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The abrupt disbandment of ANTI-FLAG – here’s what we know right now

2 mins read
ANTI FLAG by Josh Massie
ANTI FLAG by Josh Massie

July 19, 2023, marked a somber day in the punk rock world, as the iconic political punk rock band, Anti-Flag, announced their sudden disbandment. The band that had fervently used its platform for political activism and promoting social change over 34 years unexpectedly decided to call it quits, leaving their followers astonished and confused.

Founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1988 by Justin Sane (vocals, guitar) and Pat Thetic (drums), AntiFlag rapidly became a household name in the punk rock scene, known for their outspoken left-wing political activism and music advocating for social and political change. The band, whose lineup also included Chris Head (guitar) and Chris Barker, known as Chris No. 2 (vocals, bass), has ardently supported organizations like Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the Occupy movement throughout their career.

The news of their abrupt disbandment came via an update on the band’s Patreon page, where they confirmed the end of their musical journey together, “Anti-Flag has disbanded. The Patreon has been switched into a mode where it will no longer charge the monthly fee. I will begin to process refunds to all patrons in the coming weeks. Once all refunds are processed, the Patreon page will also be removed.”

Almost simultaneously, all social media accounts related to the band, including their official website, were taken down, indicating an immediate and complete digital blackout. Notably, the bassist of the band, Chris No. 2, deleted his Instagram account as well, although his Twitter remains active.

The sudden disbandment and digital wipe-out occurred in conjunction with an explosive podcast episode, in which allegations of sexual assault were leveled against an unnamed “lead singer” of a punk band.

These allegations were made by Kristina Sarhadi, a therapist, and reiki-master, during her appearance on the Enough podcast. Sarhadi did not mention Anti Flag’s Sane directly, but listeners quickly connected the dots.

During the podcast, Sarhadi detailed her alleged experiences with the singer, recounting a series of events that started with a moment of shared singing at a concert and led to a horrifying night of sexual assault. Her description of the alleged assault is a harrowing narrative of fear and violation, in stark contrast with the socially conscious image the band projected.

While the band has yet to respond to the allegations, fans and netizens alike have expressed their shock and disappointment at the news, both at the disbandment and the grave allegations against the band’s lead singer. The reaction has been a mixture of heartbreak for the loss of a beloved band and revulsion at the horrifying claims.

The band’s photographer also confirmed the split via Instagram stories. His statement emphasized that the decision to disband and deactivate all social media accounts was made consciously and wasn’t the result of hacking. However, he confirmed that whatever was happening was solely between the band members.

The circumstances around Anti-Flag’s abrupt disbandment have caused a ripple effect in their community and beyond, leaving many questions unanswered. Their disappearance from the music scene comes as a shock to their fans and followers, who are now left contemplating the band’s legacy amidst these troubling allegations.

As the punk rock world grapples with the disintegration of a band that was once a beacon for activism and change, many are left pondering the dark shadows that may lurk beneath the surface, even in places where one seeks refuge and connection.

The disbandment of Anti-Flag serves as a sobering reminder of the critical importance of addressing abuse and assault within the music industry.

This story is developing. Check back later on to find more details and read the upcoming statement from the band.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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