Teenage Bottlerocket Explains Departure From Weaselfest

  • Bobby Gorman posted
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Teenage BottlerocketThe fallout of Ben Weasel’s altercation at SXSW last week continues again today as Teenage Bottlerocket has given a bigger explanation as to why they decided to drop out of the upcoming Weaselfest set to happen in Chicago this may.

The full explanation was posted on Facebook and can be read below.

Hello everyone, we’d like to take some time to clear the air and address some concerns about our recent decision to drop off of Weaselfest. First of all we would like to apologize once again to anyone who wanted to see us that weekend, we are very sorry and hope to make it up to everyone of you as soon as possible. People have a lot of very strong opinions about what happened at this year’s SXSW during Screeching Weasel’s set. Many of you are of the opinion that the girls who got punched deserved it and that Ben was in the right. Many others believe that Ben was in the wrong and should not have reacted the way he did. We happen to agree with the latter opinion. We understand that it can be difficult to deal with hecklers and difficult crowd members, we’ve all been there. What doesn’t help is belittling the entire crowd the entire show and taking your frustrations about your situation on them. Ben was obviously frustrated with the fact that he was playing SXSW as well as the $250 paycheck. What many people don’t know is that EVERY band playing an official SXSW showcase gets $250. Nobody is really playing there because it’s a big money maker; most of us are playing because either we feel it’s good exposure, or better yet, because it’s fun. In fact that’s pretty much ours and many other bands approach to punk rock. There’s not a lot of money, but we do it still, because it’s fun and we love it.

Either way, Ben was frustrated, which is his right, but he physically attacked two women. We simply can’t stand for that kind of violence toward anyone. As far as standing behind someone who has stood behind us: Ben Weasel has not only never stood behind TBR, he has gone out of his way to publicly trash our band in the past. He spent a few years having nothing but bad things to say about not only our band, but many of our mutual associates and even close friends. If the tables were turned, Ben would not only abandon us, but go out of his way to trash us further. It wasn’t until recently that efforts were made on both sides to put all of that in the past, which is when we decided to play Weaselfest in the first place. We were doing our best to try and let bygones be bygones, but then the SXSW incident happened and along with it came many other problems. Ben ended relationships with our mutual booking agent Deborah as well as our mutual publicist Vanessa.  Deborah has worked with many bands over the years, including Screeching Weasel, The Queers and TBR. She works very hard for her bands and is also a great friend. Vanessa also works hard and cares about every band she represents. Furthermore Ben constantly criticizes any label he’s associated with, currently Fat Wreck Chords. Ben not only writes lyrics attacking the label but makes onstage comments about the label and its owner. It’s difficult for us to understand how any of this is the booking agent, publicist, manager or record label’s fault. He did apologize to everyone, but behind the scenes he was ending many of those relationships.  Ben Weasel has a history of feuding with those he works with, those who help him and especially other bands. We all grew up loving Screeching Weasel and readily admit they have been a huge influence on our music. However Ben Weasel has crossed the line time and time again, and as much as we’ve tried to be friends and pay respect, the SXSW incident and his actions since are grounds for us to decide we don’t want to be associated with him anymore. We’re not trying to be saints or whatever else, we simply: Do not condone violence against women or anyone for that matter, and no longer want to be associated with a person who treats so many people close to us with such little respect. Apologies again to anyone who wanted to see us this weekend; trust us we’re bummed out too, but we promise we will do our best to make it up to all of you.