It looks like PWR BTTM aren’t going to go away quietly.
The band was effectively buried in the wake of sexual assault allegations against bandmember Ben Hopkins. After the accusations went viral, the queer-punk band’s label Polyvinyl stopped selling their sophomore album and removed it from all streaming services. The label behind their debut album followed suit and their tour fell apart. But the band have secured the rights to their first album and are working with Cyndi Lauper’s manager Lisa Barbaris in an attempt to gain control of their entire discography.
“To see Polyvinyl derail and potentially destroy the band’s career in such an impulsive manner is very troubling.” Barbaris said in a statement to Billboard. “I’ve never seen a label respond in such an irresponsible way in the 30-plus years I’ve been in the music business.”
Polyvinyl, for their part, says they are working with the band and trying to work out a separation. According to PWR BTTM’s attorney Jeffrey Koenig, the label is seeking reimbursement for the advance the band was given on the album, which they were unable to make back once they stopped selling the album.
“Polyvinyl wishes to make the transition as easy as possible and has no desire to prevent the band from releasing Pageant once an agreement has been reached,” the label said in a statement to Billboard.
The move has already paid off for the band. Their debut album Ugly Cherries is back on streaming services.
“We’re happy Ugly Cherries is available again and thankful to Father/Daughter Records for their cooperation in transferring the record’s distribution rights to PWR BTTM,” Barbaris told the music mag.
While the band remained mostly silent during the initial storm of allegations, Hopkins and the band have spoken out in the weeks since to contest the allegations.