The Growlers in Disarray as Brooks Nielsen Comes Under Scrutiny for Sexual Misconduct
American band, The Growlers have been active in the music scene since 2006 and were going quite strong until multiple scandals halted their growth and tainted their reputation.
After Starcrawler singer Arrow De Wilde accused the band of sexual misconduct during their 2020 tour of Australia, frontman and cofounder Brooks Nielsen had to apologize for his insensitive acts publicly. The incident also caused Matt Taylor, one of the co-founders of The Growlers, to be temporarily suspended.
Read on to find what transpired on their 2020 tour to damage the psychedelic/surf rock group's public image and also expose an underlying toxic culture within the indie music industry.
Brooks Had Initiated A Sexually Degrading Prank On Starcrawler Lead
In July 2020, allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against The Growlers, along with other artists associated with California label company, Burger Records.
The sexual misconduct incident was brought to light after the lead singer of L.A rock band, Starcrawler, Arrow De Wilde shared a personal encounter with The Growlers. De Wilde revealed that the band had initiated a sexually degrading prank on her during a two-week Australian tour.
De Wilde stated that while none of the band members assaulted her directly, they hired an Australian male stripper to do so for their enjoyment.
The lead singer recounts being assaulted by the male stripper for over 10 minutes, with the rest of The Growlers doing nothing to stop the fiasco. The distressed lady also alleged The Growlers lead Brooks as being the mind behind the distasteful act.
I later found out that the whole thing was Brooks’ idea & that it cost them a few hundred bucks, which to me is a pretty expensive joke.
Brooks Apologized, Saying He Will Take Full Responsibility
The sexual misconduct incidents were not just brought to life by De Wilde, but also by an Instagram handle @lured_by_burger_records. The IG account alleged that the record label that the band was associated with also had a long history of promoting a toxic environment that allowed men access to underage girls.
After De Wilde's accusations, The Growlers frontman issued an apology taking full responsibility and accountability for all of his band members' behavior. The frontman also apologized to Arrow De Wilde personally, admitting the allegation and calling it “lack of judgment” and “a horrible idea that turned out even worse.”
The controversial singer also announced that co-founder and guitarist Matt Taylor would be on temporary leave as he adamantly denied the allegations made against him.
Additionally, former Growlers’ touring keyboardist Adam Wolcott Smith admitted to an incident of abuse on his Instagram and quit the band.
The Growlers Were Going Strong Before The Allegations
In an interview with Happy Magazine, Brooks said they didn’t have any ambitions to succeed other than going on tour and being creative.
The story behind how the band came to be is unusual. The infamous singer and guitarist Matt Taylor were once attending a house party that needed a band when the duo decided to write songs for the party in the spur of the moment, thus creating six songs in just a single day. Surprised by what they had done, the then 22-year-old musician decided to start a band, hence bringing The Growlers into existence.
The Southern California band garnered much success since their early days. They issued their debut album Are You In or Out? in 2009 on Everloving Records, followed by Hot Tropics EP in 2010. The band’s 2014 album Chinese Fountain cracked the Billboard 200 pop chart, which helped them gain mainstream chart success and expand their audience.
Even during their hay day, the beach-goth four-piece were known for their anarchic personal. The LA Weekly described them as weird, pop-filled sideshows, unpredictable, chaotic, and bordering on madness.
In light of the recent sexual allegations, though, the band's future is uncertain. Following Arrow's claim, the band's founder has since disappeared from Instagram, while the band's official Facebook page has remained inactive since July this year