Slaves, who are fronted by Jonny Craig of Dance Gavin Dance and Emarosa fame, were apparently given the boot, though the circumstances around the decision are at this stage unclear. .
Warped organisers have yet to make an official statement addressing Slaves’ alleged misconduct, but rumours circulating the interwebs have suggested everything from the band selling drugs at their merch table, to dumping sewerage out of their bus window, to Craig sexually assaulting a female crew member.
At the time of writing, there are only a few sources of information as to what may or may not have gone down to get the band sent packing. The first is a curious document addressed to the Warped massive, suggesting that a “Town Hall Meeting” would be held for the citizens of punk rock summer camp to vote on whether or not Slaves should be allowed to rejoin the tour, pending 5 major stipulations [via LambGoat]:
The document, which we suspect, but cannot confirm, is legit, suggests that Craig – a recovering alcoholic – drunkenly harassed a merch girl named Colleen in some way.
Regardless of the legitimacy of these claims, the vote did not go in the band’s favour. By the decree of Warped’s Town Hall assembly, Slaves have been exiled from the tour forthwith, after a mere three-show stint.
Since their ejection, both the band and frontman Johnny Craig have released official statements of their own, addressing the alleged misconduct. Slaves’ official Facebook post reads:
“I’m going to keep this as short as i can, first i’m going to address the rumors that are NOT true.
There were NOT drugs involved nor was anyone in our band looking to buy, or sell drugs.
There was NO RAPE or any forceful sexual harassment, no woman was ever touched or even spoken to, just felt uncomfortable by our behavior.
We NEVER agreed to Warped Tour, Or to Colleen that we would not drink on this tour.
We did NOT empty our non existent sewage tank from our bus all over
Let me make it %100 clear that we are not continuing Warped Tour because we were voted off because the opinions of certain people who believe that since Jonny drank, despite his success getting clean, will lead to his relapse.
This band has been under a microscope for everything we have done, we have had to bite our tongue for every completely twisted story that hits the internet, and are now being called rapists for something the internet doesn’t know about, all of this is because of what people have read about Jonny’s past instead of what people KNOW about who Jonny is.
We aren’t the people you have read about, if you would take the chance to get to know us you would see that every situation isn’t what you read of it online.
Our first merch person was a very attractive girl whom remains to be our very good friend. You can read her statement here.
We stood by jonnys side the last year, we stood by his side last night and we will stand by his side this morning. because we KNOW the truth.
This is all we are going to say about this situation.”
Meanwhile, Craig himself has had this to say [via LambGoat]:
“I have 0 problems admitting I drank but i WILL not say I used drugs. Last nights meeting was a railroad about how I’m still high. I got drunk and treated our Merch girl like she was one of the dudes and I understand this was not respectful behavior and I’m sorry very sorry to Colleen but this isn’t worth all this? I don’t think the word rape is funny and I don’t think anyone should just toss that around. I would never hurt anyone of the opposite sex. I’m sorry for breaking my streak of not drinking and have no problem picking right back up. I have spent a year putting my life back together will REAL change for once and I don’t deserve this. Neither do my band who have done nothing but take care of me and picked me up time and time again.”
This year’s US Vans Warped tour will now proceed without Slaves.
The whole situation follows a rough trot for the band, whose two guitarists were viciously stabbed in an alleged homophobic attack, just prior to Warped. They ended up performing their sole three Warped dates without axeman Weston Richmond, who is still recovering from his injuries.
UPDATE 22/07/15: Slaves have announced they are selling their merchandise at discounted prices in order to pay for tens of thousands of dollars worth of bills and expenses which they say are a result of being banished from Warped Tour.
Listen: Slaves – Burning Our Morals Away