Man Jailed for Eight Days After Posting Exodus Song Lyrics on Facebook
An Exodus fan from Greenville, Ky., was recently arrested for posting Exodus lyrics on his Facebook wall. After 31-year-old James Evans posted part of 'Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer),' multiple agencies were contacted, leading to Evans being jailed for eight days.
The lyrics posted by Evans were released on Exodus' 2010 full-length, 'Exhibit B: The Human Condition,' and were written about the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting. Evans posted, "Student bodies lying dead in the halls / A blood splattered treatise of hate / Class dismissed is my hypothesis / Gun fire ends the debate." Evans' arrest warrant read that "he threatened to kill students and or staff at school."
In response, Exodus' management sent out the following press release:
The band Exodus does not promote or condone terrorists, threats or bullying. That being said, the band is somewhat baffled by the fact that this man being charged for what seems against his first amendment rights of Freedom of Speech.
Exodus guitarist Gary Holt added to the statement with some views of his own:
The idea that an individual in this great country of ours could be arrested for simply posting lyrics to a song is something I never believed could happen in a free society. James Evans was simply posting lyrics to a band he likes on Facebook, and he was locked up for it. The song ‘Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer)’ was written as a view through the eyes of a madman and in no way endorses that kind of fucked up behavior. It was the Virginia Tech massacre perpetrated by Seung-Hui Cho that was the subject and inspiration to write the song, one in which we put the brakes on playing it live after the Sandy Hook shooting, as we did not want to seem insensitive.
As some of us in Exodus are parents, of course these things hit close to home, it's every parent's worst fear. These moments are the stuff of nightmares, and life, as well as music, isn't always pretty. But when we start to overreact to things like lyrics by any band, including Exodus, and start arresting people, we are caving in to paranoia and are well on our way to becoming an Orwellian society.
After eight days in lockup, Evans spoke with 14News about the situation. "It's nonsense," Evans begins. "I feel like my civil rights have been violated. You know first amendment freedom of speech out the window. Even all the guys I was in the cell with they thought it was nonsense themselves. I had several officials tell me it was nonsense that there was no reason why I should have even been here."
Exodus will release their 10th studio album, 'Blood In, Blood Out,' on Oct. 14. The band will also begin a string of U.S. tour dates with Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies on Nov. 11. For the full list of dates, click here.