Sexual Misconduct and Accountability in Alternative Music

Often when allegations of sexual misconduct come out, it is reported on by the media and receives considerable backlash from the music community. In some cases, the community rallies together to dethrone the artists from their platform, in the case of PWR BTTM in 2017 and Burger Records in 2020. But in many cases, the artists are let off easily with a blanket apology and continue to release music with little affect to their career, like emo singer Front Porch Step. This is why we need to talk more openly about sexual misconduct and accountability in Alternative Music.

We take a deeper look into these cases and why sexual misconduct reoccurs at alarming rates in the music industry. What is the psychology behind this? How has this behavior been perpetrated across decades? How can this behavior be stopped and prevented? What is accountability and how do we apply it effectively?

While it’s a difficult conversation, it’s imperative that we continue having it, not just when allegations come out, but year-round. If we are to truly change the music industry into a safe environment for all, then all sectors of the industry from artists to CEOs have a responsibility to learn, call out, make changes and educate their peers and employees at all levels. 

As always this podcast is largely opinion-based. Nothing we say is anything out than our personal thoughts and feelings based on pre-existing knowledge or facts we’ve picked up and cited kindly for you below // If you’d like to discuss anything we talked about today in greater detail with us, you can find us on Twitter @Name3Songs or @sara_feigin & @jenna_million

Sources on Sexual Misconduct in Alternative Music

  1. Men’s Fixation on Young Women is Another Sign of Masculinity in Crisis (The Guardian, Arwa Mahdawi, 2018)
  2. Two Alleged Victims of Brand New’s Jesse Lacey Detail Years of Sexual Exploitation of Minors (Pitchfork, Noah Yoo, 2017)
  3. Contributions From Psychology to Effectively Use, and Achieving Sexual Consent (Frontiers in Psychology, Ramon Flecha, Gema Tomas & Ana Vidu, February 2020)
  4. Drawing Legal Age Boundaries: A Tale of Two Maturities (American Psychological Association, 2019)
  5. My Teenage Relationship With An Older Man Still Haunts Me Now (Grazia, Jessica Bateman, 2016)
  6. “The Legacy of Lolita” (Stuff Mom Never Told You, December 2020)
  7. Lolita Podcast by Jamie Loftus
  8. I Lost My Virginity to David Bowie (Thrillist, Lori Mattix and Michael Kaplan, November 2015)
  9. “Look Away” by Iggy Pop (1996)
  10. The Light of the World – The Steven Tyler and Julia Holcomb Story (Life Site, Julia Holcomb, May 2011)
  11. Warped Tour’s Problematic History (Twitter, Megan Seling, 2017)
  12. Warped Tour to Hit the Road for Final Trek in 2018: Exclusive Interview with Founder Kevin Lyman (Billboard, Chris Payne, November 2017)
  13. Why Didn’t We Have a Bigger Problem With Joel Madden Dating a Teenage Hilary Duff? (Paper, Abby Schreiber, March 2015)
  14. Everything We Know About the Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Front Porch Step (Alt Press, January 2015
  15. Front Porch Step’s Jake McElfresh Scandal: ‘I’m Not a Pedophile. I’m Not a Rapist’ (Billboard, Danielle Bacher, July 2015)
  16. Front Porch Step’s 2020 Statement (Twitter, December 2020)
  17. A Timeline of PWR BTTM’s Rapid Meltdown (Billboard, Gil Kaufman, May 2017)
  18. Burger Records Employees, Artists Accused of Rampant Sexual Misconduct (Consequence of Sound, Lake Schatz and Wren Graves, July 2020)
  19. SWMRS Drummer Joey Armstrong Responds to Sexual Misconduct Allegations (NME, Charlotte Krol, July 2020)
  20. Borns Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Issues Statement (Pitchfork, Michelle Kim, Amy Phillips, Noah Yoo, September 2018)
  21. Paul Jason Klein of LANY (Twitter thread by @hahlys, December 2020)
  22. YouTuber Austin Jones Please Guilty to Child Pornography, Facing Prison Time (Alt Press, February 2019
  23. The Problem with “Not All Men” and Why You Should Stop Saying It (Medium, Brenda Wambui, 2014)

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