In recent weeks, I Killed The Prom Queen have teased and confirmed what was expected to be a brief reunion with the return of both frontman Michael Crafter and drummer JJ Peters to the fold; a line-up considered by most fans to be ‘the original’ one.
Though expected to perform a reunion set at next year’s Unify Gathering – an annual festival held in South Gippsland, Victoria in Australia – the organisers of the event have now announced that I Killed The Prom Queen have been dropped from the line-up.
In a statement issued by Unify Gathering (which you can read in full below), they explain that the reason for them being removed from the bill centers around “historical comments made on social media by former member Michael Crafter.”
“Today UNIFY Gathering has made the decision, with the backing of band members, to remove I Killed The Prom Queen from the lineup for Unify Gathering 2019.
We made this decision because historical comments made on social media by former member Michael Crafter, who was to re-appear as guest singer of I Killed the Prom Queen for their one-off 2004 nostalgia set. These comments fall well short of today’s community standards and were considered deeply offensive to many people within our music community.
These comments are completely unacceptable and contrary to our deeply held values and beliefs that music is for everyone and to be enjoyed by all.
We want to create a culture of positive change within the music industry and it’s our responsibility to call out unacceptable behaviour wherever we see it.
UNIFY is committed to ensuring a safe place for anyone and everyone who wants to enjoy music. This is why we jointly launched the ‘Your Choice’ initiative, aimed at addressing cultural issues and harmful behaviour within the music festival landscape.
On reflection, we acknowledge that Michael Crafter shouldn’t have been chosen to appear at Unify Gathering 2019. We’d like to acknowledge that the members of the band have been really open and helpful in this conversation, and we wish them the best moving forward.”
Following the news of their removal from the festival, I Killed The Prom Queen removed all recent promotional images from their social media channels displaying the reunited line-up.
Accused former frontman Michael Crafter also issued a statement via his official Facebook page, in which he confirms that the band was “removed from the festival for my past comments” made on a site that he used to moderate for called Broken Glass Online, but that he supports Unify Gathering‘s decision and that he feels “being held to better standards is a good thing.”
He also addresses the supporters that he’s had since the news of the band’s removal from the line-up, and in doing that he says “I ask that you stop. What I was apart of is indefensible and I don’t want BGO to create more drama for people in 2018.”
You can read his full statement below.
“Been a crazy few days and I understand why. IKTPQ was removed from the festival for my past comments and I think being held to better standards is a good thing. Some people here would be too young to know that years ago I was a moderator on a website from 2005-2009 called Broken Glass that had an online public forum with over 5,000 users.
What started as something FOR the music scene ended up being a toxic mess of bullying, nudity and online shaming. The entire site and forum was terribly managed and a massive cause of drama and personal issues for a lot of people.
I’ve seen a lot of people come out and support me over the last few days but I ask that you stop. What I was apart of is indefensible and I don’t want BGO to create more drama for people in 2018.
If this online forum affected you I sincerely apologise for the forum even existing and wish it actually never did. We need to all be held to better standards, accept our past mistakes and apologise for this. It’s not hard to be better to each other and say sorry if you’ve been a flat out asshole, bully or know your said some really shitty things. Talking about past issues, building bridges and aiming to positively learn and grow from this experience and step forward as a better person is something I hope to do from all of this. While it’s been challenging, I’m taking it as a learning experience to reflect on my attitudes, the language I’ve used in the past, and how I want to encourage other men in the scene to reflect on our culture and how we can all work to make it better.”
At the time of writing, it’s uncertain as to what this means for the band going forward, and also seemingly current vocalist Jamie Hope and drummer Shane O’Brien, who joined the band in 2011 and 2013 respectively and both featured on the band’s last full-length, 2014’s ‘Beloved’.
More news on the future of I Killed The Prom Queen will be confirmed as it develops.