Týr members Heri Joensen (vocals), Tadeusz Rieckmann (drums), and Gunnar H. Thomsen (bass) have weighed in on Jon Schaffer, the Iced Earth guitarist who is currently in trouble with the law for participating in the seditious riot at the Capitol on January 6.
The musicians discussed Schaffer as part of the most recent episode of their Týrcast.
Týr were support for Demons & Wizards, Schaffer’s band with Blind Guardian singer Hansi Kürsch, in 2019. Joensen says that during that “I talked to Jon Schaffer about — I don’t know — three times maybe, [for] anywhere from five minutes to half an hour. And he seemed nice enough, honestly.” He goes on to say that he felt compelled to comment on the situation after Dee Snider publicly slammed Schaffer last month:
“I wanted to let it go and not talk about it and not get into politics on this podcast too much, but this was very interesting, especially when Dee Snider, a couple of days ago, tweeted about this. First, there were pictures and videos of the insurrection where Jon Schaffer is clearly visible, so he was wanted by the FBI after this event, and he turned himself in. And he was given some charges, [and] he could face decades in prison for it. But apparently he made a deal with prosecutors so that for cooperation and obviously turning other people in, he will get a more lenient sentence. Dee Snider, the singer of Twisted Sister, did not react kindly to that. He called him ‘a piece of shit, embarrassment to the metal community,’ he said. ‘If you do the crime, then do the time.’”
Rieckmann then voiced support for Snider’s statement:
“I have to agree with Dee Snider here. I mean, seriously, if you’re really stupid enough to break into the building of the American government and try a revolution, and after that, you’re not even facing or standing up to what you were convinced of doing is right or is true or is your purpose, then, I mean, come on — that’s call snitching.”
Joensen then added:
“Sounds like he doesn’t really believe in what he was trying to do. If he thinks the entire government needs to be overthrown, he wouldn’t try and make a deal with them to turn other people in as well. It seems very half-baked and half-hearted to me. Decades in a U.S. prison is no holiday; it’s no picnic. Especially at our age, your entire future is gone.
“But anyway, it’s a pretty serious crime and attempt to overthrow the entire government. And how you can then try and cooperate with them for leniency from the very system you were trying to overthrow.”
Thomsen went on to call the actions of Schaffer and the other rioters “childish” — an assesment with which Joensen agreed:
“But there’s also something childish about it. It’s like when you’re losing a game of chess and you just wipe everything off the table. We have a functioning system here. You may not like it, but there are ways of interacting with it if that’s what you want to. There are also ways you absolutely shouldn’t. If whatever they were trying to do was successful, there’s, I think, a one hundred percent chance that things would be worse and not better.
“The American system probably isn’t perfect — I don’t think any system is — but treating it like this is almost certainly gonna make it worse, if they were successful.”
You can listen to the entire conversation below.
Schaffer has reportedly cut a plea deal with prosecutors, which will see him roll over on some of his fellow rioters in exchange for a less-severe prison sentence. Although the guitarist is currently free following 89 straight days in jail, he will need to return to court for sentencing at a later date and his movements will be restricted and monitored in the meantime.
Catch up on everything we know about Schaffer and is involvement with the riot here.