SWMRS drummer Joey Armstrong has responded after he was accused of sexual misconduct by Lydia Night, singer of LA punks The Regrettes.
In a statement shared on Instagram earlier this week (July 20) Night detailed her experiences with Armstrong during a one-year relationship that began in mid-2017.
During this period Night was aged 16 and Armstrong was aged 22.
“Every time we took a step sexually it was because he wanted to and made it clear by either putting my hand on his crotch, shaming me for saying I wasn’t comfortable, gaslighting me or ignoring me when I didn’t my consent,” part of Night’s post reads.
Night explained that she’d taken the decision to make the claims publicly after SWMRS “released an unbelievably hypocritical statement on social media”, adding: “This band’s delusional positioning of themselves as woke feminists is not only triggering for me as a victim, but is complete bullshit and needs to be called out.”
Part of the statement that Night referred to, which was shared on Friday (July 17) by SWMRS, reads: “We’d like to take a moment to comment on the stories that survivors of sexual abuse in the Southern California music scene have been sharing. First of all, we want to acknowledge how brave it is of these survivors to come forward and rehash their trauma. To put yourself and your trauma in the spotlight is a terrifying and selfless act.
— SWMRS (@swmrs) July 19, 2020
“It is exciting that we are in a place in society where we can have these conversations and take the survivors’ stories seriously. These stories are sparking a long overdue conversation about abuse in our community.”
Elsewhere in Night’s post she wrote that it has taken her “years to finally understand that I am a victim of abuse”. She also accused Armstrong of using his “position of power” as a musician of a headline tour band with which to exert his control. “That professional power dynamic had made its way into all aspects of our relationship,” she wrote.
Night added that she spoke to Armstrong before sharing the statement online whereby he “seemed very empathetic” but that when she received a handwritten note written by him and delivered by his bandmate, Cole Becker, Armstrong “didn’t address any of the abuse, my age, his position of power, or anything sexual at all” within the letter.
Armstrong has since responded to the claims via SWMRS’ official Instagram account. “I want to address Lydia’s Instagram post about our relationship,” his statement began.
“While I don’t agree with some of the things she said about me, it’s important that she be allowed to say them and that she be supported for speaking out. I respect her immensely and fully accept that I failed her as a partner.
“I was selfish and I didn’t treat her the way she deserves to have been treated both during our relationship and in the two years since we broke up.”
Armstrong added: “I have apologized to her privately and I hope she can forgive me, if and when she is ready to do so. I own my mistakes and will work hard to regain the trust that I lost.”