I have very deliberately, and I imagine very obviously, kept Post-Blog as F**K! quiet surrounding the recent events in the Lamb of God camp. It’s an issue that end of the day, I don’t see myself as being that qualified to comment on. I’m not a professional musician, a lawyer, a grieving family member and also I wasn’t there. To comment too much on the situation without being any of those things would, I think, be somewhat benign. It achieves nothing, and means even less. Also, love the internet and its opportunities for the discussion of views, this site included, fuck knows it doesn’t need anymore fuel to the fire of the keyboard warriors out there.
Though it pains me to say it, this rings particularly true in a) the more internet savvy metal world and b) a band with the kind of dedicated fan base that Lamb of God have.
Having said that, I’m obviously writing this to give my view on the situation. So the above may seem a tad redundant, but I feel its important to always be transparent about your motivations when tackling things as important as this, which is then complicated by the presence of passionate fans. Some of whom, but not all, feel a sense of entitlement or personal attachment to their heroes beyond artistic appreciation. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s just the way it is, but it makes commenting on such matters all the more delicate.
So what is my view? My view is that from all that I aware of I feel Blythe has certainly been unfairly accused. The video footage that has emerged does show Blythe pushing the unfortunate fan in question. But it also shows a larger man in official looking dress, presumably a member of security pushing the fan with considerably more force. Also, the video in comparison to some of the eye-witness reports suggests that this was more of a ‘stage dive’ effort than a rush of the vocalist.
Perhaps it was. I’ve been to plenty of shows where stage diving is encouraged and enjoyed by nearly all present. I imagine at this stage in their career though, that they’re hardly that common at Lamb of God gigs, this isn’t Touhce Amore we’re talking about after all. Assuming it’s not a stage dive and it was an attempted rush at the vocalist, regardless of the motivation behind the rush, I don’t think we can blame Blythe for his reaction to the fan of sending him back into the crowd. In a post-Dimebag landscape you can’t ever be certain of the intentions of a fan on stage. In particular when you are a band of the nature of Lamb of God, often cited in the press as successors to Pantera’s crown. Not to say that fans of Pantera or Lamb of God are more predisposed to violence than fans of other bands. It’s more an analysis of their popularity. The bigger the band, the wider the cross-section of people who listen to them, and thus the higher the likelihood of more unstable individuals being involved. I imagine this wasn’t a potential second Dimebag situation though. I think it may well have been a case of misplaced passion at worst. That it ended in his death truly is a tragedy.
The above being said I don’t have all the evidence the Czech authorities have. Perhaps there is something else. I couldn’t bring myself to comment on that without knowing more. I’d like to give the services involved the benefit of the doubt that Blythe will be treated correctly and remain innocent until proven guilty, which we all hope won’t happen. And as I’ve already said, from what little I know I don’t see how the outcome could be any different.
The Lamb of God camp themselves have expressed more or less what I have above. The band haven’t given much of an in-depth commentary on events, rightly realizing how quickly things can change legally. It’s been an incredibly considered and mature response from the band, whom my thoughts go out to in this difficult time.
With the above I’ve echoed much of what’s already been said about the situation. But there has been somewhat of a back lash against the band about the way they have ‘perceived’ the band to be handling the situation. I say perceived because clearly said individuals can’t read.
The band have offered a donation system for fans wishing to help with Blythe legal fees, only because the fans asked for it. The have been entirely transparent that 100% of the profits will go to pay the legal fess and then the excess will go to a charity of Blythe’s choice upon his release. A perfectly reasonable response to the fan’s concerns. The band haven’t ASKED for any money but the option is there for those who feel they should get so involved. I applaud the band for engaging with their fan base so well on something that they could have easily kept entirely internal.
That some fans have entirely misunderstood this is shocking. Well I say shocking, I’m pretty cynical by this stage. I’m not surprised. But it’s still pretty terrible. In fact, it’s the first action in the whole series of events I feel the need to openly condemn. That lamb of God guitarist Willie Adler felt the need to take to Facebook to explain the motivation to their fans, despite the complete transparency of the official message is a sad state of affairs. While the support of so many of their fans is no doubt heart warming in such cold times, the other side of the blade in the band’s skin may well leave a mark.
At this point, I’ve probably spouted enough bile for one day. I’ll close by saying I admire Blythe greatly as an artist, lyricist, vocalist and a person from the little I know of him from interviews. From my limited understand, and I can’t stress that enough, I see no way anyone could convict him for the death of this unfortunate young man. But the only way to see this through is to stay open-minded and take each new piece of evidence and development as it comes. Patience is the most valuable resource in these kind of situations.
My thoughts are with the band, Blythe himself, their friends and family and the friends and family of the young man at the heart of this case, who so many people seem to have forgotten about. May he rest in peace.
If you feel the need to donate to Blythe’s fund here’s the link. Just click here.