Staind’s Aaron Lewis was met with an array of reactions after he killed thirty-two coyotes to show his support for Donald Trump. Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick also reacted to the news, stating Lewis might have deep-rooted psychological issues.
Lewis drew attention after killing thirty-two coyotes in Texas. He used the dead bodies of these animals to spell out ‘Trump 24’ on the ground. The photo of this incident, which was posted to his Instagram on October 18, had the caption, ‘Successful morning in Texas.’ Lewis also used the post to promote the presale for his upcoming solo tour.
Upon hearing the news, Skolnick took to Twitter, stating:
“I may not understand how anyone would prefer Trump at this moment (Biden’s steady hand is drawing praise even from some Repubs), but okay, to each their own. On the other hand, killing animals to spell out ‘TRUMP’? Tell us you have deep-rooted psychological issues without telling us.”
Aside from fellow musicians, animal rights organization PETA was among the most vocal critics of Lewis’s actions. PETA’s senior vice president Lisa Lange expressed her displeasure in a statement to Billboard, referring to Lewis as a ‘washed-up musician.’ Lange went on to suggest that he might consider finding attention through acts of kindness in the future.
Besides, feedback on Lewis’s Instagram post displayed mixed reactions. Comments from fans ranged from disappointment to expressing outright disgust. Several followers, irrespective of their political affiliations, made it clear they found Lewis’s actions in this context inappropriate and unsettling.
As for his political views, Lewis has been vocal about his support for the Republican Party, making headlines in September 2021 for encouraging fans to chant a derogatory slogan against President Joe Biden during a Staind concert. Despite this, he also expressed disappointment with Donald Trump’s demeanor before the 2016 election.
For context, according to Texas Parks And Wildlife, coyotes are classified as non-game animals. This means they can be hunted any time of the year using lawful means, but only on private property. It’s worth noting that coyote hunting is legal year-round in most U.S. states.
You can see Skolnick’s tweet below.
I may not understand how anyone would prefer Trump at this moment (Biden’s steady hand is drawing praise even from some Repubs) but ok, to each their own. On the other hand, killing animals to spell out “TRUMP”? Tell us you have deep-rooted psychological issues without telling us
— Alex Skolnick (@AlexSkolnick) October 20, 2023