The Growlers Accused of Misconduct by Starcrawler’s Arrow de Wilde, Issue Apology

Arrow de Wilde said she was told that the incident was orchestrated by Brooks Nielsen and cost the band “a few hundred bucks,” calling it “a pretty expensive joke.”

Starcrawler guitarist Henri Cash corroborated de Wilde’s story in a statement to Pitchfork. “Everything Arrow said in her statement is true,” Cash wrote. “We were locked out on stage but, after pounding on the door, we were able to get into the room and saw a naked man standing over Arrow. Arrow was very upset and told me the whole story right after in the bathroom. We were all shocked and horrified and didn’t know what to do.”

Today, Brooks Nielsen, issued an apology in a statement posted to the band’s Instagram. “I apologize for my actions, and for any band members, that have hurt, offended, or damaged any person or made anyone feel less than 100% safe,” Nielsen wrote. “I take full responsibility and accountability for the behavior of all Growlers’ band members, past and present.”

Nielsen then acknowledged Arrow de Wilde’s allegations, calling it a “lack of judgment” that he “arrang[ed] a male stripper as an end-of-tour prank to dance for the great Arrow de Wilde.” He added, “This was a horrible idea that turned out even worse.”

In recent weeks, anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct have been levied against the California garage rock label Burger Records’ artists and employees. The label folded entirely as musicians including Nobunny, Part Time’s David Loca, and SWMRS’ Joey Armstrong have released statements addressing allegations of misconduct.

The Growlers, who put out records on Burger, have faced additional anonymous allegations of misconduct. The band released a statement on Instagram on July 21, denying some allegations and announcing plans to “look into” others; that statement, viewed by Pitchfork, has since been deleted. That same day, the Growlers keyboardist Adam Wolcott Smith announced on Instagram that he’d quit the band. The next day, Smith wrote on Instagram, “I’m not innocent in abuse,” and admitted to an incident of sexual assault. Both of those Instagram statements, viewed by Pitchfork, have also been deleted.

In his new statement, Brooks Nielsen said:

When I look back at the antics of the early Growlers, I am regretful and embarrassed. We were trying to be provocative, unpredictable, and chaotic, but in reality we were juvenile, idiotic, and cruel. We were blind to the big picture of the powers of the music and the responsibility of the artist to their fans.

I lacked empathy and awareness. What my friends and I might thoughtlessly have considered no big deal, or funny, or just meaningless, actually had a lot of significance for other parties involved.

Nielsen then announced that co-founder and guitarist Matt Taylor is taking temporary leave from the band. Nielsen also said he’ll be “working to raise awareness and as much money as [he] can for Time’s Up, East Los Angeles Women’s Center, and other organizations that support women who have suffered violence, abuse, and discrimination.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to reach out for support:

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
1 800 656 HOPE (4673)

Crisis Text Line (chat support)
SMS: Text “HERE” to 741-741

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