Exodus Responds After Fan Is Jailed For Posting Lyrics

From sharing political articles that can cause family arguments to status updates that can get you fired, Facebook is rife with the potential for trouble. That’s an understatement for an Exodus fan from Kentucky who just spent eight days in jail for posting song lyrics on the social media site.

Photo: Scott Legato / RockStarProPhotography.com
The Fillmore, Detroit, Mich.

James Evans, 31, was arrested for terroristic threatening after multiple agencies in Muhlenberg County received calls about the Aug. 24 post. His warrant noted “he threatened to kill students and or staff at school,” according to local NBC-affiliate WFIE.

These allegations were based on a Facebook post that included the following lyrics from “Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer),” a track from Exodus’ 2010 LP, Exhibit B: The Human Condition:  

“Student bodies lying dead in the halls, a blood splattered treatise of hate. Class dismissed is my hypothesis, gun fire ends in debate.”

Evans, who told WFIE that his punishment was “nonsense” and that he felt his “civil rights have been violated,” was released from jail Wednesday. The station reports Evans will have to undergo a mental evaluation. He says he was told his case will be deferred for six months.           

The thrash metal group responded to the arrest with a statement on its website Sept. 4 saying, “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.”

Guitarist Gary Holt also submitted his own quote explaining the band’s motivation behind writing the lyrics in question.

“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,” Holt said.

“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.”