal cases have been filed so far. Charges include unauthorized access, theft, damage to government property and assault on law enforcement officers.

While Schaffer has not yet said anything publicly about his involvement in the riot, his ICED EARTH bandmates put out a statement on Instagram and Facebook opposing the insurrection.

“We absolutely DO NOT condone nor do we support riots or the acts of violence that the rioters were involved in on January 6th at the US Capitol building,” they wrote. “We hope that all those involved that day are brought to justice to be investigated and answer for their actions.”

Earlier in the month, German daily newspaper Die Welt uploaded a video interview it conducted with Schaffer last November at a Washington, D.C. demonstration supporting Trump and protesting the 2020 presidential election results. In the chat, the guitarist said that “a group of thugs and criminals hijacked this country a long time ago” and warned that “they’re messing with the wrong people here. Because now we see you, and you’re going down. Mark my words.”

Schaffer also seemingly threw his support behind Trump, saying “he’s not your typical Republican” and claiming that America’s 45th president is “dealing with a criminal mafia that has been in the shadows running the world, frankly, for a very long time. They wanna destroy all of our sovereignty and bring about global government,” he added. “We’re not having it… It will not happen. There will be a lot of blood shed, if it comes down to that — trust me. The American people will not go for that bullshit — once they understand what’s actually happening. So, that’s where we’re at. Nobody wants this, but they’re pushing us to a point where we have no choice.”

Schaffer is also a member of power metal supergroup DEMONS & WIZARDS, which features BLIND GUARDIAN frontman Hansi Kürsch. He also had a solo project called SONS OF LIBERTY.

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GREAT WHITE’s MARK KENDALL On Split With JACK RUSSELL: He ‘Was Just Unable To Perform’

GREAT WHITE guitarist Mark Kendall has once again said that he holds no ill will toward the band’s original lead singer, Jack Russell.

Russell exited GREAT WHITE in December 2011 after he was unable to tour with the group due a series of injuries, including a perforated bowel and a shattered pelvis. Jack largely blamed these injuries on his alcohol and painkiller addictions as well as the prednisone drug he was prescribed.

Asked in a new chat with That Metal Interview if Russell was fired from GREAT WHITE, Kendall said (hear audio below): “No. He wasn’t fired. In the almost 30 years that we worked together, I think we might have gotten in, like, two arguments. Seriously! I mean, we were blood brothers. What happened was his demons overcame him. We were out on tour. He was falling down, breaking bones. He was very sick with his addiction.

“I work with addicts daily,” Mark continued. “I literally have worked one-on-one with over a hundred people in the last nine years. And there are people I’ve met that can get a DUI and they’ve got nine years sobriety today; it’s, like, a DUI is plenty. And then, on the other part of the scale, there’s a guy that loses his family, his job, his house, his cars — everything — and he still doesn’t stop [drinking or using drugs].

“We tried everything, and Jack was just unable to perform. He was so sick, his body was just breaking down. He had a walker. We had to push him in airports in a wheelchair. He had to sit down at the shows. And it became so bad and he was so dopesick that he just could not continue. And I’ve been at his hospital bed, I’ve been at his bedside in rehab centers day after day after day, being as supportive as possible.

“We just [told him], ‘Go get well. We’ll get a singer to fill in. And just get yourself healthy.’ And he kind of just was unable to return. He didn’t wanna come back on those terms. So he just went out and found musicians that would play with him and [made] his own [version of] GREAT WHITE, which kind of turned into this lawsuit thing, which we hated.

“People that assemble together, they’re called a band because it’s a group of people,” Mark continued. “So one guy can’t just leave and just call himself the band. That was our point. So we kind of won the lawsuit, but we wanted him to have a way to make a living, because the people he worked with were accepting him the way he was. So we were fine with that. So we let him call himself JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE or whatever.

“It’s unfortunate that the whole situation had to happen because he was not treating himself well. But I never have ever taken it personal, someone’s addictions. They’re not doing it to hurt me. Jack didn’t do what he did to hurt me. He just had a difficult time, [because] the addiction is so damn powerful. Really, to get away from that, you just have to surrender — just drop to your knees and beg God. It’s very difficult.

“So, that’s what happened with that,” Kendall added. “I think fans are a little confused. [They ask me,] ‘Why don’t you patch things up?’ We’ve never even gotten in a fight before. There’s nothing to patch up. He’s unhealthy, and it’s just that. And we’re at the age now where you really don’t wanna have all this drama.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever been around somebody that’s really high and you’re not. It’s like you’re in two different worlds. ‘Cause we’re all sober and focused and everything. It’s kind of like having a liability around. I mean, if you worked at a job, and there’s people counting on you, and you’ve got one guy that just doesn’t have it together, it just makes everything kind of crumble.

“So, that’s how it was. We just said, ‘Go get well, come back healthy and let’s kick some ass.’ And he was just not able to do that.

“We have all the love for him, and I always wish him the best of everything. I never have any ill will toward him or his addiction — nothing.”

Russell sued his onetime bandmates in 2012 over their continued use of the GREAT WHITE name after Jack had taken a leave of absence from the band for medical reasons. A short time later, Russell was countersued by Kendall, rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Michael Lardie and drummer Audie Desbrow, claiming the vocalist’s self-destructive behavior was damaging the GREAT WHITE name (they also alleged he was charging promoters less for his own touring version of GREAT WHITE). The parties settled in July 2013 without going to trial, with Russell now performing as JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE while the others are continuing as GREAT WHITE.

More than two years ago, GREAT WHITE announced the addition of new singer Mitch Malloy to the group’s ranks. He replaced Terry Ilous, who was fired from the band in July 2018.
Earlier this month, Russell told “Rocking With Jam Man” that his split with GREAT WHITE “was very emotional. It still hurts a lot,” he said. “Maybe it’s like a divorce, ’cause you get to be brothers when you’re playing in a band together, especially for many, many years. And then when that ends, it can be very traumatic on your spirit. That’s what it was like when I split up with my old guys. That was really, really difficult. But what are you gonna do? You’ve gotta kind of go with the flow and just move on.”

Asked if he thinks a band that replaces its longtime singer is essentially “just a cover band,” Russell said: “Well [laughs], that’s dangerous waters right there, my friend. Let me see how to answer that. You know, I hate to say it, but I do agree with you. I think the singer is the one part of the band that is unique. I mean, pretty much any guitar player that’s good can play any other good guitar player’s [parts] well enough to make it sound — it’s indistinguishable. You go, ‘Is that the original guitar player?’ ‘No, it’s somebody else.’ ‘Oh, I couldn’t tell.’ But, obviously, each singer is gonna have his own sound that’s uniquely of himself. My voice sounds different than anybody else’s voice, so anything that I’ve done with GREAT WHITE sounds like GREAT WHITE. You take that element away, and it’s a different band. So, the answer to you question — for the most part, putting it that way, yeah, I agree with you.”

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THE END MACHINE Feat. Ex-DOKKEN, WARRANT Members: ‘Phase2’ Album Due In April

THE END MACHINE, the new band featuring two members of the classic DOKKEN lineup — George Lynch (guitar) and Jeff Pilson (bass) — along with former LYNCH MOB and current WARRANT singer Robert Mason, will release its sophomore album, “Phase2”, on April 9 via Frontiers Music Srl. The disc’s first single will arrive in late February.

Track listing:

01. The Rising
02. Blood And Money
03. We Walk Alone
04. Dark Divide
05. Crack The Sky
06. Prison Or Paradise
07. Plastic Heroes
08. Scars
09. Shine Your Light
10. Devil’s Playground
11. Born Of Fire
12. Destiny

Last September, Lynch revealed to KNAC.COM that THE END MACHINE‘s second album would feature drummer Steve Brown, son of former DOKKEN drummer “Wild” Mick Brown, who played on THE END MACHINE‘s self-titled 2019 debut.

Regarding the musical direction of the new THE END MACHINE material, George said: “On the new THE END MACHINE album, we went more DOKKEN-centric, which is what the label requested. The label is Frontiers, and they wanted something that was a little bit more geared towards the DOKKEN sound. When you hear it, I think you’ll agree that we were very successful in achieving that.”

Pilson previously said that THE END MACHINE was “not just ex-DOKKEN members with a different singer or a rebooted incarnation of LYNCH MOB. This is a new sound,” he said. Mason concurred, telling Love Is Pop: “I understand fans [expecting] it to be like B-sides from DOKKEN with me stapled on it, but it’s definitely not that. I told them right away, I don’t want to be involved if it’s just gonna be that. Because that would feel like a shortcut, and I had no interest in doing that. But if it’s got its own legs and its own entity, then we’ll see how it goes. And when they started sending me ideas, I thought I could do something with them to the degree that it would be a unique animal. The DNA is there. George plays and you know it’s George Lynch. I can’t change my voice so much — I don’t want to. Why would I? But everybody’s got other influences. Jeff Pilson has got a real progressive rock kind of thing, and I dig that stuff. I’m a lot more bluesy. George has got his thing. And we really tried to make it different. And I think we did. Hopefully, fans embrace it. As I said, I don’t want to reiterate too much, but they will hear the elements of it, but to us it absolutely doesn’t sound like a DOKKEN record.”

“Phase2” recording lineup:

George Lynch – guitar
Jeff Pilson – bass, keyboards and background vocals
Steve Brown – drums and background vocals
Robert Mason – lead and background vocals

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METALLICA members Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo, along with their good friends Whitfield Crane (UGLY KID JOE), Joey Castillo (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, ZAKK SABBATH) and Doc Coyle (BAD WOLVES, GOD FORBID), performed on July 26, 2019 at Cosmopolitan Music Hall at Cosmo Music in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. Dubbed THE WEDDING BAND, they played classic covers from bands like AC/DC, BLACK SABBATH, Billy Idol, and more.

Newly uploaded professionally filmed video footage of THE WEDDING BAND playing a cover of Billy Idol‘s “White Wedding” at the event can be seen below.

Kirk told Cosmo Music about THE WEDDING BAND: “It’s just really fun jamming with these guys. It’s something different. For Rob and I, it’s cool, because we get to indulge our love of funk and punk… I was listening to all sorts of crazy music in the ’70s — a lot of funk, R&B — so I’ve always had a real appreciation of the music of that time. When I found out that Rob did, we started playing our favorite songs. Funk from the ’70s is so unique, and it’s almost a lost art because no one is writing songs like that anymore… We got together and started jamming out tunes, and it sounded amazingly good, and then we started to improvise, and it sounded amazingly good… It’s primarily a way for Rob and I just to jam out. We love to jam; we love playing with people; we love to play funk. It’s become a little bit of an outlet for us, but it’s nothing really serious or anything like that. We’re really open to anyone coming and playing with us. I even asked the other guys in [METALLICA] if they want to come by and jam. [We’re] always open — this is not a closed-border sort of band situation. Anyone can come in and play, as long as they’re good… It’s so recreational, but musicians need recreational music as well. They need to play stuff that they don’t really have to worry too much about, and that we don’t have too much accountability over. It’s just a light, cool, fun thing for us, and Rob and I need that, because a lot of times, we put so much into our performance. There’s so much intensity, so much riding on having to execute this song and play the shit out of it. You’ve just got to put a lot of love and care into our band’s music, and that’s fine, and I love it – I’m super-passionate about it — but it’s also fun to just go to Disneyland for a while and play some tunes that are just fun for you to play, inspired you, make you smile, make you sweat and make you go, ‘Man, I needed that.’ I think everyone needs something like that… It’s just so fun. We’re something that’s not to be taken too seriously, because none of us want to take it that seriously.”

Last year, Hammett confirmed that he and his METALLICA bandmates have begun working on the follow-up to 2016’s “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” album while in quarantine. A year earlier, Hammett said that he had already accumulated “a lot” of “kick-ass, great” ideas for METALLICA‘s next LP.

The METALLICA axeman famously lost his iPhone containing hundreds of riffs in 2014. About six months later, he told “The Jasta Show” podcast that he “was crushed” when it happened, but still expressed hope that it “might turn up.”

Hammett is not credited on any of the songs on “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct”.

Hammett previously said that losing his phone was a “devastating” experience.

Despite the setback, Hammett said that he was pleased with how “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” turned out.

“Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 album chart, selling 291,000 copies in its first week of release.

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EXODUS’s STEVE ‘ZETRO’ SOUZA Claims He Predicted METALLICA’s Chart-Topping Success In 1985

In a new interview with the “Shockwaves Skullsessions” podcast, EXODUS singer Steve “Zetro” Souza discussed METALLICA‘s late 1980s/early 1990s transition from being uncompromising thrash metal standard-bearers to arena rock’s heaviest band.

“It’s funny,” he said (see video below). “[SLAYER‘s] Tom Araya told me one thing long, long, long ago. He said, ‘Zetro, just stay heavy and everything else will fall into place.’ And he’s right. Who’s the biggest band in the world? They’re a thrash band. If you really look at it from the beginning, the biggest band in the world is a thrash band.

“In 1985, I remember, I [was] 21 years old,” he continued. “I just finished the LEGACY [Zetro‘s pre-EXODUS band, later renamed TESTAMENT] demo. I had a guy, a very good friend of mine, and I remember the conversation fucking vividly. And he said, ‘Do you ever think METALLICA will ever have a Number One record?’ And I said, ‘Of course I do.’ And he was trying to rip me apart, going, ‘It’ll never happen.’ And I said, ‘I’m gonna tell you something’ — and this is 1985 — ‘as society gets heavier, so will the music.’ And look, here we are — 35, 36 years later, and who’s the biggest band [in the world]? Not just the biggest thrash band in the world — the biggest fucking band in the world.”

EXODUS‘s new album, “Persona Non Grata”, will be released this summer via Nuclear Blast. It will be the follow-up to 2014’s “Blood In Blood Out”, which was the San Francisco Bay Area thrashers’ first release since the departure of the group’s lead singer of nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.

“Persona Non Grata” was recorded at a studio in Lake Almanor, California and was engineered by Steve Lagudi and EXODUS. It was produced by EXODUS and was mixed by Andy Sneap.

“Persona Non Grata” will feature a guest appearance by ex-EXODUS guitarist Rick Hunolt.

Longtime EXODUS fans will recall that Hunolt — the other half of the famed EXODUS “H-Team” who is on every studio recording from 1985 through 2004 and co-wrote some of the band’s best-known songs such as “A Lesson In Violence” and “Deliver Us To Evil” — left EXODUS after the band’s highly acclaimed 2004 reunion album, “Tempo Of The Damned”. Following his departure, Hunolt was replaced by HEATHEN guitarist Lee Altus.

“Blood In Blood Out” was notable for featuring a guest appearance by former EXODUS guitarist Kirk Hammett, who left the band in 1983 to join METALLICA.

The original lineup of EXODUS consisted of guitarists Hammett and Tim Agnello, Hunting and vocalist Keith Stewart. Holt joined the band in 1981, while Kirk left two years before EXODUS‘s debut album, “Bonded By Blood”, saw the light of day.

Souza is now on his third stint with EXODUS, having previously fronted the band from 1986 to 1993 and 2002 to 2004. A decade following his second departure, Souza returned to the fold in 2014, just in time to appear on “Blood In Blood Out”.

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