Iced Earth vocalist Stu Block, bassist Luke Appleton, and guitarist Jake Dreyer have all confirmed that they’ve stepped down from the band with immediate effect.
The news of their departure comes a number of weeks following the arrest of guitarist Jon Schaffer on January 17th 2021, due to his involvement with the riots that occurred at the US Capitol building in Washington DC on January 6th 2021.
Shortly after this, the band were dropped by their label, Century Media Records.
Block issued his statement via his personal Facebook account, which can be read in full below.
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.
Appleton followed with his own statement, published via his Facebook page which can be read in full below.
“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!!!
Dreyer confirmed his departure in a response to news publication TMZ, stating his intent to focus on his other project Witherfall moving forward.
At the time of writing there has been no statement from Schaffer regarding the departure of the three members, and it is believed that drummer Brent Smedley remains as a member of Iced Earth.
Schaffer remains in prison awaiting a handful of charges. A statement of facts has also been released regarding his arrest, and includes surveillance images which also highlight the ‘bear spray’ that he was carrying with him.