Crystal Castles Removed From Tumblr’s Feminist SXSW Showcase

A lot has happened to Crystal Castles over the past few years. They toured the world in support of their last album, (III), back in 2012; a time in which they were one of the biggest acts in the country. But, after the tour, they disappeared. Many thought it was because they were making new music, until last year when one half of the duo, Alice Glass took to social media to announce her resignation from the act.

There was a bit of back and forth from this statement. The other half, Ethan Kath, was quick to say that most of the songs were his anyway, and implied Glass didn’t have much to do with the creative process at all, saying she “didn’t appear on Crystal Castles’ best-known songs”. Glass rebutted that by slamming him, saying, “For the record, I wrote almost all of the lyrics in my former band and the vast majority of the vocal melodies. I was a founding member of Crystal Castles and shaped the sound and aesthetic from the very beginning. Manipulative statements about my contributions to the band only reinforce the decision I made to move on to other things.”

Then things got even weirder. Whilst all of this was happening, Kath announced Glass’ replacement, a mystery girl by the name of Edith, and it is this new reincarnation that was added to Tumblr‘s 79 Cents showcase at SXSW this year.

Big mistake.

Playing alongside Empress Of, Jhené Aiko, Little Simz and Tacocat, the people of the internet couldn’t help but see that one of these things is not like the other. Not because Ethan is a man, but because of how he treated Alice Glass, and the fall out from their parting of ways. Since the announcement of the show last week, Glass spoke to The Verge about Crystal Castles’ inclusion, saying, “As someone who knew Ethan Kath on a personal and professional level, it is my opinion that he is not an appropriate artist to be performing at a feminism-centric event.”

Support for Glass and disdain for the new duo’s inclusion poured out after this across the internet, with many people criticising Tumblr, a platform that preaches an inclusive environment, for the poor choice – and it seems they finally listened.

Releasing their own statement, the blogging platform confirmed they have removed Crystal Castles from the bill. They also said, “We don’t know the facts around comments made about a member of the band, and we’re not going to engage in an investigation around it. We’re hosting this event to highlight gender disparity issues, something that Tumblr and our community cares deeply about, and we don’t want the band’s presence to distract from this important mission.”

So, whilst the decision to remove Crystal Castles was a good thing, that last bit kind of ruins it. “We don’t know the facts around comments made about a member of the band” is a bit of a cop out, especially when it is regarding a very clear statement pointing to the contrary. Even if you didn’t want to look at what Alice Glass has said, the since removed statement Kath made when Glass resigned show a pretty crappy way to handle that situation, and to dismiss her creative input knowing that women struggle enough with getting recognition other than being a “vocalist” shows someone who does not deserve to perform at a feminist showcase.

Crystal Castles are still slated to perform at other events throughout the festival, as well as a bunch of others across the US. A new album is also said to be on the way. Meanwhile, Alice Glass released her first track, Stillbirth last year, with all proceeds going to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).

Image: Dazed