Sigur Rós members Jónsi and Georg Hólm announced on Monday (Oct. 1) that the long-running Icelandic band has split with drummer Orri Páll Dýrason following recent sexual assault allegations. “In the wake of the extremely serious and personal allegations made against him in recent days we have today accepted the resignation of our bandmate Orri Páll Dýrason to allow him to deal with this privately,” Jónsi and Hólm wrote in a Facebook statement.
Dýrason, 41, played drums for the group since 1999, appearing on five studio albums and touring extensively with the experimental ensemble. According to Pitchfork, the allegations emerged last week in a series of since-deleted Instagram posts. in which a Los Angeles artist claimed that she met Dýrason at a club, recounting what she claimed were two instances of sex without her consent. “It happened twice that night, and I wondered [to] myself why I didn’t leave after the first time — but I was drunk, dead tired, in shock, and this was right before I ever heard of anything like Uber/Lyft…. But none of that should matter because no one deserves to be raped/touched/licked/fucked without CONSENT,” the artist reportedly wrote.
In another post that also appears to have been deleted, the artist reportedly shared an email exchange with Dýrason in which he vehemently refuted her claims, saying, “I am so sorry you are going through all this. But my experience from that night is completely different from yours… We had a nice night drawing and drinking at my flat; and then we went to bed. The next day you even wanted to stay and asked me if you could, but I had to go to the studio and you got upset about that. We had a good time together. I like your art and I think you are a talented artist and I enjoyed being with you.”
Billboard has reached out to Sigur Rós’ representatives for additional comment.
In a post on the band’s official page on Monday morning, Dýrason thanked his friends and family for their support, writing that “this matter has undeniably taken its toll on me for the past few days.” He asked that people refrain from unleashing their anger on his family, adding, “I ask people to stay calm and not to be divided into two battling armies, these are not court proceedings, just [the accuser’s] words against mine, on the internet. Loud and provocative words are in nobody’s favour — neither to me or her.” (Billboard is not naming the woman who made the allegations because it has not been able to reach her to verify the contents of the deleted Instagrams.)
Dýrason confirmed that he’s decided to leave the band in order to avoid having the allegations obscure the group’s music: “I will do anything in my power to get out of this nightmare, but out of respect for those actually suffering from sexual violence, I will not take that fight public.”
The allegations come nearly a year after the launch of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault which has seen dozens of men (and a few women) in entertainment, politics and the arts confronted with claims of sexual assault, abuse, rape and harassment.