LA Times reports — A month after an acquaintance made explosive allegations about the band’s behavior, accusing member Ben Hopkins of “inappropriate sexual contact with people despite several ‘nos’ and without warning or consent,” queer punk band PWR BTTM’s debut album, “Ugly Cherries,” has returned to streaming services. The band has also hired a high-profile manager and lawyer to reclaim its music.
In a strongly worded news release issued Tuesday, the duo detailed the events that led to “Ugly Cherries” and “Pageant,” their highly anticipated and acclaimed sophomore album released on May 12, being removed from Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and other services.
They described a scenario in which “the band’s current and past record labels dropped them as a result of an anonymous allegation of sexual misconduct.” The respected indie label Polyvinyl dropped PWR BTTM almost immediately after the allegations surfaced.
The band, which also includes Liv Bruce, has contested the claims but stressed that its philosophy has been to “ensure that a survivor of abuse has a voice, that their story should be heard and that people who cross the line should be held accountable.” Ultimately, PWR BTTM’s 36-city tour was canceled and its management quit.
A month later, the musicians have retained the services of Lisa Barbaris, a longtime industry executive who manages Cyndi Lauper. Over the course of her career in publicity and artist relations, Barbaris has worked with acts including Metallica, Cher and 10,000 Maniacs.
According to the news release, “Barbaris was appalled at the response of the band’s labels in withdrawing music and support so hastily.”
PWR BTTM has also retained attorney Jeffrey Koenig to untangle the group’s issues with Polyvinyl, which issued — and then pulled — “Pageant.” Calling the label’s response an “unprecedented move,” PWR BTTM stated that “as of now, Polyvinyl has not presented any viable plan to the band to make the music on ‘Pageant’ available to their fans.”