First and foremost, I want to make it clear that I did not make this video but am unfortunately the subject of it.
I have been friends with the band for a while now; I first met them about a year and a half ago, and have since worked alongside them on two full US tours. During this time, I became friends with many of the members and even briefly dated one of them (we ended on good terms and remained friends, this has nothing to do with what happened, it merely illustrates the level on which I considered myself to be friends with the band and crew). I have absolutely no problems or qualms with anyone in the band and crew, with the exception now of BOTDF frontman, Dahvie Vanity.
I have never had anything negative to say about the band or anyone associated with them, for most of the last year I have always been quick to defend them. I am fully aware of the controversy that has surrounded them in the past, but my experience working with them had always been positive. Yes, I admit I have witnessed some questionable behavior, but that is not what this is about. I have always spoke well of them.
So what caused this very public outburst aimed at me? A tweet. Technically, two tweets, which read “I am so very proud of @Ash_Costello and al of @NYDrock for standing up for themselves, their fans, and what’s right. It’s not always easy to step forward when it involves friends or someone you may look up to, but you’re not alone. Stand up for yourself.” In the spring of 2012, I worked on the Fight To Unite tour which featured both BOTDF and New Years Day. I consider the band New Years Day to be my friends as well. About a month ago, they were kicked off the Scene is Dead tour by order of Dahvie. To my understanding, their being removed from the tour is due to the band speaking out against Dahvie and some of his sexual behavior toward minors. More details about New Years Day’s removal can be found on their singer, Ashley Costello’s social media.
Now, getting back to the matter at hand. I tweeted, several weeks ago, that I supported my friends and that is was not okay to be bullied. That is all I did. I did not speak out about Dahvie or the band directly, I posted a generalized comment voicing my support for my friends.
I showed up at the show on December 8th to hear that Dahvie was quite upset with me and had forbidden my friends in the band from speaking or interacting with me, with the exception of my ex. I was upset and confused by this, as I did not and still do not see the offensiveness of my tweets against bullying. But, I decided to avoid any confrontation and avoided him the best I could for the night and focused on my work obligations and my friends who were in attendance at the show.
Then, while watching the band sidestage with my friends, the actions captured by the video unfolded. I was horrified and very hurt by this behavior that I feel was extremely immature and uncalled for. Dahvie never once tried to speak to me in private, but instead opted to flip me off and wish me a slow death in front of several hundred of his fans.
The real problem of this is not so much in the words themselves, but in their speaker. Dahvie Vanity has built a career on positioning himself as being a spokesman against bullying. The victim of bullying himself, he often publicly speaks out against bullying and hateful behavior. Their songs and merchandise feature a concept dubbed PLUR, which stands for Peace Love Unity Respect. There is no part of his actions that night that even remotely reflect these ideas.
For example. here is one of many videos in which Dahvie speaks out against bullying: http://musiciansopposedtobullying.com/tag/dahvie-vanity/, and here is a link to their recent music video for Rise & Shine, which depicts a bullied student who resorts to bringing a gun to school:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00pkNz0SgX4
So as an anti-bullying role model, wouldn’t you expect Dahvie to agree with my anti-bullying tweet?
Please don’t let yourself be bullied by this man. And more importantly, if you hold him to be a role model, please reevaluate your choice. This is a 29-year-old man who chooses to resolve conflict by calling anyone who even remotely disagrees with him and supports a band he doesn’t like by wishing them a slow death in front of several hundred people?
I’m not calling out Dahvie on any of his other questionable controversial behaviors and not commenting on their music. Nor am I seeking attention or pity. That is not what this is about. This is purely about calling out a hypocrite who has built a career on taking an anti-bullying stance to then behave in this way.
This hypocritical behavior is unacceptable.
If you have been personally bullied by Dahvie or anyone, and want someone to talk to, please feel free to send me a message. This behavior is not okay.
And again, this is not for pity or attention. I’m an adult and can deal with people being unprofessional towards me. This is someone whose entire persona and empire has been built on being against bullying. Bullying anyone who doesn’t agree with you is not acceptable, and having been bullied in the past does not give you a free pass to act this way.
Please repost and share this video. His fans need to see his true nature.