Exodus guitarist Gary Holt has spoken out after a fan of his band was arrested for posting lyrics to one of their songs.
James Evans, 31, will appear in court next week to answer a charge of “terrorist threatening” after quoting 2010 track Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer) on Facebook.
He wrote: “Student bodies lying dead in the halls, a blood splattered treatise of hate. Class dismissed is my hypothesis, gun fire ends in debate.”
Police say several law enforcement agencies were contacted because of his post, and officers were sent to arrest him in Muhlenberg, Kentucky, because he’d “threatened to kill students and/or staff at a school.”
Evans’ sister Ashelynn says James often posts lyrics on Facebook, adding: “We couldn’t believe you could get in trouble for that.”
Holt says in a statement: “The idea that an individual in this great country of ours could be arrested for simply posting lyrics is something I never believed could happen in a free society.
“Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer) was written as a view through the eyes of a madman, and in no way endorses that kind of fucked up behaviour.
“As some of us in Exodus are parents, of course these things hit close to home. It’s every parent’s worst fear. These moments are the stuff of nightmares – and life, as well as music, isn’t always pretty.
“But when we start to overreact to things like lyrics and start arresting people, we are caving in to paranoia and are well on our way to becoming an Orwellian society.”
The song was written as a result of the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, in which 33 people were killed by Seung-Hui Cho. The band stopped playing it live after 28 died during the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012 because they “did not want to seem insensitive.”
Evans is expected in court on Wednesday. Exodus release 10th album Blood In Blood Out on October 13.