As Lamb of God singer D. Randall "Randy" Blythe prepares to post bail in the Czech Republic after his arrest last week in connection with the death of a fan at one of the band's shows in 2010, fellow metalheads spoke out in his support over the weekend.
Frequently citing the 2004 onstage murder of Pantera/Damageplan guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott by a deranged fan during a show in Columbus, Ohio, stars including Slash and Sebastian Bach, as well as members of DevilDriver, Hatebreed, Lacuna Coil, Unearth, Throwdown and others tweeted about Randy's situation.
Blythe, 41, appeared in court on Saturday and the Czech news site Blesk.cz reported that Blythe expects to be released on Monday morning (July 2).
The Lamb of God singer was arrested last week at the airport in Prague, where his Grammy-nominated band was scheduled to perform at the Czech Republic capital's Rock Cafe. Authorities charged him in connection with an alleged incident that resulted in a concertgoer's death two years ago.
Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeRandyBlythe took off on Twitter as the metal community took to social media to voice their support for the singer.
"Everything changed on December 8, 2004. #stayoffthestage #FreeRandyBlythe," tweeted Five Finger Death Punch's Chris Kael.
When asked by someone on Twitter how he felt about Randy "slaughtering" a fan, Disturbed frontman David Draiman responded: "He didn't 'slaughter' anyone. The kid jumped on stage and started a brawl, and Randy defended himself. That his life was lost in the process is truly unfortunate, but Randy is my friend and he's no murderer. I feel for the child and for the family and for Randy, but you have to understand that ever since Dimebag Darrell was assaulted, shot, and murdered on stage by a 'fan,' all of us have been very defensive/cautious of anyone jumping up on stage. I'm not saying that it's OK, or justified, or anything like that, only that it's an unfortunate/tragic set of circumstances. I know Randy's intention was not to kill the kid."
Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian expressed similar sentiments on Twitter. "It's complete and utter bull---- for him to be treated like a criminal for something he didn't do," he wrote. "Now fans can see firsthand why there's no stage diving anymore. Especially in the post-Darrell world we live in. It's all fun and games until people get murdered, die and get arrested. Randy didn't cause that fan's death. That fan chose his path. People need to take responsibility for their actions no matter what the consequence. Of course it's sad that this person died, it's a tragedy, but it's not Randy's fault."
Anthrax dedicated a song to Randy at the kickoff of this year's Rockstar Mayhem tour in San Bernardino, California on Saturday.
Lamb of God were touring Europe in support of their latest album, Resolution, which debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 in January. The band canceled shows in Germany and Finland and returned home to Richmond, Virginia on Sunday.
"Finally HOME! 4/5ths of us anyway," tweeted Lamb guitarist Mark Morton. "I can't wait to give Randy a big bear hug and kiss his pointy, stubbly face! Thanx for all the support ya'll! Flooded with questions about Randy. I truly understand and appreciate [your] concern. But it would be irresponsible for me to comment on any of it. Again, thank ya'll SOOOO much for your love and support during these difficult times. It means the world to us."
Blythe faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Bail was set at 4 million Czech Koruna (approximately $200,000) in the case, in which Blythe has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a 2010 concert at Prague's Club Abaton where he is alleged to have shoved a local fan from the stage. The man Czech media identified only as "Daniel N." reportedly suffered a brain hemorrhage that left him comatose and resulted in his death 14 days afterward.