Beach Slang Drops Guitarist Ruben Gallego After Sexual Assault Allegations

Diego Donamaria/Getty Images for SXSW
JP Flexner, Ruben Gallego, James Alex and Ed McNulty of Beach Slang pose for a photo at the Jansport music showcase during the 2016 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Cheer Up Charlie's on March 16, 2016 in Austin, Texas.

As Beach Slang continues to tour behind 2016 sophomore album A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings, it will do so without guitarist Ruben Gallego. On Tuesday (Oct. 11), the Philadelphia-based punk band announced Gallego’s removal, in light of sexual assault allegations against him.

“Although this occurred four years ago and prior to him joining Beach Slang, we cannot in good conscience continue with him,” the band wrote on its official Facebook page. “We believe survivors and we want to believe Ruben, but until we learn more information, we don't feel it's appropriate for him to be a part of Beach Slang.”

Gallego also responded to the situation. Via PunkNews.org, the guitarist echoes the band’s general sentiment, explaining the decision to “step away” was made with the other members. “When this call out first came out we sifted through our options and contemplated the possibility of addressing this and continuing forward,” Gallego wrote. “But more and more we found ourselves asking what kind of repercussions this would have and concluded that letting this fade away would be contributing to the further isolation of survivors and as a whole contributing to rape culture.”

With Gallego gone, Beach Slang’s official lineup is down to just two members: singer-songwriter-guitarist James Alex and bassist Ed McNulty. They’ve decided to play their current U.S. tour with L.A. garage rockers Bleached as an acoustic act. That trek begins Tuesday night in Washington, D.C., and wraps in early November, before segueing into a European tour that will last through Nov. 26. 

Beach Slang also says it intends to make a donation to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. 

Billboard reached out to a representative for Beach Slang, who declined to comment further. 

Below, find Beach Slang’s Facebook note, followed by Gallego’s full statement. 

Gallego: 

"Hey everyone I was writing to say that because of an accusation of sexual assault that was leveled against me we all agreed that it would be best for me to take a step away from Beach Slang. This band has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me and obviously I’m floored to have to walk away from it. James, Ed and Charlie are some of the best friends I’ve ever had.

When this call out first came out we sifted through our options and contemplated the possibility of addressing this and continuing forward but more and more we found ourselves asking what kind of repercussions this would have and concluded that letting this fade away would be contributing to the further isolation of survivors and as a whole contributing to rape culture. Something we all vehemently stand against. As difficult as it will be for me nothing is more important to me than making sure that people feel safe around me and in general, at shows, in everyday life.

All of this said there are always two sides in a situation like this and with respect to this person I want to make it clear that I’ve thought a lot about that night and we both seem to have contradicting ideas about what happened. Its difficult for me to defend myself because any defense I make is only going to serve to discredit this person and I don’t want to cause them any harm. To me it seems that for her to make this call out means that she is clearly working through some of her own issues and I hope that whatever they may be that she finds peace, clarity and resolve. I’ve made myself available to her if she decides she wants to reach out to me directly or through an intermediary and we can try and find some kind of resolution.

I want to thank every single person who I’ve met through all of this. This band has allowed me to be in the same room with some of my greatest personal hero’s and generally some of the sweetest people Ive ever been lucky enough to meet. No matter how bleak my life feels right now I’m grateful for everything and I’m hopeful that I too can find some resolution. Im starting therapy today and hopefully this will help me to work on myself as a person and trying to move forward in a positive way."