Randy Blythe's Emotional Plea to Metal Fans

The Lamb of God frontman writes a gripping open letter to the metal community urging them to learn from the events that put him in a Prague prison last year.

Ultimate Guitar

Randy Blythe has posted a long letter reflecting on the death of Daniel Nosek, and urges other bands to be strict with venue owners about safety.

Nosek died at a Lamb of God show in 2010, and Blythe was accused of manslaughter. He was acquitted after a legal battle in the Czech Republic.

Blythe starts by describing the difficulties he and his legal team faced while trying to describe the atmosphere and nature of metal shows, before describing the dignified behaviour of Nosek's family in court:

"They never wished me ill, either publicly or privately. They did not smear my name in front of any judge, prosecutor, or police officer, did not stare at me malevolently in the court room. For this I am eternally grateful to them ... It was one of the most amazing displays of strength and dignity I have ever witnessed."

Blythe says he met with Nosek's parents, and they asked him to be a spokesperson for safer metal shows. Blythe agreed, then goes on to demand that fans stay off the stage at their shows.

"If you are a fan coming to a Lamb of God show and are planning on stage diving, know that in no uncertain terms you are not welcome on our stage ... absolutely no one is welcome on the stage if we have not invited you up there, and unless you are a small child or in a wheel chair, that is not likely to happen. Please respect this. If you do take the stage, we will immediately stop playing, you will be removed from the stage with great swiftness, and thrown out of the show with no refund, no questions asked."

Blythe also warns against moshing and that you're aware of the risks before you take part. "Also, for Pete's sake, if you are moshing and someone falls down, PICK THEM UP. We have stopped shows before because people have been getting hurt, and we will do it again.

"If you want to crowd surf, know this - if someone drops you, you could die. Instantly ... I did not know Daniel, but I have been told he was a good kid. Now he is dead. Gone. In a split second, he headed for his grave."

93 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Everyone should take the five minutes to read that letter. It is a powerful collection of words.
    That letter was absolutely heart-wrenching! A "powerful collection of words" doesn't even begin to describe it.
    I cried in the computer class reading that letter. All those little kids doing homework stared at me like wtf is an adult man doing in the back of our class with tears running down his cheeks. It was indeed a very touching thing to read.
    I read all of it yesterday I have the utmost respect for the man. He has gone through this like a real gentleman and it has clearly had a massive impact on him.
    Thank you for leaving that message. I wasn't going to read it but after seeing this I did and god was it beautiful and inspiring
    I wouldn't have read it if you hadn't commented. I cried in class and everyone was like 'wtf is wrong?' but it doesn't even matter. Really powerful and totally respectable.
    I've been called boring cos I don't take part in mosh pits or crowd surfing but I'm not willing to put myself in harms way to enjoy myself. I like to actually listen and rock out when I go to gigs, not get knocked out and miss it all.
    I love going to shows, but I do see them as very dangerous. Mosh pits especially are dangerous for me considering my small size, but it's good to see that Blythe is trying to publicize the matter to prevent a circumstance like this from happening again.
    Picking people up when they fall down in a mosh pit is the first duty of every mosher.
    I, probably like a few others on this site go to gigs to see bands, not to get purposely punched/kicked whatever. Great words by Randy, if you don't wanna get hurt just move outta the way.
    Concrete Jesus
    Getting punched in the kidney over and over again is not my idea of a good time. I want to see the bands, hear the bands, and enjoy the bands. That is hard to do when some drunk keeps trying to smash into you.
    Classy act of the Nosek family too - you usually expect people who are undergoing such a tragedy to be a little less rational. Congrats to both them and Randy.
    Having been knocked unconscious at a metal show before, I can say it really does **** your day up. A few bruises are inevitable and all part of the fun, but getting seriously hurt, or causing someone to get seriously hurt is what brings metal shows into disrepute. The majority of fans are fine, but it's a select few that really do need to grow up and realise their actions extend beyond the reach of their swinging arm.
    I believe that one of the main reasons I lost all my interest in metalshows was my terrible health. Due to this, a hit to the right part of my body, and I'm off to hospital in critical condition. And that's the thing, too many seems to forget, that not everybody in the crowd is capable of moshing and necessarily at perfect help. Of course I stay away from a mosh-area, but that hasn't always kept people from trying to include me against my will. So, I think was Randy Blythe says here is very right. I'm all for people being allowed to mosh and such, but please, make sure that everybody is in on it. And I've got all kinds of respect for him writing these things, without ever having been a fan of his music. As for me, metal is no longer interesting - the macho-culture and the ignorance towards alternative styles and genres that I experienced drove me away long ago.
    Eh, every genre of music has a culture of people behind it that are close minded to each other. Metal/Macho Metalheads Indie/Hipsters Pop/Obsessive Girls Rap/Wanna Be Thugs Country/Rednecks Etc. I've learned not to let the extremists who base their personality on a genre of music ruin the music itself for me.
    Agreed - It's simply a matter of personal experience. I was unlucky enough to meet the wrong kinds of metalheads for a while when I was younger - there surely are good metalheads out there
    Im sorry you feel that way bro, theres much to experience in metal, and there are still people, like me, who appreciate other forms of music.
    "the macho-culture and the ignorance towards alternative styles and genres that I experienced drove me away long ago." And those things are generally only a big problem on the very surface of Metal. The deeper you get, the biggest problem you have to deal with are the wannabe nihilists who listen to Blasphemy and Revenge. And, even then, they rarely go to shows or get sent to jail, so you barely have to deal with them in the first place. You could go out of your way and force these kind of posers out of the hall, and usher back the golden of a true Heavy Metal, but it's simply a much better experience to just seek out better Metal.
    Concrete Jesus
    I have always loved going to see metal shows, but I have never been one to get in a mosh. First of all, I wear glasses. If I get them knocked off in there, it would cost me hundreds to replace them. Secondly, the idea of being smashed around for 1:30 doesn't really sound fun. I I prefer jumping around and having a good time without some drunk guy smashing into me. I really prefer arena shows where there are seats and everyone has their own space. Some people might say I am un-metal for saying this, but I don't really care. Everyone should be able to have fun and be safe.
    Do people not pick up others in the pit? I've never seen it be a problem in the UK, especially in Norwich. I was briefed by my mates before my first ever gig that you always help people up.
    tuh hah miss
    Right? Every single show I've been at the pit just freezes if someone falls and someone, usually the person that accidentally knocks them down, gives them a hand. Its incredible.
    Yeah, the amount of times I've fallen and been caught before I've hit the ground is unreal. I love a good moshpit where everybody knows the score and is just out for a good time. It's one of the (weirdly) most caring things in an aggressive situation. The only trouble is when you get the one guy that's out to hurt people.
    Australia's the same. I've tripped a few times but never hit the ground because someone's always caught me. I've seen plenty of mate ship in the pits
    At every metal gig i've ever been to people have picked other people up although im in the UK too so i'm not sure what its like in other countries.
    I live in Australia, and while I haven't been to many huge metal concerts, every where I've been has been pretty awesome. Hasn't anyone else read the unspoken rules of moshing?
    Vane owners? You mean the guys who own the metal roosters they put on barns? Or did you mean venue? Wow, not like you should check the very fist and possibly most vital sentence of your article or anything.
    Corrected, thanks
    Yeah, not a major mistake, but someone woke me up early today and I'm pissed. You just happened to be the first target I spotted. Sorry Being around me today will be lots of fun, trust me.
    No fan of LoG, but reading this I have to say he sounds like an absolutely class act. Well done to him, he's handled this whole thing perfectly.
    I used to love moshing, but lately I feel like watching the show is more enjoyable. I'm glad to see Randy advocating safety. On a side note. Here in Montreal, if you fall, people not only help you up, but they'll form a circle around you and make sure no one trips on you. If you drop something, they'll make sure no one steps on that something.
    I've gotten so much respect for Randy over the past few months, he's one of the coolest cats in Metal today! I don't know whether this falls under the subject but when I was at Download last year, I was on the barrier for Metallica (Bit foolish really, shoulda moved back a few rows in hindsight) and nearly got crushed to death by the surging crowd behind me, I then had to be pulled out and I had to go near the back where I had a pretty crappy view of the stage, and that really pissed me off considering that was my first time seeing Metallica and I spent most of the day on or near the barrier! I agree with Randy on crowd surfers, they piss me off the most, I've had more kicks in the head than I care to remember because of surfers! I agree though that people who go to metal gigs and plan to mosh or crowd surf need to be more considerate to people who want to go to metal gigs and I don't know... Don't want to mosh, but rather want to watch the bands and listen to the music! I don't mind people moshing but they have to be more considerate to people who don't want to or can't mosh, metal shows shouldn't be exclusive to people mosh.
    thing is, for most people its the ONLY place where that kind of behavior is accepted and tolerated.
    But shouldn't that kind of attitude/mentality change?
    why? taking a process of letting off extra anger and energy away from already angry people seems like a really bad idea to me... edit: no offense, but if you want to watch a concert, go to a pop show or something. its generally expected to have some chaos at a metal show. animals as leaders has amazing shows and people aren't so aggressive because the music is more technical than aggressive... normally if you're at a violent show, the music suits the atmosphere
    'Let off extra anger'?, I dunno about you but I've never met anyone who goes to metal gigs to vent their anger, they go to have a good time!
    No offense taken but I have to respectfully disagree I'm afraid. I'm with you that at Metal shows you should expect some sort of chaos but getting punched and kicked is just ridiculous! I go to metal shows and I do expect to get bumped around about, but I like to go to metal shows to headbang, sing along and watch the bands.
    I'm glad he's seeing this as a positive and being a spokesperson for concert safety. It's often overlooked due to crappy venue or just oversight. It's refreshing to see someone from the metal community persevere in the face of a seriously ****ed situation and not turn in to a whiny bitch afterwards. Cheers randy!
    I do not like Lamb of God all that much but I respect Randy. He seems pretty cool. But the moshing thing gets out of hand here in South Africa. Either the crowd isn't even headbanging or there are dip****s who with spike bands go in spinning around with their arms out looking to get your face. So consideration is nice. Not to say it should be a Canadian moshpit or anything like that
    It is great to see Blythe talking about stage security. Many people sometimes forget about keeping these things in mind, even though they should be matters of course.
    Those last few lines actually managed to make me tear up. Beautifully written, but so sorrowful and regretful. I appreciate his posting this after all the hell he had to go through. As someone in music, I don't want to ever forget his advice.
    Jonny 25 93
    I'm not really a fan of lamb of god, but I've been following Randy's situation from the start and I can honestly say I have nothing but respect for him. He maned up and made every attempt to put right the situation. He is a role model
    I find it disappointing that many concert goers don't know proper mosh pit etiquette. People are in there to release themselves, and while it looks violent most everyone in the pit has the goal of having a good time. It makes me so angry at shows when someone falls or wants to get out and the other moshers don't help them and call them pussies. Music of any style brings people together, and the "bullies" in the pit jeopardize that. Randy has an extraordinary amount of class and I have the utmost respect for him.
    If the performing band sucks. I wouldnt mosh cuz it'd be too awkward. If the performing band is incredible. I still wouldnt mosh cuz I'd like to be alive enough to catch their next showhere.
    Going to see them on the 6th. Hopefully the usual "tough guy morons" don't show up. I don't know why Fargo has so many of them. They just sit in the center of the pit and push smaller kids into each other and cheap shot others. They'll probably cause LOG to stop playing in some songs.
    Thankfully theres a metal frontman who realizes some of his fans need some pushin in the right direction. Classy dude
    ive always had a decent amount of respect for randy but ive noticed that thru out this process he has a shit ton of class total respect Randy!!
    First of, before you all butcher my ass for this. Im a fan of Lamb of God and randy and the rest of them. And i dont think i'll ever be able to grasp how insane this whole experience must have been for him or them for that matter. With that being said. Am i the only one that thinks parts of this letter is a bit ironic? I mean, Lamb of God, wall of death. Anybody? Edit: Saw the link to the full letter now but haven't read that yet though. The comment were more for the quotes in the article.
    Be a good crowd and obey our metal pit etiquette. No moshing permitted. Fist banging only. If you mosh we will quit playing and not refund your money. We are Lamb of God. We have spoken. What a douche hole, Fuckstick.
    lol learn to read... and if there's any seriousness at all to your post than perhaps maybe you should consider some critical thinking... metal and moshing is supposed to be about a brotherhood, not being a tough guy... you don't impress people, you either make them uncomfortable or pity you...
    i dun blame them THEY WANT THEIR FANS TO BE SAFE. so u my friend are the ****stick for wanting ppl to continue to get hurt and have more ppl end up dead during metal shows Redfinton22 said it best.....go **** yourself
    lol it seems I am the only one who won't cry if someone steps on their foot. I mean it's not that dangerous
    I will have you know that once a guy stepped on my foot and I only cried for 6 minutes.
    In recent news, Lamb of God is converting to a pop-punk band and will do extensive touring with Yellowcard and Fall Out Boy.
    Randy talks about people like you in his letter- utter idiots who shouldn't be allowed out of their house. You've missed the point, and I pity you.
    People die everyday. People die crossing the street. There will be others that die at a metal show. For him to try to dictate how a paying crowd should react at his metal show...Fuck him....You put your hand's on someone and they die...You are responsible...He should be in jail...Metal is all about aggression and all forms of it..
    Did you even read a single paragraph of his letter? What am I saying? You can barely string a sentence together and are clueless on the correct use of ellipses so of course you didn't.
    I've fallen over in mosh pits a few times. Every single time I did, the exact same person who knocked me over helped me back up. Common courtesy and sense go a long way in keeping yourself and others safe.
    "If you are wasted on whatever, please realize that you are not a stuntman, sit your ass down at the bar, and relax." i loled at that ^. It is a very good open letter and I hope many people are going to take notice.
    I cant believe people wouldn't pick someone up if they fell over in a mosh pit. You wouldn't see that sh!t in Australia. Hell, I remember loosing a shoe and repeatedly trying to pick it up but everyone around me kept pulling me back up!... I miss that shoe
    The Spoon
    I've crowd surfed at a metal show (semi-against my will) and was kinda thrown up into the air and thankfully landed on my feet in the mosh pit...even though I landed on my feet, everyone in the pit stopped what they were doing and asked me if I was okay. Gave them the thumbs up, got outta the pit, and everyone was having fun again. When there's a sense of community and good vibes at these shows, I can stand any amount of moshing and general rowdiness. When someone is pushing people into the pit and hitting others and trying to be a tough guy is when it is not fun and people get seriously hurt.
    He wasn't really saying he was against moshing, more like he was giving a warning that they can be dangerous and you get involved at your own risk, he also stated what should be a given but seems to get lost these days, that if you are in a pit and someone falls, give them a hand, that's how it's supposed to be, that's just common courtesy that has been part of metal shows for decades. Blythe isn't going to say "don't mosh", he just wants people to not get hurt and know the risks, hell, everyone still does the Wall of Death during "Black Label", he doesn't tell people to do it anymore because it can be dangerous, but people know the routine by now, and you either do it or you don't, it's your choice and you live with whatever happens.
    After reading the comments I am reminded that except for just a few exceptions, metal fans ARE the best! Look out for each other. I want you guy around for a long freakin' time!
    "Also, for Pete's sake, if you are moshing..." ****ing hypocrite. Lamb of God are all about encouraging "circle pits", and "death walls". I saw him ORDER 35,000 fans to form two concentric circle pits in Montreal in 2010. He is trying to present an innocent face, he obviously still feels remorse over killing that fan.
    I met Randy a couple of times in Huntington, West Virginia at a venue called the Monkey Bar. My band at the time opened for him and his side project Halo of Locust. He's one of the few people in the music industry that doesnt have that rockstar attitude. I will always have an enourmous amount of respect for him.
    I really respect Randy. Very sincere and well spoken. Never was a LoG fan but he's a good guy and everyone should take the time to read this.
    Even in my younger days I wanted to be able to get close to the stage without getting seriously hurt, but it was a rare thing to be able to do so. I have been going to metal shows for a VERY long time and have seen many changes in attitudes--and rules--at concerts. It is tough to have fun when people get killed or hurt. I have seen it happen. I have seen police officers yell "I f**king quit!" because of some behaviors at concerts. WOW! Be safe people!
    One thing that Randy should have brought up is how some people try to push others to get closer to the stage. Its a good way to get your ass knocked out if you are pushing the wrong person. Randy probably wrote this letter at short notice with being busy with music and everything else so its understandable he cant include every little thing.
    Von II
    How true his words may be, there is nothing more fun than doing a ridiculous moshpit in small venue while half of the crowd is stagediving at the same time to be honest. :p