Jon Schaffer, Franklin Native and Founder of “Iced Earth”

Jon Schaffer is one of the many interesting and noteworthy famous people from Franklin, Indiana. Born in 1968 in Franklin, a suburb of Indianapolis, Schaffer left his family home in Central Indiana as a rebellious 16-year-old to live in a broken-down used car in Tampa, Florida, while he started his journey to rock ‘n’ roll notoriety.

Forthwith, Schaffer founded the now widely-renowned heavy metal band known as “Iced Earth.” A guitarist and songwriter since the age of 14, Schaffer is the group’s only remaining original member. He continues as the band’s leader and also handles most of the composition for the group.

In this video, you can hear and see a riveting performance of “I Died for You,” from Alive in Athens, with Iced Earth and solo vocals by Jon Schaffer.


Among the many accomplished Indianapolis music notables, Jon Schaffer is one of the most successful. Iced Earth has performed internationally and across the United States for nearly one generation, exerting musical influence in the genres of heavy metal, thrash metal and power metal. The band is still touring, with performers Matt Barlow, Brent Smedley, Troy Seele, Freddie Vidales and Jon Schaffer.

Founder, mover and shaker Jon Schaffer originally formed the band in Columbus, Indiana, with the name of “Purgatory.” Shortly thereafter, the group moved to Florida, and Schaffer changed its name to the now-famous “Iced Earth.” In 1990, the band made their first album, also called “Iced Earth,” under the Century Media label. Many others followed, including “Night of the Stormrider,” “Burnt Offerings,” “The Dark Saga,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” “Horror Show,” “Tribute to the Gods,” “The Glorious Burden,” “Framing Armageddon” and “The Crucible of Man.”

A prolific career musician, Schaffer gives a nod to Iron Maiden, Metallica, Alice Cooper, Judas Priest, AC/DC and Black Sabbath as the bands that influenced him the most musically. Along with his leadership and songwriting contributions, he plays both lead and rhythm guitar and does some lead and backup vocals for the group.

Hear and see Jon Schaffer in this video, expounding on his recent project for Sons of Liberty, “Brush-fires of the Mind.”


In 2009, Jon Schaffer produced “Brush-Fires of the Mind” for a side project called “Sons of Liberty.” In this message-based offering, Schaffer plays all the guitar tracks and does all the lead singing. One of the Sons of Liberty tenets is to “embrace the truth, regardless of how disturbing it may be.”

Visit the Iced Earth “website of the wicked”
Hear recent tracks on the Sons of Liberty website

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