What Exactly Is Going On With Rancid Eddie?
A number of the band's upcoming gigs have been cancelled following accusations of misogyny.
Over the last week, controversy has erupted over the Australian band Rancid Eddie, with the group being accused of misogynistic views.
Rancid Eddie first skyrocketed to popularity on TikTok, with an acoustic version of their song ‘Dry’ going mega-viral. As noted by Michigan Daily, that original video was a decidedly homegrown affair, with the group aided by just two guitars, sitting out in a backyard on an old, worn-out couch.
The official release of ‘Dry’ didn’t come for weeks — during that time, the TikTok video continued to climb in view numbers. When ‘Dry’ hit streaming services, it was almost immediately picked up for the top spot on New Music Friday. That’s when the controversy began, with Australian performer Kira Puru noting that the lyrics of the hit were coded with tired and insulting misogynistic tropes.
“Sex don’t feel very nice when the feeling is dry and the love’s gone away,” goes ‘Dry.’ “I can’t get it up when I’m all out of love/And I’m always drunk because I hate you so damn much.”
— Kira Puru (@kirapuru) October 1, 2021
Shortly after Kira Puru called out the lyrics of the song, internet sleuths uncovered an unreleased Rancid Eddie tune with equally insulting lyrics. “It somehow gets worse,” Twitter user Nick Ward wrote, sharing a video of a song with lyrics about a woman who is “just a cum rag for his ball bag.”
it somehow gets worse pic.twitter.com/DBofhHlpIa
— nick ward (@nickwarddd) October 1, 2021
As the controversy mounted, Rancid Eddie responded in a number of ways. Over on TikTok, when called out for calling women “sluts”, the band responded that, “some of ’em are.”
okay last post about this and then I’m gonna check out. I’ve already had women in my dms about irl experiences with this band. I wish I could say I’m surprised. Watch the local industry lap them up regardless. pic.twitter.com/OmPXg4IjSt
— Kira Puru (@kirapuru) October 2, 2021
When that comment only continued to fuel the fire of controversy, the band released an official statement on Instagram.
“We’ve seen some comments online calling us misogynists,” the band wrote, as noted by Tone Deaf. “We want to be very clear that although we explore the dark sides of relationships in our lyrics (and we understand that these lyrics can be problematic for some), we oppose hatred or violence of any kind against women. Men who abuse women are pathetic and we don’t tolerate it.”
Elsewhere, the singer Montaigne also joined the chorus of voices condemning the band. “Few acts that are runaway successes and untouchable even though they are misogynists…” the singer wrote. “No one can touch them bc they have all the money in the world to litigate & labels that protect them.
“I’m still always in disbelief that labels protect these guys.”
i’m wrestling with whether or not to post about these guys bc i know all my followers are just choir i’d be preaching to but. i just…i just don’t understand how this kind of behaviour can still fly in the music industry, esp with ppl like @btgcmvmt existing. i’ve heard of a (1/) https://t.co/9pFrag20L9
— Montaigne (@actualmontaigne) October 2, 2021
Now, the band have had a number of their upcoming gigs cancelled, with Brisbane venue and booking agency Interstellar Music releasing a statement about the band.
“We have made the very easy decision to cancel the upcoming Rancid Eddie Show in Brisbane on February 18th due to their unacceptable behaviour,” goes the statement. “Their actions and words have no place in this world and we will always strive for our gigs to be safe places for women.”
View this post on Instagram
As noted by Tone Deaf, other cancelled gigs include one in Wollongong, a gig at the Woolly Mammoth in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, one at Vinnies Dive in Queensland, and a series of shows at The Espy in Melbourne. Vinnies Dive re-posted Interstellar Music’s statement on the band, also citing that it was a “very easy decision” to cancel the show.
There are still at least two Victorian shows that are yet to be cancelled, as reported by NME: one at Commercial Hotel in South Morang and one at Village Green Hotel in Mulgrave, both going down in November.
UPDATE: Late on Friday October 8, Rancid Eddie dropped a lengthy response to the cancellation of the gigs, thanking their fans for support while railing against the “social media gestapo.”
“We do not accept the notion that we need to explain or justify our lyrics,” the band wrote. “The public sphere should be a vent for all forms of expression.”
They also called the social movement against them a “most repulsive form of punching down,” and described their critics as “mostly young, privileged, university-educated, inner-city champagne socialists.”
View this post on Instagram
In the statement, the band acknowledged that they had used a homophobic slur in Instagram comments, and apologised for this, saying they had deleted the comment.
“This little social media gestapo have fucked us pretty good,” they wrote. “We got booted off festivals, and our sold out shows that were booked in and ready to go for next year have been cancelled. Some of you might take pleasure in that, but we think the majority of people would see it as a damn shame and an injustice to happen to a band that’s just starting out.”
The band did not respond to Music Junkee’s request for comment.