Despite working on this for days and editing it multiple times, this still feels more like me thinking out loud than having me having complete thoughts. It’s at the point where I feel comfortable sharing it, and people have been asking me if and when I would say something, so here it is.
Where do we go from here?
My goal with this account has always been to share timely, relevant information about the band Brand New, because we all know they aren’t going to share it themselves. I’ve worked hard to connect people with the information they’re looking for about the band, whether it’s about tickets, vinyl, merchandise, photos, setlists, etc. I feel a sense of responsibility with that. People follow me for that, so I want to provide it the best I can.
But right now, I’m in a weird place. And before I talk about myself, I need to say that my deepest sympathy goes out to the victims in this story. I am sorry to see that so many people don’t believe you. I hope that by speaking out, you are able to heal. The fans of this band are not the victims, we are bystanders in someone else’s tragedy. That’s something I’ve kept in mind. But since I’ve made informing and bringing fans together a hobby of mine, I feel like I should speak to it. The title of the account is Brand New fans, but I am just me, one Brand New fan. (And even that is something I’m struggling with right now.) It has never been my intention to speak for all of the fans, and based on my interactions over the past few days, it’s very clear that I absolutely do not.
I have always liked knowing that a lot of the tweets I send make people happy. (More on that later.) But right now there’s not much to be happy about. The thing I’m asking myself is what should the role of a fan account be at a time like this? It certainly doesn’t feel right to just ignore this situation. If I just never tweeted about this, I’m sure I’d be accused of trying to hide it. I knew I had to acknowledge it when it first broke. And since then, I posted a few tweets with info about the shows; Martha pulled out, Kevin pulled out, then they were postponed. And since then I’ve retweeted Jesse’s statement, Kevin’s statement, Sainthood Reps tweet about it, plus a few articles about all of this…and one plea from me to the Reddit Detective Crew. Things feel upside down when the band’s fan account is exclusively tweeting about the awful things one band member did. Some people have said I’ve handled this well, and many others disagree.
Twitter is a great way to disseminate information quickly. It is a horrible place to have a tough, honest, nuanced discussion about men and power, idol worship, sexual assault, justice, forgiveness, rehabilitation, or really anything at all, even with 280 characters. Instead, the conversations that are happening aren’t helpful and don’t go anywhere. So I’m not sure where to go from here.
Is it my obligation to continue to share relevant information, even when it’s all terrible? Should I share every article written about this? Is there such thing as too much? Should I do more? What would that even look like? Or…should I just never tweet again? That seems appealing right now, and my most likely course of action. I’m just feeling drained from all of this just based on my personal feelings, and then it’s harder because I’m trying to find the right path forward with this account. I’m not sure I can support the band that I’ve called my favorite for half of my life anymore. The whole thing makes me want to just shut down. The detective work makes me angry. Getting yelled at on Twitter makes me really sad. And that’s a huge shift from how things used to be.
My favorite thing about running this account has been the feeling of shared joy. Whenever someone tweets me something exciting - following the Science Fiction rollout, a setlist they grabbed, vinyl they bought before it sold out, getting a new tattoo, and recently it’s been photos from shows with captions like “best night of my life!” - I feel that excitement when I hit retweet. It makes me so happy to see others so happy, even strangers, especially about the thing I know we share a common love for. There are a whole bunch of you who I don’t really know but I feel like I know through our interactions, and that gives me a warm feeling of kinship. But now that’s been flipped around. Everyone is upset and trying to deal with this, and that’s made me even more upset. So where I used to feel your joy, now I am feeling your pain. I’m trying to come to terms with this as an individual, and also as a person who people in this community look to for information. I am certainly not looking for pity; I’m just trying to be open about some of the things that I’ve been thinking about this past week and letting everyone know not to expect this account to continue being what it used to be.
I would much rather be tweeting your show photos and poster art and setlists.
I don’t think there will ever be another chance to do that.
Thank you for reading.
Be kind to each other.
Leave the victims alone.
Never stop fighting off your demons.