By Gregory AdamsIt's been a weird year for longtime Screeching Weasel frontman Ben Weasel. Back in March, the band played a set at Austin's SXSW where the frontman punched a woman in the face after she allegedly threw ice at him. Following the incident, Weasel issued a formal apology, but his bandmates split in the aftermath. On top of that, a bunch of bands bailed on a planned Weaselfest event in Chicago, which ultimately ended up being cancelled. Though Weasel has been relatively quiet in the meantime, he's returned to the internet with a scathing rant against his old chums.
The punk singer posted a lengthy diatribe against his former colleagues, calling them out over not severing ties because of his violent actions, but because they didn't want to be caught up in the backlash by being associated with him.
Throughout the message he points to his bandmates not being overly concerned with the incident at first, but panicking once the story hit the internet the next day. Weasel is particularly vindictive against former guitarist Danny Vapid, who he said originally gave him a pep talk about how we all make mistakes.
"A quick perusal of the WWW turns up the interesting fact that M. Vapid, late of Screeching Weasel, has been scampering around granting interviews to naive zinesters implying that he quit the band out of shame and embarrassment over the SXSW incident," Weasel wrote. "The events that had just occurred on stage were not of the slightest concern to these purportedly sensitive and easily mortified gents. In case you miss my meaning, they couldn't have fucking cared less."
A long, complicated story of band betrayal and hurt feelings follows, with Weasel ultimately stating that he had decided to move on with new members before the rest of the band split.
"I'd already replaced Vapid and the drummer, chosen from a steady stream of applicants who, to a man, noted that the chumps who 'quit' were a bunch of sorry, suck-ass motherfuckers and that the ensuing display of cannibalistic fury from the torch and pitchfork crowd was a whole lot of bullshit," he wrote.
"The band never split up for a second; I merely pink-slipped the dead weight and methodically replaced them with the meanest, leanest lineup of stand-up mofos I could find, every last one of them as disgusted as I am with this ludicrous show of puritanical finger-wagging over the past few months. The boys have been replaced by men. The ex-Weasels didn't give a damn about what went down on stage at SXSW until the Internet told them they ought to. Then, after not giving a shit for two days, they suddenly grew a conscience. Rest assured, fans, no such weak-minded milksops are in the current lineup."
Following his five-month sabbatical, the singer is back. The new Screeching Weasel lineup will play a gig at Chicago club Reggie's October 29. And considering the turn of events, Weasel seems pretty optimistic.
"I've been silent for almost five months but now I've taken over this Carnival Of Schadenfreude; it's barreling down the tracks even as I type and I can hardly to wait to take the stage again. Did you think I'd ignore all of the unmitigated bullshit that went down after Austin? Hell no you didn't, you're Screeching Weasel fans -- you knew better. I'm embracing the chaos, and I'm giving it noogies and then I'm twisting it up into a delightful balloon dachshund for your amusement.
"I'm back in town, and I'm tanned, rested and ready. Now somebody go get me my fucking microphone and let's get this thing going!"