On a recent episode of their podcast, Týrcast, Tyr members Heri Joensen (vocals), Tadeusz Rieckmann (drums), and Gunnar H. Thomsen (bass) talked about the recent controversy with Iced Earth/Demons & Wizards guitarist Jon Schaffer being. arrested after his participation in the riots at the Capitol building.
The conversation began with the band revealing that they toured with Schaffer, in support for Demoms & Wizards in 2019 and Henri said the headliners treating him well. Henri noted that he only spoke for about five minutes with Schaffer three or four times and that Schaffer seemed nice enough and "very American."
The conversation shifted to what Dee Snider said a few weeks back, calling Schaffer an embarrassment to the metal scene and basically calling him a snitch. Henri said of Snider's comments: "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.'"
Drummer Tadeusz Rieckmann agreed with Snider saying: "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."
Henri retorted "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."
Bassist Gunnar H. Thomsen chimed in: "It all seems so harsh. It kind of brings me back to some of the troubles we've been through. Instead of going a political way of showing people your point of view, what you think is right, they come and do stuff like this, which is somewhat childish in a way."
Tadeusz retorted "It's actually radical. And that is the biggest problem here, I think."
Henri concluded "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."
Schaffer pled guilty to two charges (he was originally charged with six). The charges include obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, and trespassing on restricted grounds of the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
CNN reported that prosecutors and Schaffer's defense agreed to recommend between 3.5 and 4.5 years of sentencing in prison, based on his cooperation. The decision is ultimately up to federal Judge Amit Mehta. New York Times reports that Schaffer requested and was granted Witness Protection Program sponsorship.
Schaffer's bail is under the following conditions:
- He must submit to court supervision in Indiana.
- He must surrender his passport and international traveling documents
- He must stay out of Washington D.C., outside of court hearings and attorney meetings
- He will be permitted to travel within the US with notice to pretrial services
- He cannot possess any firearms or explosive devices, even legally. Firearms must be removed from his home.
A report from the Washington Post notes that in Schaffer's plea agreement he admitted to being a "founding" lifetime member of the Oath Keepers, but they note that Schaffer is "the first defendant to potentially flip in the sprawling domestic terrorism investigation that has led to charges against more than 400 people."
According to the plea agreement "Schaffer admitted to being among the first individuals to push past the damaged doors and into the Capitol building, forcing officers to retreat. Schaffer and others advanced toward five or six backpedaling USCP officers while members of the mob swelled inside of the Capitol and overwhelmed the officers. The officers ultimately deployed a chemical irritant to disperse the mob. Schaffer was among the people who were sprayed in the face, after which exited while holding his own bear spray in his hands."
[transcriptions via Blabbermouth]