Pinegrove give first interview after year-long hiatus, will self-release new album this week

Frontman Evan Stephens Hall was accused of "sexual coercion" last year

Pinegrove have given their first interview since cancelling their tour last November. The band began a brief hiatus after frontman Evan Stephens Hall acknowledged he’d been accused of “sexual coercion” by someone he “was involved with for a short but intense period of time.”

In the new Pitchfork feature, Hall and the band address the statement they released last year and also announce that they will be self-releasing their third full-length, ‘Skylight’ on Friday (September 28).

Proceeds from the Bandcamp sales of the album will go towards three charities: the Voting Rights Project, the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention, and Musicares.

The piece details that the alleged victim came to a private resolution with Hall via a mediator in late 2017, asking the band to take a year off touring and for Hall to enter into therapy. “We wanted to honor that,” Hall explained in the piece. “She recognised that we’ve honored it, and has since approved our plan to release an album and play some shows later on this year.”

According to the mediator, the alleged accusation involves “verbal and contextual pressure” and that “the accusation is not of a physical nature at all.” The alleged victim, who has remained anonymous, declined to be interviewed on the record for the story.

Hall added that he is “sincerely committed to improving my mental health and the way I treat everyone I interact with.” Speaking of the statement he wrote last year, Hall said: “At first, I felt defensive. I was trying to understand what the accusation was. It really didn’t jive with my memory of what had happened. I take consent seriously. All of our encounters were verbally consensual. But, OK, certainly this isn’t from nowhere.

Pinegrove’s allegation was incited by a nonprofit organisation called PunkTalks

“If she came away feeling bad about our encounter, feeling like she couldn’t express how she was feeling honestly at the time, that’s a huge problem. So I have been reflecting a lot about how a relationship that promotes honesty is an active process, and that maybe there are conversations we should have had that we didn’t, or maybe there’s something else I could have done to make her feel like she could have said how she was feeling. I’ve been thinking about that all the time.”

“A lot of people took issue with the phrase ‘sexual coercion,’ because they understood it was evasive, like I was obscuring a more serious accusation,” he continued. “But I included that phrase because that was the language used by the person I was involved with. It was meant as a symbol of respect to have her dictate the language of the conversation.”

According to Run for Cover records’ Jeff Casazza, the label did not drop Pinegrove, but the two parties made a mutual decision to part ways. Hall said that there was “some discomfort expressed” by other artists on the label.

Pinegrove also plan to play shows later this year, dates of which are yet to be announced.