Alpha Wolf have pulled out of all upcoming live shows & have split with frontman Aidan Ellaz amid allegations of sexual assault surfacing against him.
CW: allegations of sexual abuse.
It really has been an insane and upsetting few days in the local heavy music scene, to say the very least.
As we’re sure most of you have heard and read by now, Melbourne heavy-hitters Alpha Wolf pulled out of their headline tour dates this week (with Honest Crooks and Daybreak honouring the shows and still playing them), withdrew from March’s Download Festival in Melbourne, and their April tour with Polaris. On top of all this, the band have also parted ways with their vocalist, Aidan Ellaz.
This all comes following a post to social media by an alleged sexual abuse victim of Ellaz (whose full name we’re keeping out of this post out of respect) earlier this week on Thursday, February 8th, in which the woman wrote of her alleged assault she experienced from Ellaz that occurred last year on April 8th, 2017. Her full post can be read below:
“I’ve been really petrified to do this, I’ve been really scared of losing friends and finding out who really is there for me, I’ve been really really scared of being called a liar, i’ve been really scared to find out who else doesn’t care that he’s done this, I’ve been really scared that my life could possibly get any worse… although at this point I highly doubt that.
I’ve been really scared that I would be prosecuted for speaking up about this.
I’ve been really, really bloody scared.
All possible horrible outcomes have been running through my head non stop for very close to a year now, and I can’t take it anymore.
08/04/2017 I allowed Aidan Holmes/Ellaz, better known for being Alpha Wolf’s vocalist, into my home, and he disrespected me in the lowest possible way.
I can not get that night out of my head.
This is not an attack, this is me at my wits end, this is me suffering and locking myself inside every day for weeks and destroying every friendship I had/have had since this happened because the thought “I can never trust anyone again” runs through my head like a train every single day.
I’m sorry that these statements are so explicit I had to give full detail and honestly it was an extremely uncomfortable experience, so was giving my underwear to the police for DNA, sitting in my then loungeroom in a hazmat suit to lock in DNA, it didn’t seem real.
Being evicted from where I was living for being sexually abused and having no other option but to let my ex take care of my cat Yuki (thank you) and run away from Brisbane. 2017 really crushed me.
I need 2018 to be my year, I don’t think anything is going to get better for me until this is off my chest.
I hope that this message will serve to protect anyone else who falls into the trap I fell into.
Please be careful of this “man”
I wish I could turn back time.”
Relating to the above statement, here is the police report that was posted on the woman’s original Facebook post of the alleged sexual abuse. As we understand it, this report was made to the police directly following the incident, mere hours afterwards.
(Note: we’ve blacked out both the woman’s name, the witnesses’ last name, as well as Senior Constable’s name and their badge number as we do not feel comfortable having them clearly displayed here).
In response to these very serious allegations, the band issued the following public statement, saying they’d withdrawn from their remaining headline shows, that they stand behind Ellaz and were offering their full co-operation with authorities to see this matter all the way through:
“In light of allegations raised against one of our members we have decided to withdraw from the final two dates of the Mono Australian tour.
The individual member has made a statement, which we stand behind, however we feel the best course of action for now is to leave the matter in hands of legal authorities to be resolved with our full co-operation.
Further, we believe allegations of this nature should always be brought to the attention of the relevant authorities, and we support anyone genuinely affected to speak up.“
Ellaz also made a brief statement via his personal Facebook, denying the allegations and labelling them as a “vexatious concoction of lies”:
This is not the first time that such allegations have come up against Ellaz, with Joshua Cory from Melbourne’s Pridelands, having heard the initial story, publishing the below post to Twitter on April 10th, 2017 (which was posted two days after this alleged incident took place). This Tweet was deleted shortly after being posted, with the band’s guitarist Sabian Lynch asking that Cory take it down immediately and PM him and the band directly to resolve it. (According to the band, this particular incident was actually cleared up between Cory and the band shortly afterwards).
As for balance, below is an embedded screenshot of a post from back in 2016 of the accuser regarding an assault accusation she made against Ellaz at that point in time, which she retracted in said post. You can find that below:
Now, back to the present time. Whether because of the strong backlash online, because of further deliberation between Ellaz, the band and the label, or because of other information that has not been made known yet, Alpha Wolf announced they had parted ways with Ellaz barely 24 hours later after their initial statement. In this second statement, the band said:
“Due to the severity of yesterday’s allegations, we have decided it is best for all parties involved for us to not appear at any of our upcoming shows. This includes both Download Festival and The Mortal Coil tour with Polaris.
We have also decided to part ways with our vocalist Aidan Ellaz.
We’ll each be taking some time off to process everything that has occurred in the past 24 hours and we wish that our decisions can be respected.
– Sabian, Scottie, John.”
Ellaz also made his own comments in the band’s follow-up statement, saying he feels this is his battle, that he will step aside from Alpha Wolf to deal with this, and that he will do what he can to clear his name:
“In light of what occurred yesterday, I announce that I will step aside from Alpha Wolf so that they may continue on with band commitments. I feel it is my battle and I do not want to drag them through it. This has also made an impact on their lives both personally and professionally.
Due to the seriousness of the allegations I have not been able to respond or present my version of what actually occurred. This was on the advice of the label, lawyers and the police as this whole matter will now be throughly investigated. Sadly, because I have chosen to take that advice, some people have deemed me guilty. At this stage I can only say that the evidence and truth will come out in due course. I will now focus solely on what I need to do to assist in the processes.
With that I would like to say that I have never and will never ever condone or support any abuse of any kind. The things alleged are understandably distressing to most who have read them and I urge people to try not to hate on anyone. That includes the band, label and the people who have helped make Alpha Wolf what it is today.
I’m deeply sorry to all who have been affected by this.
To my family, close friends and fans, thank you for the support and understanding.“
As mentioned in our Cursed Earth article the other day (another distressing scenario in Australian heavy music currently), Download Festival Melbourne also made comment on both Alpha Wolf and Cursed Earth pulling out, stating that:
As per the title of this article, and in what was an expected move from the headliners when these kinds of situations arise, Polaris also confirmed that Alpha Wolf would not be joining them on their April headline tour with The Plot In You and Ambleside. The Sydney metalcore band wrote this on the matter:
“Yesterday we were made aware of allegations against Alpha Wolf vocalist Aidan Holmes. While we understand that both parties involved are seeking legal action, and respect their decision to do so, in light of these events Alpha Wolf will not be appearing on The Mortal Coil Australian Tour in April.
We as a band condemn abuse in any form within the music community and everywhere, and we support the brave decision of victims of any crime to speak out. We hope to be a part of creating an environment where any and every person can feel safe in the music scene.
For anyone seeking support relating to these kind of issues, a 24-hour national sexual assault and domestic violence counselling line can be reached at 1800 737 732.
We will have an update regarding the lineup for these shows as soon as possible.
Thankyou for your understanding as we deal with this matter,
Amongst all of this, there have been some utterly awful things said about both the accused and accuser online in the past few days, things that we won’t bring attention to here. And to be blunt, this whole thing is a mess, with so many different people and parties involved. As such, we at KYS would like to make a few other things clear.
This article is us simply reporting on what’s been said so far in the public forum. We’re not saying that Ellaz is guilty here nor that the alleged victim is lying or that these are false allegations either. We will not be picking a side in this situation – we just cannot as we must remain partial here as it all comes down to those directly involved right now. Also, until we learn otherwise or until we can fully confirm anything else, the remaining members of Alpha Wolf – guitarists Sabian Lynch and Scottie Simpson as well as bassist John Arnold – are all in the clear.
Secondly, as for Greyscale Records, Ash Hull and Joshua Merriel, there have been some rumours hanging around on social media that the label threatened the supposed victim with legal action. As we understand from speaking with Greyscale and the witness named in the above report (Robert, who has informed us is fine with his name being mentioned here) and from his recent statements online about the label, Greyscale didn’t threaten the alleged victims over the phone with legal action. Merely, they stated to them that the band, Ellaz and/or his family would possibly seek to take legal action about the allegations and that the woman who has come forward should potentially lawyer up too. Furthermore, regarding the Australian record label, this does not affect our position, coverage or support of them nor the remaining active Greyscale bands: Belle Haven, Justice For The Damned, Deadlights, The Comfort, Stuck Out and Aburden.
Thirdly, as for the initial police statement of witness brought forward, we have made an inquiry with Queensland Police and are trying to get in further contact with them to better understand these kinds of statements, how they’re conducted, what does or doesn’t verify them, the due process of it all and so forth. Not as an excuse to back or excuse either side here, simply to further understand these legal matters. We have also contacted a friend of the website down here in Melbourne who has a relative serving with Victoria Police that we’re hoping to speak to in order to help understand these procedures better.
Sadly, the truth often only exists in the present tense, but we here sincerely hope that once this story eventually quietens down so the truth can eventually and hopefully come out. Regardless of what that truth actually is, it needs to come out either way.
Please excuse the rather obligatory nature of this inclusion here but we are obliged to do so. If you or anyone you know has been a victim or is/are distressed by any this, please know that there are a number of helplines listed where you can get support from: