On Tuesday Evan Stephens Hall, the frontman for Pinegrove, a popular up and coming indie rock band from New Jersey, announced that the band was cancelling the remaining dates on their current tour amidst allegations being brought against the singer for “sexual coercion.” Stephens Hall took to Facebook to announce the cancellation in a lengthy post, as well provide some details regarding a “short but intense” relationship with the woman involved.
“i am about to talk about something serious and i want to begin by saying that my actions have caused someone i care about deep emotional pain and i am so sorry. i have been accused of sexual coercion. the accusation comes from someone i was involved with for a short but intense period of time. i won’t say more about this person because i want to respect her privacy and i ask anyone reading this to do the same.”
In the post Stephens Hall says that he and the woman began a relationship while she was still involved with someone else. That relationship eventually ended and Stephens Hall and the woman attempted to carry on, but it would only last two weeks before things fell apart. As far as the “sexual coercion” goes, Stephens Hall is somewhat unclear about that, only saying that “i absolutely never threatened her, i never leveraged anything against her. i believed all of our decisions to be based in love” but that he “monumentally misread the situation.”
Stephens Hall goes on to touch upon the existence of white, male privilege and the complicated dynamics at play when it comes to meeting people in the context of a live performance, saying that “i should have more actively acknowledged my position of power as a public figure, and also as a man.”
“i have always tried to approach all of my relationships under the premise of equality,” he says. “but i see now more clearly that the inherent privilege of my gender and the accumulated privilege of being a recognized performer most certainly impacted this interaction.”
The interaction seems to have been commonplace for the singer and guitarist and he goes on to admit to “being flirtatious with fans and on a few occasions been intimate with people that i’ve met on tour.” Not anymore, though, as he says that he has “reached the conclusion now that that’s not ever appropriate—even if they initiate it. there will always be an unfair power dynamic at play in these situations and it’s not ok for me to ignore that.”
PInegrove’s current U.S. tour has thus been cancelled so that Stephens Hall can seek help and “make positive changes” in his life. The tour is also cancelled “out of respect” for the woman in question and “what she is going through.” Stephens Hall says that he has started therapy and plans to continue it for the foreseeable future.
The band’s tour was set to begin on November 25th in Cleveland, taking them through the middle of December and a show on December 10th in Philadelphia.