I’ve been watching some really horrific exchanges online regarding the sexual misconduct accusations surround Brand New (and other bands) that range from denial, victim blaming, all the way to trolling, bullying and harassment and I have to speak up.
It’s clear that this pattern of abuse has been happening for a long time and I think we can all agree that it is predatory, toxic and ruining our community.
Brand New was given a gift- a platform- you. And with that platform they’ve inspired and healed many, which gave them power. But with that power comes a responsibility to use it for good. When Jesse Lacey took advantage of that power and manipulated underage girls for his sexual gratification- he abused it. Regardless of how you feel about their music, the question you have to ask yourself is- if someone abuses their platform (you) do they deserve to have it again?
If your answer is yes, I wholeheartedly believe you are perpetuating the problem and culture that allowed this person to believe they could take advantage of these girls without repercussions in the first place.
If your answer is no, this is a good starting point for a discussion on why it got to this point, how the culture can change, and how we can hold artists and our peers accountable for their misconduct.
If you feel the need to point out that Brand New is a band and one member doesn’t represent all of them, then add those band members’ names to the growing list of lives that the abuser has hurt with their selfish actions. Take their side by distancing yourself from people who abuse their power (see also: Kevin Devine). Nothing changes the fact that there were women who were abused and manipulated.
Now is not the time for forgiveness. Now is not the time to live in the gray area. For the sake of the future of our music community, now is the time to support victims and demand accountability, and most importantly- change.
Regardless of what you decide, there will always be a part of you that wishes this never happened, and that part of you knows that none of those records you fell in love with will ever sound the same again.
12/2- LA – THE VIBE (8139 APPERSON ST)- HOLIFADE- http://bit.ly/2zYtGYV
12/26- SAN JOSE – ART BOUTIKI – GET MARRIED’S FESTIVUS- http://bit.ly/2hyrVtT
We’re making the second record! From now until May 31, you can contribute to Tiny Stills’ Kickstarter and colored vinyl, exclusive lyric booklets available only to Kickstarter backers, and FREE demos of the songs before they’re on the record as well as new Tshirts and merch! Let’s do something awesome together! Check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kailynnwest/tiny-stills-record-takeover-2017