Sexual Misconduct Accusations Stifle Brand New Tour
Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey has been accused of soliciting naked photos from a minor, prompting support act Martha and a Brand New touring member to jump ship and the eventual cancellation of three shows in the U.K. Prior to these accusations Lacey had made public statements indicating the group would disband in 2018.
Rich Fury / Invision / AP – Jesse Lacey of Brand New
Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, Empire Polo Field, Indio, Calif.
A woman wrote on Facebook Nov. 10 that when she was 15 years old, Lacey, who was 24 at the time, solicited nude photos from her via the internet, demanded she engage in sexual behavior on video-call technology, and verbally degraded her.
“It fucked me up to the point that I STILL have nightmares and wakeup in a sweat,” she wrote in the currently unavailable thread, according to Consequence of Sound. “I took screen shots at some point, they’re probably on a computer in my basement if I ever really wanted to rehash my past that much (I don’t think I do).”
Several other women also came forward with allegations, The Guardian reported.
Lacey did respond with a lengthy statement on Brand New’s Facebook page Nov. 11.
“I am sorry for how I have hurt people, mistreated them, lied, and cheated. I am sorry for ignoring the way in which my position, status, and power as a member of a band affected the way people viewed me or their approach to their interactions with me,” he wrote. “Early on in my life, I developed a dependent and addictive relationship with sex. I was scared of it, ashamed, and unwilling or unable to admit it, and so it grew into a consistent and terrible problem.”
“In sobriety I have changed my life and my mind in real and important ways. I have also revealed the truth of my behaviors to myself and to others. … Concepts like repentance, compassion, and love, are made real through actions, and it’s through my actions that I need to prove change. I hope I can show humility, and that the pain I have caused people can heal.”
Solo artist and touring member of Brand New Kevin Devine posted a statement on Facebook Nov. 11 after Lacey’s statement supporting the woman speaking out against Lacey and also addressed his own struggles with addiction, writing “I hope that my friend continues to do what he needs to do to get & be better.” The following day, Devine said he would not be making the trip with Brand New in the U.K., nor would he be doing his planned solo sets in Dublin.
The same day as Lacey’s statement, the run’s planned opener Martha wrote on Twitter: “We have decided to pull out of the Brand New shows. Support survivors always.”
By Nov. 13 it was formalized that the tour was off with an announcement on the band’s FB page, stating that refunds will be available at the point of purchase.
Brand New released its Science Fiction album in August, the group’s first full-length release since 2009’s Daisy.
Prior to the allegations, the group had released merchandise for its summer tour with Modest Mouse reading “Brand New, 2000 – 2018”, indicating the band was approaching its demise.
Lacey later confirmed as much in a July show, according to Consequence of Sound, telling the crowd “We’re done. Oh yeah, we’re done, and it makes nights like this all the more special so thanks for being here.”
Brand New has been around for quite some time and was a HotStar in April of 2004.
Pollstar reached out to representatives of Brand New for comment, but hadn’t heard back at press time.