Sub Pop remove Avi Buffalo’s music after former bandmate accuses singer of rape

Rebecca Coleman claims Avi Buffalo's Avigdor Benyamin Zahner-Isenberg raped her on two occasions

The label of Avi Buffalo has pulled his music from streaming services after he was accused of rape and emotional abuse.

It follows accusations from Pageants’ Rebecca Coleman, who alleges that Buffalo – real name Avigdor Benyamin Zahner-Isenberg – raped her on two occasions more than a decade ago.

Representatives for Sub Pop, which released Avi Buffalo’s two albums (2010’s self-titled and 2014’s ‘At Best Cuckold’), confirmed to Pitchfork that the band’s music is being pulled from stores and digital services.

“After hearing about a rape accusation that was shared yesterday, Sub Pop is in the process of removing all Avi Buffalo music from our stores and digital services,” the label’s statement read. “We do not accept sexual abuse and assault towards anybody and we commend anyone who is able to muster up the strength to speak out and share their experiences; that’s not easy. We believe and support Rebecca and hope that she is able to cope and heal.”

Coleman, who formerly sang and played the keyboard in Zahner-Isenberg’s solo band Avi Buffalo, alleged earlier this week that he first raped her on April 22, 2009, and then at a following time on an undisclosed date. The musician said she left the Long Beach, Califonia-based band in July 2010 and has “avoided” Zahner-Isenberg ever since.

After describing the alleged April 2009 assault in detail – in which she claimed Zahner-Isenberg lied to her about meeting for a photo shoot at his house before raping her after she “told him to stop” penetrating her – Coleman claims that Zahner-Isenberg saw her at school the next day and said: “I know, I raped you and stuff, I’m sorry”.

Of the second alleged offence, Coleman claimed the pair had started having consensual sex that turned into rape. She alleged that during their band’s first tour with Beach House, Zahner-Isenberg had arranged for them to stay at his sister’s apartment where she believed the rest of the band members were staying.

When Coleman discovered it would just be her and Zahner-Isenberg, she said the arrangement made her feel “uncomfortable” since she “knew that he expected to hook up with me”. The pair ended up having sex on an air mattress in Zahner-Isenberg’s sister’s living room, Coleman claimed.

“Every element of this situation made me uncomfortable, but it took a turn for the worse, this time raping me by penetrating me anally with zero warning,” alleged Coleman. “I wanted to scream but we were in his sister’s apartment so I held back while tears ran down my face.”

Elsewhere in the post, Coleman described how the pair became romantically involved prior to her allegations of the rape, with Coleman claiming that Zahner-Isenberg was guilty of “countless instances of deception and dishonesty” and that he was “emotionally abusive”.

She went on to claim that she felt too vulnerable to leave the band after the alleged first instance of rape. “I was so caught up emotionally and had invested so much time and money into the project, that I stayed in the band and tried to make things work, thus leaving the door open for more manipulation and abuse from Avi,” she wrote.

Towards the end of the statement, Coleman claimed that she had to sign “a contract not to talk negatively” about the songwriter nor the band but that she now “doesn’t give a fuck”. She added: “Time’s up”.

Zahner-Isenberg has not yet responded to Coleman’s claims. NME has contacted Avi Buffalo’s representatives for comment.