Screeching Weasel members resign in wake of Ben Weasel incident at SXSW - News - Alternative Press




Screeching Weasel members resign in wake of Ben Weasel incident at SXSW

March 23 2011, 10:35 PM EDT By Tim Karan

UPDATE 8:20 p.m. 3/23
The other four members of Screeching Weasel--guitarists Dan Schafer and Drew Fredrichsen, bassist Justin Perkins and drummer Adam Cargin--have resigned from the band following Friday night's show at SXSW where frontman Ben Weasel threw punches at two women.

The four released a statement that says, "The members of Screeching Weasel  would like to offer a sincere apology to our fans, our management (Ben Perlstein @ Motivation Management), Chad and Vanessa @ Fat Wreck Chords, Deborah Toscano @ Devil Dolls Booking, The Scoot Inn and it's employees, all the support bands, and anyone else negatively impacted by the scene that developed in Austin last Friday night, March 18th. 

The un-calculated act put forth by Ben (Weasel) Foster leading up to and including the violence that erupted on stage is seen by the band as shameful and embarrassing. The sentiments and actions expressed were completely out of our control and in no way represent the band members' view points or moral compasses. As a result, the band has discussed at length and has come to the conclusion that as a group we will not likely be able to muster the dignity to attempt a live performance as "Screeching Weasel" in the for-seeable future. We each look forward to re-evaluating our involvement in the band as we move forward if we are given the opportunity.

Collectively, as musicians, we feel that it is imperative that the music do the talking. We have made every effort as a group to ignore the gossip, Internet feuds, and general negativity that has (at times) overshadowed what we believe being in a band is really about. It is pointless to try to place the blame where those actions are concerned and we don't care to get involved other than to say we don't condone or support any of it. We are very proud of the effort we put forth in creating what we believe to be a fantastic new album in "First World Manifesto" and it deeply saddens us that we will not be able to bring that excitement to audiences around the world in the form of a live show in the coming months. 

We all feel extremely deflated following this public spectacle and would no doubt be doing the music an injustice if we were to force a performance. As friends and band mates, we are absolutely positive that Ben regrets his actions last Friday night. We have no doubt that his apology is sincere and that if he could take it all back, he would. We don't wish to place any more hardship upon him with our decision to discontinue our involvement at this time, but it is something that can not be avoided.

In the future we would love to see these wounds heal and for the opportunity to play together in a positive light materialize. If Ben feels the need to immediately carry on with a new cast of characters--we support his right to do so. Again, we would like to thank our fans for all of their past support and hope that they will continue to support us should the opportunity to perform as 'Screeching Weasel' present itself again in the future."

UPDATE 3:20 p.m. 3/21
Screeching Weasel frontman has posted an apology for attacking a female fan at the band's show Friday at South By Southwest and also to those who purchased tickets to Screeching Weasel's show on Saturday in San Antonio which was canceled following the altercation.

He posted the following on his official website:
"I want to apologize to both the club owner and audience member involved for my actions during our show at SXSW on Friday night. While their actions were outside of my control, my regretful reaction is wholly my responsibility. Whatever my feelings are about fans crossing the line like that, I wish I could have that moment back and deal with it in the same spirit as I did the preceding 60 minutes. Since I can’t, an apology is all I’ve got and I sincerely hope those people will accept it. Up front, I wish to say that I am sorry to the fan and any others who were involved. As a husband, father, and a musician on the public stage, I understand that it is my duty to always take responsibility for my actions in a socially acceptable way, and most especially in the face of confrontation. I want to apologize to the San Antonio fans, also, for having to cancel that show. I hope we can make it up down the road. I’ve obviously already talked to my band about it but I also want to publicly apologize for putting them in a bad position, as well as my manager, booking agent, label, and the support bands. My actions were unprofessional and unfair to the people I work with."

Does this change your opinion of Weasel or his actions on Friday? Let us know!

ORIGINAL POST: 11:27 a.m. 3/20
Screeching Weasel were scheduled to play last night at the White Rabbit in San Antonio, Texas, but the show was canceled following frontman Ben Weasel's altercation with a female fan the day before at Fat Wreck Chords' showcase at South By Southwest. Weasel had reportedly boasted that his band were to receive $25,000 for their San Antonio show while complaining they only received $250 for their now infamous set at SXSW. It was Screeching Weasel's first appearance at the annual music festival.

Weasel spent much of his time onstage Friday night ranting against the media and SXSW and repeated that he regretted being a part of the event and saying, "[It's] a carnival of schadenfreude."  He dedicated the song, "You're The Enemy" to SXSW organizers and lashed out at music journalists, calling them "parasitic." He also took jabs at label head Fat Mike (who had his own problems at SXSW in the past). Weasel apologized to fans for paying $20 to see his band and said they had been cheated out of money and that they were contributing to the industry spectacle of SXSW. He mockingly said, "Apparently, it's really good for your career."

As the atmosphere grew more tense throughout the night, a female fan threw ice at Weasel, prompting the vocalist to jump into the crowd. Another woman who apparently was working with the venue attempting to intervene, but Weasel threw another punch at her. Venue security broke up the fight and dragged Weasel away. Police were called to the scene, but Weasel had already fled the scene.

A representative for Fat Wreck said the label has not had contact with the band since the incident and will not be releasing a statement. The representative said, "Obviously, we don't condone violence ever. We weren't impressed."

Video of the incident is below.