The Growlers frontman Brooks Nielsen has issued an apology over sexual misconduct allegations aimed at the band.
It comes after the band faced a number of allegations in recent weeks, including claims against the frontman and The Growlers guitarist Matt Taylor.
Taking to Instagram tonight (July 31), Nielsen wrote: “This week has been a wake up call about our behaviour at shows, after shows, in interviews. Behaviour that was insensitive, offensive or even improper.
“I apologise for my actions and for any band members, that have hurt, offended or damaged any person or made anyone feel less than 100% safe. I take full responsibility and accountability for the behaviour of all Growlers band members past and present.”
He also apologised to Starcrawler singer Arrow de Wilde after she alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a male stripper while on tour with the band.
Posting a statement on her Instagram account, she recounted an experience she allegedly had with The Growlers backstage at a show in Melbourne, claiming that “while none of the growlers band members assaulted me directly, they hired someone else to [do so] for their enjoyment.”
De Wilde claims the The Growlers hired a male stripper after one of the last shows the bands played together in Australia.
WARNING: The rest of this article contains details some readers may find upsetting
“The humour faded pretty fast when it just wouldn’t end,” she wrote in the statement. “I swear it went on for almost ten minutes. Every time I tried to get up he pushed me back down. It started to feel more and more degrading as each layer of clothing peeled off his body, the growlers just continued to laugh and film the whole thing. Soon he was down to a speedo and I knew where it was headed.”
Arrow claims she was then held down while the stripper sexually assaulted her. “Everyone in the growlers were standing all around me, laughing and taking videos the whole time, no one ever stepped in.”
Read Arrow’s statement in full below.
Nielsen acknowledged de Wilde’s allegations, calling it a “lack of judgment” that he “arrang[ed] a male stripper as an end-of-tour prank to dance for the great Arrow de Wilde.”
He added: “This was a horrible idea that turned out even worse.”
Nielsen also acknowledged that Taylor “adamantly denies” any allegations made against him. He said the guitarist was taking “temporary leave from the band”.
Nielsen also said he’ll be “working to raise awareness and as much money as [he] can for Time’s Up, East Los Angeles Women’s Center, and other organisations that support women who have suffered violence, abuse, and discrimination.”
Earlier this month, The Growlers responded to allegations of sexual misconduct involving their band members, with Nielsen denying the accusations against himself and Taylor (via Brooklyn Vegan). He added that some of the band’s 11 ex-members were “dismissed from the group years ago for not aligning with the kind of band we strive to be.”
Nielsen also denied an accusation that he allegedly touched a female journalist on her breast, saying: “I absolutely deny this ever happened, period.”
Last week California label Burger Records – with whom The Growlers were previously affiliated – announced it was completely shutting down, overturning an initial decision to rebrand and revamp leadership following allegations of sexual misconduct.
As NME reported on July 21, Burger’s employees and artists were recently named in multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. An Instagram account with the handle @Lured_By_Burger_Records posted stories and allegations from various individuals.