ICED EARTH's Luke Appleton Responds

Iced Earth bassist Luke Appleton has responded on behalf of his other bandmates over Jon Schaffer's alleged involvement in the Capitol insurrection ... and it sounds like they're not ready to throw him under the bus just yet.

Luke writes, "We want to thank those of you who have sent words of support in recent days. 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."

He goes on to say that Iced Earth doesn't condone the violence or acts of any of the rioters at the Capitol, adding that their hearts go out to anyone adversely affected. The one thing he fails to do in his remarks ... call out Jon by name, or even acknowledge he might've been part of the mob.

What he says here (and doesn't say) is interesting ... sounds like they're still waiting on more information before fully admonishing their leader.

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