Ian Svenonius—the singer and songwriter behind numerous bands including the Make-Up, Escape-ism, Nation of Ulysses, and Chain and the Gang—posted a statement to Instagram on Friday (July 24) where he admitted to a history of being “completely inappropriate to women.” That post, viewed by Pitchfork, was later deleted and his Instagram account was made private. Read the deleted statement in full below.
The deleted post began by acknowledging that “the trash fire burning through underground music is long overdue”—a reference to widespread anonymous allegations of misconduct that have led to the shuttering of Burger Records and statements from artists like Nobunny and Part Time. In his post, Svenonius acknowledged his own role as a “guilty party.”
“I want to use this forum to say that I support people speaking out for the eradication of abusive predatory modes and also that I am absolutely one of the guilty parties,” he wrote. “That, through my narcissism, egotism, and thoughtlessness, I have acted the creep. That I have made people I cared about and respected feel terrible, have been completely inappropriate to women.” He added, “To anyone I have made feel bad or uncomfortable, I sincerely apologize and throw myself at your mercy. I always believed that I was a revolutionary and now my revolutionary act is self-immolation.”
Merge Records severed ties with Ian Svenonius following the artist’s deleted post. Merge announced:
Merge Records has severed ties with Ian Svenonius moving forward, and we are pulling his catalog from our webstore, physical distributors, and streaming/download services. The information and allegations surrounding Ian’s post last Friday have been illuminating and disheartening. We see and stand with all those who have come forward and all those who haven’t, and we will continue working and listening to do our part in making the music community one that is safer and more inclusive for everyone.
Pitchfork has reached out to Ian Svenonius’ representatives at Dischord Records.
BURN BABY BURN : the trash fire burning through underground music is long overdue. It is not happening in other spheres of the music industry. It is unique to the underground rock music scene because this scene is predicated on the concepts of access, participation, respect, and honesty. It rejects the capitalist models of hierarchy and exploitation. For all of the degenerate posturing of the punk progenitors, we exist in a highly moral scene where accountability is paramount. Accountability takes many forms and faces; at one time this manifested in fairness of pricing of records and concerts, or all ages shows where anyone could enter. Record labels that were accountable. This battle is over; the fans are few and most labels and money are gone.
Now the scene must address personal behavior. The interactions between people. As a lifelong punk i am permeated in the myths of rock. While we loathe the rock prescriptions of misogyny, power imbalance, sexual objectification, et al, we have also lionized the exploits of the greatest public degenerates (outside of politics, industry &military), the top sinners, the scum and the perverts and, at times i too have manifested aspects of their tawdry behavior. I want to use this forum to say that i support people speaking out for the eradication of abusive predatory modes and also that i am absolutely one of the guilty parties. That, through my narcissism, egotism, and thoughtlessness, i have acted the creep. That i have made people i cared about and respected feel terrible, have been completely inappropriate to women. While this may seem like virtue signaling, its not. We are interested in creating an accountable world where this kind of dialogue isn’t necessary . To anyone i have made feel bad or uncomfortable, i sincerely apologize and throw myself at your mercy. I always believed that i was a revolutionary and now my revolutionary act is self immolation. If rock ‘n’ roll behaves like its mortal enemy — the imperial war machine and the capitalist consumer cannibal factory, then it must be eradicated, burned, destroyed. So it can be borne again, free of the pollution that has infected it since its inception.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork