Something You Need to Know About Punk Bands


Taylor Nicole Dean poses for a selfie. She was in an abusive relationship with artist Jonny Craig and has made a name for herself on YouTube with 1.94 million subscribers. (Taylor Nicole Dean)

Lily Eberly, AME Editor

Trigger warning: The following article sensitively, but honestly examines a culture of criminal behavior including abuse, rape, sexual assault, grooming, and drugs. 

The entertainment industry is not new to allegations made against its music performers. For decades, some artists’ names have been brought to light from allegations involving sexual assault, rape, grooming, groping, etc. 

Bring Me the Horizon’s Oliver Sykes’ ex-wife accused Sykes of spitting and slapping her, as well as cheating on her. She admitted she cheated as well, but the abuse came from his side of the relationship.

Punk bands in particular have accusations ranging from several years ago to a few months ago. A Google Sheet has been shared online for everyone to become aware of criminal and concerning behavior coming from these bands. An anonymous user created the sheet when people on Twitter began coming out with their own stories or reminding everyone of punk band members who have committed crimes. 

Most of those mentioned are in bands, but some include regular solo artists that are not considered punk; like Katy Perry. It is important for people to know that these things happen. It doesn’t matter what genre of music you like to listen to or the kind of music you make; sexual assault is very real.

Falling in Reverse’s lead singer Ronnie Radke, for example, was accused of domestic abuse, battery, and multiple assaults. 12 years ago around the time Radke was fired from the band Escape the Fate, Ronnie was charged with battery as he was involved in the killing of Michael Cook.

As of a more recent accusation, — the allegation was brought to light in 2015 — Tumblr user @breadysetlowf accused Set It Off’s bassist Austin Kerr of sexual assault. The band spoke out about the allegation and parted ways with Kerr. He later tweeted his side of the story.

Taylor Nicole Dean spoke out about her experience with Jonny Craig — most notably the lead singer of bands Dance Gavin Dance, Slaves, and Emarosa — on December 31st, 2019 when she uploaded an over an hour long video explaining the horrible things she went through with Craig.

She states toward the end of the video, “I’m hoping this story is gonna get out there enough where people can see him and say, ‘Okay, I need to stay away.’”

From manipulating and belittling Dean to borderline raping her, shooting her up with heroine, and admitting to pedophilia, — as said in the video — Craig has been a dangerous person, whether it was to Dean or to any other person he’s been with. His problems, including alcohol and drug addiction, don’t cover the fact he needs help and is not safe to be around.

Like Craig, there are so many artists — or those a part of punk bands, i.e other band members or security guards — who have done awful things to people and they are getting away with it. They get to walk out free, some still making music with their band or by themselves. They don’t get help, they rope in the next person into their lives and do the same things to them and no one bats an eye.

Bring Me the Horizon’s Oliver Sykes physically abused his ex wife; Joel Madden from Good Charlotte committed statutory rape; Bradley Walden from Emarosa groomed and sent nudes to underaged fans; Tame Impala’s Cam Avery inflicted physical and emotional abuse on an ex. Nothing was done.

“Their music was my everything from 7th grade until junior year of high school,” Patience Clasen, a freshman at CU Boulder said about punk band Panic! At The Disco. “I listened to their music when I was happy, sad, everything.”

Mike Fuentes (far left) poses with his band Pierce the Veil. Fuentes was accused of having sexual relations with a minor. He left the band, but is now back in. (Fearless Records)

Lead singer of Panic! Brendon Urie came under fire on Twitter after previous band member Dallon Weekes’ wife, Breezy Weekes, came out to say the band’s body guard Zach Hall sexually harassed her. It was then alleged that Urie sexually harassed an underaged fan in 2009. The hashtag BrendonUrieSpeakUp began trending to clear up the allegations. He has yet to speak out, unlike with the Kenny Harris allegations.

Guitarist and lyricist Steve Klein from New Found Glory was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. His wife also found files on their shared home hard drive and she said she found text exchanges between underaged girls and a video of him doing inappropriate acts with two little girls watching. He pled not guilty, but he was charged and the band kicked him out.

“I was shocked and grossed out. When you play in a band like that, with a catchy sound, you are going to get younger fans,” 10th grade English teacher, and musician, Mr. Wells said. “I appreciated how the band handled it.”

By normalizing this behavior, many do not see the problem with abuse and sexual assault in general. These bands have an impressionable and young audience, who look up to them and want to be like them. This would only continue the cycle, and though the initial reason connecting these punk band members is unclear, there are two major issues that could help solve why these members are committing these crimes: drugs and old parenting techniques.

Drugs and alcohol are a huge part of the music industry, in the punk industry. Without much thought, many artists talk about these drugs — some artists sing about them, use the word “drug” as a metaphor, or in some cases do them on a livestream, i.e weed — or get drunk in interviews. 

When artists praise drugs, as Clasen says they are “putting it on such a high pedestal” and if they do not talk about it, there could be a chance that this cycle of heinous acts amongst punk bands, in this case, would stop. Educating about drugs and praising drugs are very opposite topics.

With drugs out of the situation, punk band members have a better chance at understanding that what they are doing is wrong. However, this isn’t the only thing that can be done:

“I don’t want to oversimplify the issue, but people should keep their hands to themselves, always get consent for any sexual situation and follow the laws set forth that govern sexual acts,” Wells said. “Mothers, and in my opinion, especially fathers, need to be better at raising their children to not objectify women…this applies to all genders and sexualities but most often it seems like straight males who are perpetrating sexual misconduct.”

Punk band members cannot go back in time to experience better childhoods; they aren’t responsible for their childhoods. For future parents, it is important to teach their children to respect everyone, no matter their identity. Drugs should not be praised; artists should not be talking about how great weed, heroine, and popping pills are. 

I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME’s lead singer Dallon Weekes poses with his wife Breezy Weekes. Dallon Weekes was part of band Panic! At The Disco from 2010 to 2015. (Getty Images)

In addition, more help needs to be provided to everyone: families, children, adults, young adults. It is practically unsafe anymore to not have someone to talk to. A therapist, a psychiatrist, rehab. Somehow, these things need to become more accessible and affordable.

The punk industry — the music industry in general — would thrive in a better name. Beloved artists would not be feared, fans would not feel the need to throw out merchandise, and most importantly people would be safe from sexual assaults, grooming, manipulation, etc. 


Get out of the stigma, get out of harming others, get out of the spotlight to focus on yourself. Get help.