Woozy, a melodic rock band out of New Orleans, has been dropped from its labels and effectively disbanded after a woman in another band publicly accused a Woozy member of sexual assault.
In a long, public Facebook post written by Katryn Macko, a member of Tallahassee-based rock band Naps, she accuses Woozy’s singer/bassist John St. Cyr of assaulting her at a party in January while Macko was intoxicated. Among the details of the alleged assault, she writes:
I was probably the drunkest I’ve ever been and the room was spinning and I had never felt more helpless in my entire life. I just kept trying to make myself calm down since he was a total stranger and I didn’t really know what he was capable of, but I was coerced into doing a lot of things I did not want to do.
Macko describes her interactions with St. Cyr after that, which she says were influenced by being “confused and ashamed,” until she eventually cut off contact. She is coming forward now, she writes, because she “was told that women in New Orleans are scared to go to shows because of him, and he supposedly most recently grabbed a girl’s vagina at a bar. They told me there were lots of stories like mine.”
Stereogum reports that, following Macko’s post, Woozy’s record labels, Exploding in Sound and Community Records, both released statements explaining they would not associate with the band as a result. “There’s no room for tolerance of this kind of behavior,” Exploding in Sound’s statement said. “This is disgusting and unforgivable and we offer our support to Katryn and anyone going through a similar situation.”
On Woozy’s Facebook page, the band’s sole woman member, Kara Stafford, wrote a post addressing Macko’s post:
I’m literally shaking. As a multiple assault survivor myself, I am so, so incredibly hurt by the idea that someone I trusted could have done these things, and I am so, so fucking sorry to anyone who has been hurt. Ian and I will be getting to the bottom of this as soon as possible and make decisions based on what is best for our scene, our community, and the diy community across the country that has done so much for us.
Stafford also wrote, “We sincerely beg your patience and understand [sic] while we try to make this right,” but about an hour later, responded to a commenter saying the band was effectively over:
As it stands this band is not a band. There is nothing to be kicked out of. My apologies if my post offended you, I’m doing the best that I can. Please remember that the band did not assault someone, a person did. I am not that person and I fully condemn those actions. I’m sitting here fighting a panic attack reliving my own assaults and talking to a million people asking me what’s going on. I do not know whats going on. This news hit me ten minutes before I posted about it.
Neither Naps nor Woozy may be household names, but they operate within a very specific and tight knit community of DIY bands in America, one which generally leans progressive, at least in theory. Additionally, these posts are another example of the way more and more women are using social media to come out about their alleged sexual assaults, which on one hand is ingenious—people who have been sexually assaulted are often necessarily wary about reporting—and on the other hand ingrains the expectation that parties (and journalists) must react immediately or suffer the (social media) consequences.
And there’s the rub: while our instincts unequivocally must be to believe women, particularly against the woman-hating grain of rape culture, the social media confessional can create a scenario, as Jia wrote, that demands due process in ways that don’t inherently promote justice. And yet, speaking publicly on social media remains one of the only manners of recourse that some women feel they have, which speaks volumes about the way our broken legal system works.
On Wednesday night, the remaining members of Woozy posted an update on Facebook that said, “Woozy is no longer a band. It is against everything the two of us stand for to expose our friends and fans across the country to harm or suffering.” It also said, via a message written by an anonymous friend of Woozy, that St. Cyr will “speak for himself soon,” and that “effective immediately, John is engaging in complete sobriety.”
Jezebel has reached out to St. Cyr for comment.
Listen to Naps’s music here.
Album cover image via Woozy.