Former Braids Member Katie Lee Speaks Out Against Band

"They have publicly defamed me, they have stripped me of fair ownership over certain songs, and they have gaslighted me"
Former Braids Member Katie Lee Speaks Out Against Band
Ahead of delivering their sophomore effort Flourish // Perish in 2013, Braids became a trio following the departure of keyboardist Katie Lee. Now, a recent op-ed from the group's Raphaelle Standell-Preston has spurred Lee to open up on what led to her leaving Braids.

Last week, Standell-Preston wrote about the hateful online backlash she was subjected to for speaking out against sexist language used to describe and promote TC Electronic's "Pussy Melter," a guitar effects pedal made in collaboration with glam metal band Steel Panther.

In a Facebook post made shortly after Standell-Preston's piece, Lee called her former bandmate's op-ed "incredibly infuriating, and the performative allyship reads everywhere," adding that it "ironically reveals Raphaelle's stance towards defending minorities."

Lee wrote, "Since leaving the band I have not heard a single apology, except from [drummer Austin Tuft] in the band in one instance, regarding the way they treated me during and after my leave. They have publicly defamed me, they have stripped me of fair ownership over certain songs, and they have gaslighted me."

Lee continued by writing that she was often silenced for speaking up about cultural and social issues while playing in Braids, with her former bandmates telling her, "We aren't a political band."

"My voice was never empowered in this group, and during my final moments in the group — when I began to find my voice — it was taken away from me, and I was silenced," she wrote. "In this group I was first confronted with the idea that no matter what you say, white men run to the aid of white women when they cry. That my value and contribution as Canadian-Korean women was not enough. That I filled a 'certain' role, one that was passive and 'goes with the flow.' That the way I pronounced certain things was because I was 'raised differently.'"

Standell-Preston spoke to Exclaim! about Lee's departure in 2013, saying that a falling-out occurred when Lee began pursuing more vocal and lyrical input.

"I don't know if this is conceited," Standell-Preston said at the time, "but I feel my voice is a very important element in Braids. It seemed so jarring to me, to think I wasn't gonna sing as much. 'Cause it's all I really wanna do. That was really hard for our friendship. Not having that support, feeling like it was jeopardizing what I wanted to do. Her not understanding that, and me not supporting her wanting to do that. And Austin [Tufts] and Taylor [Smith] being really confused, because they like my voice. And they're like, 'Why are we doing this? We're so far into the record! Why do we wanna do this?!'" 

She continued, "It's true that we might've lost someone who could offer necessary criticism. But you have to try not to worry about that too much. She's not in the band anymore... I'm still angry, but I miss Katie a lot from time to time."

You can read Lee's entire statement below. Braids returned to action earlier this year with the arrival of two new singles.
  UPDATE (7/26, 12 p.m. EDT): Lee has now penned another letter to her former Braids bandmates, who have also issued an apology to her. You can see both posts below.