PWR BTTM Loses Footing on Music Scene
What was purported to be a meteoric rise to indie fame has quickly fizzled into a magic-less bottoming-out for queer punk duo PWR BTTM, and if you missed what went down this weekend, here’s a review. PWR BTTM’s new record Pageant dropped last Friday, the same day Jezebel published an interview with a female alleging PWR BTTM lead singer Ben Hopkins tried to solicit sex from her on several occasions without her consent. Once that interview began circulating around Twitter and Reddit, namely in the DIY and LGBTQ communities, the flood gates were opened, and multiple people came forward sharing first- and second-hand experiences with Hopkins.
Almost immediately, the dominoes of their career began to fall, as the duo was dropped by their management company Salty Artist Management and their label Polyvinyl Records who also stopped selling their music and promoting their work. Polyvinyl is also offering full refunds to those who purchased the album and will be making donations to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network and the Anti-Violence Project (or RAINN and AVP). Ripe to kick-off their tour in support of Pageant, the dominoes continued falling as their record release show and two upcoming festival dates were cancelled, all of their openers dropped-off the bill (with one claiming to be unsurprised by the allegations), and the members of their touring band quit, leading to the cancellation of all of their upcoming shows, many of which were sold out.
As for PWR BTMM’s new album Pageant, one that critics and fans anticipated seeing a Top 20 release sans-allegations, sits below #100, and while currently still streaming on Spotify, can no longer be purchased, even through the group’s Bandcamp.