“pro tip: if everyone you admire keeps disappointing you with awful sexual scandals, try admiring more women.”— Laura Bradley (twitter user: @lpbradly) 11/9/17

Hey. I want to write a thing about how I’m done with Brand New. About how hard it is to let go of something that has gotten me through so much. But every sentence I come up with just doesn’t cut it.

Because, even as I selfishly reckon with something as seemingly arbitrary as fandom, the fact remains that there are real people who have been hurt here.

It's important to be mindful of that.

Yet, it doesn’t feel right to not say anything either. For the past fifteen years, I’ve been vocal about my fandom for Brand New so to be quiet now would feel a lot like being complicit. The art can’t be separated from the artist. Especially not when I’ve let it into my life the way that I have with this band’s music.

I used to listen to “Me Vs. Maradona Vs. Elvis” as a lonely college sophomore and relate to the lyrics because I took the song to be satire. I was nothing like the narrator in the song, which in turn made me feel better to just be the way I am. I thought that was the point, to exploit the emptiness of the narrator’s position in order to take the power away from people like that.

Now though, when I even think about the lyrics to that song, I think about the hundreds of youth I’ve worked with that have been taken advantage of by people in their lives who they admire. Now, I don’t think I can ever listen to that song (or any Brand New song) again. Now, I see that we often make our heroes into who we want them to be. Apparently, I’m a slow learner.

I’m glad that Jesse Lacey has released a statement that he is seeking/has sought help.

I’m disappointed for fans like myself who feel betrayed, who feel at a loss, who feel like all their memories soundtracked by Brand New are now counterfeit, who just a few days ago were anxiously awaiting the eventual arrival of their limited Science Fiction vinyl,[1] but now dread the thought of seeing that package on their doorstep.

Above everything though, I hope for the continued recovery for the victims of Lacey’s behavior. I hope that we keep listening when people speak up about sexual assault, even/especially when those truths make us give up the things we once held as sacred.




[1] And T-Shirt. I emailed PMT! Records about cancelling my order, I’ll update once they get back to me. Update: They refunded me for the vinyl preorder.