It’s all fun and games until someone throws an ice cube. After an altercation during last week’s SXSW, Chicago-based Screeching Weasel has disbanded and released an apology for the actions associated with the group.
The incident occurred last Friday while the band was playing at the Scoot Inn. As reported by WBEZ’s Jim DeRogatis, frontman Ben Weasel (aka Ben Foster) had a drink thrown at him and threatened to beat up whoever had thrown it. An audience member suggested that a woman in the crowd had thrown the drink, to which Foster replied that he would never hit a girl but might hire another girl to do it. Foster was then hit by an ice cube, supposedly thrown by the same audience member, and retaliated by lunging off of the stage and punching the female attendee. When the female venue owner stepped in, Foster also threw a punch at her.
Foster’s bandmates, Dan Schafer, Adam Cargin, Justin Perkins and Drew Fredrichsen, released a statement yesterday to Punknews.org describing the event as “shameful and embarrassing” to the band and have decided to leave the group for the foreseeable future. The four stated that they do not support or condone Foster’s behavior, though they recognize his regret for the incident and will respect the music they have made together by not forcing the band to continue.
Schafer, Cargin, Perkins and Fredrichsen have left the door open for the possibility of working with Foster in the future, and they have also made it clear that they respect any of Foster’s decisions regarding the Screeching Weasel namesake.