Friday, July 13, 2012


Randy Blythe, vocalist of Virginia based thrash/core warriors LAMB OF GOD has a bail hearing set for 7/19/2012 in connection to the death of a stage diving fan (2010) as Blythe has been charged with manslaughter or "bodily harm of the fourth degree, resulting in the death of a fan". RANDY BLYTHE  could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Blythe is still being detained in a CZECK REPUBLIC jail after the prosecuting attorney challenged bail.

FROM TOM ARAYA (SLAYER): "[Randy did] what anybody in a band would do — a kids gets up on stage and you push him off, and that's where the discrepancy is. I haven't seen [video footage of the alleged incident], and [the people that have supposedly seen it] said it's pretty obvious in the video clip what was going on and what happened. I haven't seen it, so I can't tell you what I think. But it's like anything else — a kid gets on stage, and you push him off. And whatever happens to him down there afterwards… First [and] foremost, they have security there so kids don't get on stage. But they also have security there so the kids don't hurt themselves when they come over the [barricade or when they try to come up on stage]. So it's like a two-deal thing."

He added, "I feel sorry for [Randy], 'cause now he's stuck in this spot. It's kind of hard to say if it would have been a different outcome had he not touched the kid or if it'd still be the same outcome. I hope that it gets settled and I hope that he can get home. That's just not cool."

He continued, "Nowadays, you have to really think about that kind of shit. I hate to say this, 25 years ago, stuff like that, if it happened, it happened. Nowadays, if it's happened, everybody's discovered that they have 'rights.' Rights are great, but you also have to share in the responsibility. You have to be a responsible person. You have to be responsible for your own action. Randy has to be responsible for his action of whatever he did. But the kid has to be responsible for the action he took upon himself to get up on the stage. [He] took the initiative to do that. [The security] guys [apparently] said, 'No, you can't do that.' And apparently [the kid] tried several times [to get up on stage]. 

"To me, we all carry the burden of our own responsibility — being responsible for our own actions and ourselves; we all share in that. Everybody needs to understand that, and that's something that people don't understand these days. Now, whenever something happens, it's like, 'You did this to me.' It's like, 'Well, we told you not to go there and you did it ten times. And the tenth time, we're like, 'OK, buddy. How you're gonna get it through your thick skull? Get the fuck out.' You know what I mean?!"

"It was at an elaborate breakfast buffet in an upscale Manila hotel — courtesy of a Filipino concert promoter — where I first had an in-depth conversation with Randy Blythe. Sure we'd run into each other before, always at a show, in a big crowd but never one on one. Minutes earlier, we'd noticed each other sitting alone at tables and got a kick out of seeing someone else from our respective bands that had risen early and headed to breakfast with a paperback in hand. One of us, I forget who, waved the other over to his table.

"Soon we were deep in discussion of shared passions for not just books but also spicy cuisine, adventurous travel, diverse music and films. It was a mutual favorite movie, 'Lost In Translation', that solidified this bromance — if you will. We each own the film, have seen it numerous times, frequently quote it and both love the soundtrack that consists of ambient textures and indy rock not typically listened to by metalheads. It was good to find someone else in the metal world that prefers a good thought provoking, artistic, independent film over dark fantasy, horror and violent action movies.

"To my pleasant surprise that morning, Randy turned out to be someone that defies stereotype, is an independent thinker, well read, articulate and unafraid to express honest opinions. Whenever we've hung out since, it is not as the singer of LAMB OF GOD and the guitarist of TESTAMENT, but simply as two guys that have a lot of common interests.

"A few months later, I went to see chef/author/TV personality Anthony Bourdain on a book tour — Randy and I are both die-hard fans. When I met Bourdain, I passed along a message from Randy and got each of us a personalized copy of Bourdain's latest book 'Medium Raw', in whichBourdain drew a picture of a chef's knife and a personal inscription.Randy returned the favor by giving me an incredible book by computer programmer/musician Jaron Lanier — a technological manifesto covering the positive and negative implications of the modern computers and the Internet, entitled 'You Are Not A Gadget'.

"This is the Randy Blythe I know — bookish, passionate, smart someone that, like myself, is a nerdy intellectual oddball who just happen to be in a well-known metal band. That scowling, scary face in his band's publicity photos and live shots? An onstage persona.

"As I write this, Randy sits in a Czech prison, unjustly accused of manslaughter, denied bail and facing a 5-10 year sentence. He was arrested on sight at the Prague airport, without warning. Apparently two years prior, a fan succumbed to head injuries weeks after attending aLAMB OF GOD concert. While this is a tragic unfolding of events, it is beyond a reasonable doubt that Randy is not to blame.

"As of this writing, it has now been more than two weeks. It's getting more difficult by the day to think of a friend unfairly locked away in a foreign jail, kept from family, loved ones, liberty and life. One is reminded of films like 'Midnight Express' and novels like Franz Kafka's 'The Trial'(the type of creative works that Randy appreciates on a deep level, but surely never thought he'd have to live through).

"At this point, all we can do is try to stir up noise, keep tweeting, petitioning and drawing more attention to this case and hopefully get this great, well-deserving guy out of jail. There are a few petitions going around, including this one from It can't hurt to tweet media and government figures, including the State Department Bureau Of Consular affairs, @TravelGov, an official U.S. agency that describes its purpose as 'protecting lives and interests of U.S. citizens overseas.' So far not a peep out of them.

"Adding to the frustration, this case is barely making a dent outside ofRandy's hometown of Richmond, Virginia. As of yet, there has been no national TV coverage of the case, despite brief mentions in the Los Angeles TimesNew York Times and Rolling Stone (shortly after the arrest, with little or no follow-up). One can't help wonder if prejudice against metal and its reputation could have something to do with this. As one fan, @GarthGreen13, posted on Twitter: 'Justin Bieber gets speeding ticket & its headlining news, Randy gets put up 4 MANSLAUGHTER in another country, nothing.'

"One would like to think that simply being an American citizen comes with certain inalienable protection against mistreatment by foreign justice systems, especially those of European Union countries such as the Czech Republic. And it would seem like being a four-time Grammy-nominated singer would help. Apparently not."

"The U.S. Embassy provides standard consular services to American citizens in need of assistance. We cannot discuss specific cases due to privacy concerns."

Thanks-Stay Metal, Stay Brutal-\m/ -l-