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Moose Blood was a pop-punk band from the UK. They formed in 2012, and released their first demo CD that same year. They started gaining some traction in the local music scene. By 2014, the band had announced that their first full-length album would be released on No Sleep Records. That album was called, I’ll Keep you in Mind, From Time to Time, and it charted at number 45 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart. In 2016, the band had already gained a worldwide following. They were touring the world and were selling out shows in which they were the headliner. They seemed to be heading for big things, and their popularity was only getting larger. Then, in 2016, they announced they would be signing to Hopeless Records (an esteemed and popular record company in that scene), and releasing their sophomore album. That album did even better than their first. The single, "Honey," was nominated for a Kerrang! award. I would not consider myself a fan of this band, but I was happy to see how well they were doing. Any band in the modern alternative scene having success gave me hope for the future of the genre. Then seemingly out of nowhere, they kicked Glenn Harvey, their longtime drummer, out of the band. They clarified that he was accused of sending an unsolicited picture to a woman back in 2015. The band released a statement, saying,
“...Glenn Harvey is not currently a member of Moose Blood. In no way do we support any disrespectful or inappropriate behaviour towards anyone, male or female. This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly."
They continued the tour with a replacement drummer. At the time, it seemed to only be a temporary setback. They continued to tour and things seemed to have gone back to normal. Then, In 2017, the lead singer, Eddy Brewerton, was accused of stealing photos off of a woman's phone and sending them to the rest of the band. The band kept going on as if nothing had happened; however, one day, the internet attacked. Moose Blood was getting bombarded with messages across social media. In early 2018, they finally made a statement about the accusation. The statement read,
“This allegation is entirely false and we strongly refute it. Until now we have resisted giving it any credence by commenting. However, the many repeats on social media have left us no option but to make our position clear. We are taking legal action. The process to resolve this issue is underway. We do not propose to comment further at this stage.”
At that point in time, there were two sides to the story—two conflicting stories of what happened. The band, who had already kicked one member out for a similar issue, was saying how they categorically deny the accusation. However, on the other side, you have the accuser who says that it happened and won’t shut up about it.
I remember when both accusations came out. I was sure that I felt terrible about what Harvey did to the victim, and thought that the band kicking him out was the right thing to do. However, I was conflicted when the second accusation (then denial) came out. I did not know what to think. I wanted to respect the accuser, but also wanted to listen to both sides of the story. After all, I thought, it is INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty. Even knowing that, I continued to be conflicted because, in certain cases, there may not be proof, but there may have been a crime.
The band decided to just try and keep pushing forward. They scheduled tours and continue to write music. They even release a new album; however, the bands future grew more and more uncertain. Bands were dropping out of Moose Blood’s tours. They weren’t getting on other bands tours. Other somewhat random and unfortunate problems also arose, such as not being able to complete a US tour due to problems with Visas. It all seemed like one terrible downward spiral.
Then Good Charlotte, one of the more popular bands in the scene, announced that Moose blood would be opening for them—a light at the end of an incredible dark year for the band. However, after the announcement, the internet started attacking Good Charlotte for taking a band accused of such a terrible crime on tour with them. They accused Good Charlotte of giving Moose Blood a platform even after what Brewerton “did.” Good Charlotte was getting so much hate, they had no choice but to kick Moose Blood off of the tour.
This was the final slap in the face of Moose Blood who, to this day, continues to defend their innocence. Later that same day, Moose Blood released a statement. They stated,
“We have been condemned in the absence of fact off the back of serious false allegations, and a situation concerning our former drummer. We are genuine, decent human beings who work hard at something we love. We take slight comfort in knowing that the people who do actually know us, knows this to be true.”
In that same statement, they announced they would be taking a break from music. Saying that they cannot continue the band due to the way this year has gone (the way they have been treated).
Now, I have absolutely no idea who was telling the truth about Brewerton, and I have and will continue to try and be respectful toward the accuser. Where the issues lies for me, is that most of the internet mob that attacked Moose Blood also has no idea who was telling the truth. So who should anyone believe? Why is the industry treating Moose Blood as though they are guilty, when there is no proof?
I still haven’t fully come to a conclusion about where to place the guilt. Has there been a false allegation, or is the band just defending their lead singer because they know there is an absence of proof? However, I have come to a conclusion about a relating topic: since the band was never convicted of a crime and maintained their innocence, they should not have been treated the way they were. The internet attacked this band based on allegations, with no corroborating evidence. They attacked this band because they believed the person with the allegations was telling the truth. I understand blindly believing the accuser if you personally know them and believe their character to be honest, but the 99 percent of the people who went online to attack the band did not know the accuser. So, that leads to the belief that maybe they didn’t take the time to actually look into the case.
Now, on the other side, I think it is just as wrong to blindly believe the band. That can be extremely harmful to the accuser if he or she is telling the truth. In this case, I find it extremely troubling the way that innocent until proven guilty was reversed. It becomes guilty until proven innocent. A pocket of the internet decided that the band was guilty. They decided that allegations were facts, and until there was proof of innocence, the band would be treated as guilty. I find that terrifying. Imagine for a second that Brewerton is innocent. Imagine that the accuser simply thought that what she stated had occurred, but was wrong. That would mean that the internet decided to flip the rule law and wrongly convict an innocent man and take his livelihood. That would mean that the internet took the fate of a human being into its hands and decided that he should not be able to perform or have a platform. When the rule of law is flipped, any person could be accused of anything and be treated as guilty. This has been observed throughout history, and history is known to repeat itself. Now, I am not saying that the current internet mobs are akin to Stalinist Russia. All I am saying is, if people just took more time to actually look into issues and not only listen to one side, I feel as though Moose Blood would still be around because, in the end, the internet killed Moose Blood.