Drugs, Sex and Rock n Roll; When Does it Cross the Line?
The music industry is currently under fire due to the number of allegations of sexual misconduct made against musicians. Allegations against Jesse Lacey of Brand New as well as Luke Rockets from With Confidence have brought focus to how situations of sexual misconduct in the industry are handled.
Robbie Hunt, vocalist of Michigan rock band As We Divide said “It's atrocious. Musicians like the ones that have been convicted were heroes to me, and it's so heartbreaking to see who these people really are.”
Vocalist Jesse Lacey of New York rock band Brand New was recently brought to light as a sexual predator by a since-deleted public Facebook thread. In the thread, many women admitted to Lacey soliciting nude photos from them when they were underage.
In a public statement, Lacey said, “I was selfish, narcissistic, and insensitive in my past, and there are a number of people who have had to shoulder the burden of my failures.”
Women since then have started breaking their silence of their experiences with sexual harassment by musicians. These social media posts have coined the nickname “’me too’ posts”.
Michigan music photographer Alexis Backus said, “I fall into that category and it’s hard to talk about, and by just posting “me too” I feel as though I had a slight voice even though I do not feel comfortable sharing my whole story yet with the internet.”
However, the public divides into two different reactions to these posts based on their credibility.
Steven Mathew, manager of As We Divide said “Without proper trial it’s too easy to fall into a cry wolf situation. It’s true a lot of people who fall victim to sex crimes stay silent and ‘me too’ gives them a platform but far too often people seek status over resolve and that’s an issue in itself.”
Robert Thompson, bassist of As We Divide said, “I think the "me too" post started off as a very good thing for anyone that’s had to hide a secret about what someone did to them. Sadly, when that stuff happens the victim is forced into secrecy under fear of embarrassment.”
Backus also said, “Their art should not live on. I believe we should drop those people and drop their music from the scene. Referencing to with what happened with Front Porch Step, most everyone knew he was wrong and stopped streaming and supporting him.”
In 2015, Jake McElfresh of Front Porch Step was accused of sexual harassment by a number of underage girls who posted screenshots of sexually explicit text messages and photos. In response, McElfresh was dropped from playing Vans Warped Tour that summer as well as from the roster of Pure Noise Records.
Recently, a similar situation has occurred with Luke Rockets of With Confidence. Following the accusations of sexual harassment of underage girls, the band released a statement stating Rockets is no longer a member of the band. They also discontinued their current tour.
In a public statement, With Confidence said, “This sort of abuse of power has been all too prevalent in today's industry. It is in these circumstances that people need to be completely stripped of that power and held accountable for their actions.”
Matthew said, “It’s too easy to accuse someone of something and have someone be crucified without proper trial. As far as the labels and individual artists go, if someone is found guilty absolutely should they be dropped per person, not everyone should suffer.”
Musicians and fans alike have been voicing their opinion on how situations of sexual misconduct in the industry are handled.
Backus said, “The person is either shunned, or is forgotten about and that person doesn’t have to deal with backlash from others in the industry. It’s disgusting that I won’t go to certain shows because I know a specific person that has made me and my friends uncomfortable is there or running the show.”
Robbie Hunt. Hunt is the vocalist of Michigan Rock band, As We Divide. 734-664-8995
Steven Matthews. Matthews is the manager of As We Divide who is very involved in the Michigan music industry. 248-991-4100
Jesse Lacey. Lacey is the vocalist of Brand New who is undergoing allegations of sexual misconduct. Public statement found here: https://www.facebook.com/BrandNew/posts/10155923794753023
Alexis Backus. Backus is a photographer in the music industry who has had experience with sexual misconduct. 586-277-7829
Robert Thompson. Thompson is the bassist of As We Divide. 734-680-3649
With Confidence. With Confidence is a band undergoing sexual harassment allegations of member Luke Rockets. Public statement found here: https://www.facebook.com/withconfidence/?hc_ref=ART7ITIe_KhoHNGNgZbhxUaf6dbdCWwQ2rdYQvf-vN6RJrUCF_GqyBw8zqcXRtYgsg8&fref=nf