Entertainment News
The No. 1 Source For Breaking Music, Film, and TV Headlines

Ariel Pink Attended Capitol Protest, Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer Stormed the Building

on January 07, 2021, 10:54am

Instead of affirming the election of President-elect Joe Biden after some anticipated perfunctory displays of self-serving dogmatism, members of Congress faced an insurrection of Trump supporters on Wednesday. While the scary event likely turned some away from blind faith in a failed leader, it also may cause others to reconsider being fans of certain musicians: It turns out Ariel Pink and John Maus attended the Capitol protest-turned-seige, while Jon Schaffer of metal band Iced Earth was actually amongst those who stormed the building.

Pink himself confirmed he was in Washington, DC with Maus after director Alex Lee Moyer, known for the pro-incel documentary TFW NO GF, posted an image of the three of them in a hotel. “The day we almost died but instead had a great time,” read the caption.

When Twitter user @yerbalover reposted the image along with a short clip of Maus at the protest, Pink responded by confirming “it’s true” that he was in attendance. “i dont and never have advocated for violent confrontation or rioting,” he wrote. “must be my boomer upbringing.”

A further tweet added, “i was in dc to peacefully show my support for the president. i attended the rally on the white house lawn and went back to hotel and took a nap. case closed.”

As news of Pink’s attendance spread, he tweeted, “welcome to the panoptigan. they wasted no time…save yourselves friends, cancel me now and turn me in before they come for you.” He also added a “vote trump” tweet and shared a video titled “Joe Biden Racist Democrat History and Michelle Obama Using Racism Lying about Donald Trump & Blacks” for good measure.

Perhaps even more explosive is that Iced Earth guitarist Schaffer was allegedly part of the right-wing rioters that stormed the Capitol. Photographer Roberto Schmidt of AFP/Getty snapped an image of a man who appears to be Schaffer at the front of the angry mob, his finger pointed aggressively towards someone out of frame and an “Oath Keepers” hat on his head. (Oath Keepers are an extremist far-right anti-government militia group.)

A number of news organizations have used the image in their coverage of the storming of the Capitol, including CBS, NBC, and The Guardian.

While fans of any of these musicians might be disheartened by the presence at yesterday’s shameful events, they shouldn’t necessarily be surprised. Ariel Pink has made himself something of a real-life troll, at times stating things like, “It’s not illegal to be a racist,” or that he “respects” the Westboro Baptist Church “because they’re free-speech advocates,” or that gay marriage “pisses me off.”

Schaffer, meanwhile, often wears a confederate flag bandana when he performs, and has long espoused conspiracy theories. He’s called the COVID-19 pandemic a “plandemic” set up by “a very small group of people that have very dark designs for the future of humanity and the world…” He’s also stated his resistance to being “forcibly” vaccinated.

Schaffer was also present at another pro-Trump rally back in November (via Germany’s Die Welt). At the time, he stated, “They will go down. They’re messing with the wrong people, believe me… If someone uses violence against us, we will react accordingly. We don’t want that, but we are ready.”