At this point, I think it’s safe to say that With Confidence are fucking done, yeah? [Updates found below].
Jesus H. Christ.
Not two days later and here we are again with yet another With Confidence controversy. This time, it involves bassist/vocalist Jayden Seeley (pictured on the right in the above photo) instead of the now outed guitarist Luke “Rockets” Thomas; a situation that only gets worse with now a second female fan coming forward with having had similar experiences with the guitarist as a teenager.
Regarding Seeley though, a Twitter user by the name of Alecks alleges that Seeley (21 at the time) approached her and pressured her into sending nude photos of herself over social media when she was just 15-years-old. Alecks’ statement mentions that the interactions took place between 2013 and 2014 – well before his band were at their current level – while adding that she was motivated to come forward after seeing the aforementioned nasty allegations levelled against Luke “Rockets” Thomas that flooded the scene on Monday.
With Seeley failing to disclose his own prior actions of sexual misconduct, she felt compelled to speak up:
If he was so disgusted and disappointed, he should have come forward too pic.twitter.com/rW84V0FLrj
— aleks (@alekskczk) November 15, 2017
In response to this, drummer Josh Brozzesi said over Twitter not long afterwards that, “We have been made aware of an allegation against Jayden. It’s very late here but Ini and I are looking into this and are treating this with the utmost seriousness.” Also, Seeley over Twitter this evening stated that: “an allegation has been made against me and I’m going to address it very shortly.”
With Confidence – which now is most likely only made up of Brozzesi and remaining guitarist Ini Del Carmen – swiftly dismissed Thomas (who still hasn’t made a public statement) from the group in the aftermath of those separate allegations just days ago, saying:
“There is speculation that in some way the three of us knew of Luke’s conduct. We can only speak for ourselves in this situation and we want to make it clear that we were all completely unaware of this unacceptable, irresponsible and disgusting behavior that has taken place. We found out the same time everyone else did and immediately removed Luke from the band and bus. We have zero tolerance for such actions“.
It’ll be interesting to see if they now do the same thing with their frontman in another separate but still no less serious matter. Similarly, the band’s photographer, Brandon Lung, has spoken up about his own knowledge of these transgressions yet admits to passing them off while working with the band over the past year:
Back to the subject at hand, and as our peers over at Hysteria point out, under South Australian law (as in most places) solicitation of nude photos of a minor is one major crime, quoting a Lawstuff Australia on how these crimes can attract heavy penalties: “The maximum penalty for pornography can be up to 15 years in jail and being placed on the sex offender register. The maximum penalty for an act of indecency is 12 years in jail if the person in the picture is under 12. If the person is over 12 but under 17, the maximum penalty is ten years in jail.”
Hopeless Records (who have not made a word on whether they will drop With Confidence from their rosters or not) are yet to comment on this mess. I have reached out for a statement but I am yet to receive one at the time of publishing – I expect both the label and the band to make a statement either later this evening or tomorrow morning Australian time due to the U.S. time differences.
We’ll update this post when more information, statements and updates come in.
Honestly, I can only imagine what both Brozzesi and Del Carmen are feeling right now, with their band now seemingly crumbling around them, nor can I imagine what a weird, stressful and utterly tough time the women coming forward are also experiencing right now.
This is going to get worse before it gets any better.
Update #1 7:49pm: Seeley issues a statement about the issue over Twitter, apologising, stating some of the accusations are false, but that he never asked her age, that he was actually 20 and not 21, and so forth. He appears to still be in the band, though, while Alecks has posted a new Tweet in response to Seeley’s address. Please see below:
“I didn’t know her age” pic.twitter.com/mCbX6KZdOT
— aleks (@alekskczk) November 15, 2017
— jayden seeley (@jaydenwithcon) November 15, 2017
Update 11:24am 16/11/17. Band issues statement saying “We are taking a step back from touring while we process and think on recent developments.” The band will also not be playing Unify Gathering 2018 either.
If you or anyone you know has been a victim or is/are distressed by any of the recent revelations relating to sexual misconduct by musicians, please know that there are a number of helplines listed where you can get support from:
Also, with me being a 22-year-old white male, I’d like to direct your attention to an op-ed piece by Georgia Moloney at Wall Of Sound that has far more experience and perspective on such matters than what I can probably ever offer as a male. Please read it, thank you.