Two weeks ago, Baltimore metallic hardcore band Sharptooth announced that they were calling it quits. It was an abrupt end to a band that had been around since 2013 and had just released their Imperfect Animal EP the year prior.
Prior to that EP’s release, the band replaced their longtime vocalist Lauren Kashan with Backswing’s Marissa Ward. When she left, Kashan said in an extensive statement that it was the band’s abusive and toxic working situation that ultimately led to her quitting the band.
“I left Sharptooth over a year ago, because on a multitude of levels, it became an environment that was damaging, and violated my values and the very ethos of what I believed Sharptooth to stand for in the first place. It was no longer a safe place for me to be or express myself authentically, so l terminated my relationship with the band. I never wanted to address any of this publicly, because we all have seen how ugly things like that can get, and I honestly do not want that for anyone involved. I wanted to leave and move on with my life and not have to engage with any of this again; this was a significant factor in why I essentially quit social media altogether for the last year. I ask for your support in respecting my peace and privacy by not asking for names, details, or any further questions on the subject.”
Needless to say, that sort of experience might not be too dissimilar to many female artists in the hardcore and metal world. It’s a frustrating reality, since women belong in metal too, man.
Now, after the band’s seemingly sudden end, Ward has come out with her own statement, effectively confirming everything Kashan said roughly a year ago. And while she ended up replacing Kashan, Ward said they are still good friends despite what happened.
“I wasn’t going to say anything, since I didn’t have anything nice to say in the first place. Sharptooth broke up months ago very quietly, and I have done my best to distance myself from it since. Not being “my” band, I didn’t feel it was proper to speak out on its ending, but realize now that some things must be communicated.
“First off, Lauren and I are friends. There is no bad blood between us. Secondly, she was absolutely on point in her initial statement when she left Sharptooth, I experienced very similar circumstances. Behind the scenes I was belittled mocked, disrespected, and tokenized as a means to further someone else’s name. My likeness and “image” were used to define something I had no control over or say in. Even the breakup announcement went without any previous member knowing or having any say.
“It was an absolute pleasure to have connected with fans of Sharptooth and to have been accepted as a part of its legacy. It’s always an honor to create, even if it’s with less than savory circumstances. I truly hope moving forward to distance myself further and further as myself and others heal from what can only be described as silly bullshit. Love y’all.”
At this time, it seems like no one in Sharptooth have said anything online to refute either former vocalist’s statements. Once we hear more from them, we’ll be sure to share their side of things.
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