Singer Hansi Kürsch has announced his departure from the band Demons & Wizards, a duo he formed alongside Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer in 1998. The news follows his bandmate’s involvement in, and subsequent arrest for, the riots that invaded the US Capitol building on 6 January.
Kürsch, who is also the frontman for power metal band Blind Guardian, said in a statement yesterday (1 February) said (translation via Blabbermouth): “I notified Jon and [Demons & Wizards label] Century Media on Monday that I was leaving the Demons & Wizards project with immediate effect. My collaboration with Jon in Demons & Wizards is over.”
Schaffer was among a mob of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol last month. The events resulted in the death of one police officer and four rioters.
Schaffer was photographed wearing a hat that declared “Oath Keepers Lifetime Member.” The Oath Keepers are a far-right anti-government organisation that operate based on a number of conspiratorial beliefs. The Anti-Defamation League has described them as “heavily armed extremists.”
Following the news Schaffer was wanted by the authorities, the other members of Iced Earth released a statement via bassist Luke Appleton’s Instagram account denouncing the actions of the rioters.
“Some of you have been concerned by our silence, which we understand. We needed some time to properly process the information and find out some facts before we made a statement,” the band wrote.
“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. We hope that all those involved that day are brought to justice to be investigated and answer for their actions.”
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