Iced Earth singer Stu Block and bassist Luke Appleton have quit the band. The news comes less than a month after the band's founder, guitarist Jon Schaffer, surrendered to the FBI and was charged with six offences related to the riotous scenes at the US Capitol building in Washington DC on January 6.
In a statement on Facebook, Appleton wrote, "In response to recent events & circumstances, I have notified Iced Earth’s management and Jon that I will be resigning as the Iced Earth bassist with immediate effect.
"I would like to thank everyone who has sent me their support and love during this difficult time. Thank you!"
At the same time, Block wrote, "Well, there are times and events when you have to take stock and re evaluate your life, work, and trajectory for the future. That being said I have informed Jon and his current management that I must announce my resignation from Iced Earth with immediate effect.
"Before I made any personal decision I needed the last few weeks to process the situation as well as respect others in our camp processing the situation. I thank you all very much for respecting this. It’s the best decision in many ways for my personal/ professional growth going forward. Time to move on, heal and prosper.
"Much love and respect to you all. Don’t fret! Stay tuned for some exciting things to come! Time to embark upon a new chapter. Be good to each other."
Block originally joined Iced Earth in 2011 for the band's Dystopia album, while Appleton joined the following year.
In the wake of the clashes, Schaffer’s bandmates released a statement voicing their opposition to the alarming scenes at the Capitol.
"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."
Having been photographed among angry demonstrators who stormed the Capitol as the US Congress convened to certify Joe Biden’s victory in November’s Presidential elections, Jon Schaffer turned himself in to authorities on the afternoon of January 17, according to a statement by the FBI Indianapolis Field Office.
In the wake of the attacks, the band's record label Century Media removed Iced Earth from their website.