Article By: Trevor Di Carlo
The heinous act of sexual assault is nothing new within the electronic music community. There have been recent claims against Space Jesus, Snails, and many more, in addition to the widely publicized situation with Datsik a few years ago. With victims feeling empowered and supported to share their stories, now there are mounting sexual assault allegations brought against Lorin Ashton, the leader and face of the almighty Bassnectar sound project. With this article, we hope to provide all the public information that is currently available at this time.
Not long ago, the account @evidenceagainstbassnectar was created on Instagram to serve as a safe haven and central location for people to post information about the victims from Lorin’s past actions. The mission was to inform the public that the famous producer had been abusing his power as a music icon to take advantage of his fans. The varied allegations cover offenses that include sexual intercourse with underage women, manipulative grooming behaviors, and more recently, even some possible violations of music copyright infringements Bassnectar may have committed.
Lorin Ashton took to social media on July 3rd, releasing the following statement.
Lorin went on to vaguely deny all of the accusations that have been brought against him, but then in the same statement, he acknowledged “I feel intense compassion for anyone I may have hurt… I realize some of my past actions may have caused pain, and I am deeply sorry.” Overall, this very confusing and vague statement can be deciphered in various ways, so I’ll leave the judgments to you.
Many victims have come forward, mainly anonymous, to publicize the sexual misconduct Lorin has engaged in. A majority of the accusations are implicating him for indulging in sexual intercourse with a minor.
Many of the posts on the @evidenceagainstbassnectar account contain various pieces of evidence that include personal written accounts, email records, direct message history, and a few snippets of recorded phone conversations.
In addition to those posts, there is also a recorded phone conversation. From what can be observed, a woman by the name of Rachel is talking to Lorin about their past interactions. Rachel goes on to disclose that she was 17 when she met him, explaining how influenced and impressionable she was by Lorin’s status. Lorin followed up by saying “it was extremely inappropriate… I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever do it again…” adding more fuel to the fire. Frequent Bassnectar collaborator ill.Gates took to social media expressing his position after listening to this recording.
Manipulative Grooming Behavior:
Grooming behavior is defined as “befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a minor, and sometimes the family, to lower the minors inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse.” Keeping this definition in mind, this next story has been pushed on Tumblr by someone named Lauren. Her story is not an accusation of statutory rape like some others, rather it’s a personal account that supports the stories of the other victims, in terms of Lorin’s manipulative behaviors. You can read her full statement here.
Stories from Bassnectar Team Members and Collaborative Producers:
The next story is from Jordana, a member of the pioneer drum and bass group 1.8.7. She shares her experience of Bassnectar stealing her music to be used as samples in his track “Here We Go.” Jordana goes on to profess that it took five years from the initial release of the Timestretch album to get a hold of Bassnectar's legal team. While they did offer her a sum of money for the use of her music after all these years, as well as the promise to split royalties going forward, Jordana has yet to receive her share of the future royalties. You can view Jordana’s statement below.
In light of all these accounts and accusations, it is crucial that we, the electronic dance music community, continue to hold those in positions of power accountable for their actions. Even some who work hard to use their status for good reasons, can end up abusing their power if not careful. With great power comes great responsibility.
Many Bassnectar fans will have to come to grips with the alleged actions and suspicious departure of its de facto leader. While there is no excuse for the type of wrongdoing that has been shared, hopefully people can still find ways to cherish the wonderful friendships and memories made within the Bassnectar community, regardless of the conduct of its leaders. Whatever you do, please stay strong, get empowered, and never forget that YOUR VOICE MATTERS!