Once again, the band Slaves are in the headlines. This time, however, they are directly involved instead of just being witnesses, as happened a few weeks back. According to an image of a flyer online, Vans Warped Tour had a town hall meeting where the bands voted on whether allow the band to rejoin the tour or not after being kicked out for, allegedly, selling drugs from their merch table and misbehavior towards a lady named Colleen, stipulating that their frontman Jonny Craig , who has a history of drug abuse, made a public apology to her. Things did not work out in their favor, and the band were asked to leave the tour. After being voted off the tour, the band released the following statement:
“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: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sn3q90
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.
The merch person they are referring to is Shelby Unmacht and reads as follows:
“Among all the stories swirling around within the Warped Tour “scene”, I have tried my best to stay off social media with any of my own feelings on the matter. I do not knowJake McElfresh, Ronnie Radke, Austin Kerr, Austin Jones, or anyone else wrapped up in previous sexual assault/harassment allegations, enough to form a strong opinion one way or the other. I believe there are three sides to every story: his, hers, and the truth. All you can offer are your own experiences with those involved.
With that said, I can’t hold myself back from standing up for some of my dearest friends inSlaves and more specifically, Jonny Craig. I was Jonny’s longest-running crew member. I began touring with him just a year into my career and it was immediately following the release of his Alternative Press cover back in 2012. He was fresh out of rehab and adjusting back to life on the road. On our first couple tours together he drank heavily, and yes, said some things in a drunk state that I would not consider appropriate (but, who hasn’t done that?). When Slaves was formed, there was a significant, positive change inJonny. It was clear that he was happier and was surrounded by friends who really care for his well-being. Jonny is a far cry from the person I met back in 2012.
I have been with Jonny at some of his best and worst moments. Even at his worst, not once did I EVER have a single thought that he might become aggressive, violent, or threatening towards me. I have never believed him to be sexually harassing me. Never. If I became offended at every sexual joke from people I worked with, I would have a problem with everyone. I’m a woman spending every moment of my time on the road surrounded by men. Sexual jokes are bound to happen. They just do when you are around friends, male or female. And if you don’t consider the people you tour with your friends, you probably shouldn’t be touring with them.
I do believe this entire situation has been stretched to the furthest extent and it doesn’t make sense. The fact that the internet has resorted to calling Jonny a rapist is frightening.Jonny and the rest of Slaves have worked very hard to be a part of Warped Tour. Jonnyhas done everything he can to prove himself changed to Kevin Lyman. For that reason, I find it extremely difficult to believe that he or the band would throw all of that away to sell drugs at the merch table or harm their merch manager.
I believe this should have been handled in a different way and kept between band, crew, and management. What should have been a quick change in crew, has been blown up and torn apart by the internet. In the simplest terms, I would boil this down to being nothing more than a clash of personalities.”
On the other hand, Jonny has made a statement of his own aside from the official band statement:
“I have n0 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.”