Matt Barnum, frontman of Ohio powerviolence band Homewrecker, has been accused of sexual misconduct with multiple women when they were minors. Accusations include soliciting nude photos from minors in exchange for alcohol, grooming, statutory rape, coercion, and exposing himself to minors. A dedicated Instagram account, Surviving Matt Barnum, has been set up to assist Barnum's victims in recounting their stories and to coordinate their pursuit of criminal charges or a civil suit. Stories from Barnum's victims are mounting.
The raft of accusations were started after a young woman by the name of Riley shared her experiences with Barnum, and encouraged other women to do the same:
matt barnum from @Homewrecker_OH solicited nudes from me when i was 16 and he was 24~ in exchange for a bottle of whiskey even though he is "straightedge" and then manipulated me for several years which is nothing compared to what he did to other girls in our local scene.— riley (@coorsbably) June 21, 2020
In response to the accusations, all social media accounts associated with Barnum and his Crypt Swag clothing company have been deleted.
Dropped by Record Label
Good Fight Music have also announced that they have dropped Homewrecker from the record label, deleting all pages associated with the band's records and merchandise. From Good Fight Music:
It has come to our attention that multiple women have accused Matt Barnum of Homewrecker of sexual misconduct while underage over the last number of years.
Good Fight Music is no longer associated with Homewrecker effective immediately. We will never tolerate, condone, or stay silent about sexual aggression on our roster, especially towards minors. BELIEVE WOMEN.
Fired by Band
The remaining members of the Homewrecker have put out a statement condemning the conduct of their former bandmate.
Over the past 24 hours I’ve been spending my time reaching out to women who have been sharing their stories, and that is my first priority. This has given me the opportunity to listen, learn, and engage in one on one conversations. This is about women being heard, and to me I did not fully understand the true gravity of what was going on. I am sick! Matt Barnum’s behavior over time has been carefully crafted in order to conceal his true intentions, while deceiving his closest friends.
I empathize with all those who have been extremely brave to share their stories, as well as the ones who have yet to. My heart pours out for you. I am listening, I am here, and this is very terrible—beyond comprehension. I feel like someone I have known for 10+ years has been a lie, and now I’m getting a full picture at the type of man he is, it’s terrifying. We all knew Barnum was flirtatious, he was a mutual friend with everybody, and slept around. I found out today, he would give guests lists spots and merch in exchange for nudes. I found out today, he booked tours around which cities a women he was talking to, so they can hook up while everybody would be sleeping.
I’m fucking pissed off, because when I started this band with Ryan Spoz 12 years ago, it was a passion, a love for creating music with your best friends. Writing songs about personal problems provided me an outlet to express myself, only to be driven into the ground by Barnum’s egotistical lying using the band for the sole purpose of manipulating and taking advantage of young women.
I’m ashamed to be proud of being in this band. I’m ashamed in myself for not digging and prying deeper to fully know what the hell is really happening.
I’ve struggled with confrontation for a long time, so challenging him in the past on what goes against my moral beliefs, only to be manipulated to make me feel crazy at times, even guilty is just truly crushing. He’s a fucking con, and I’m angry!
Our relationship was hollow, and far from genuine. The last four years I had to slowly step back from this band, and start to grow up and take control of my life. He never has once taken accountability in anything, you pour your heart out to him, and he turns it around on you. I’m truly sick seeing all of this, and what I’ve learned from reaching out is it’s all true. I hear you all!
There’s a Barnum everywhere especially in the music scene. It needs to end, now! All need to be held accountable.
The respect I have for this platform to show the truth is huge, and sadly it is just unfolding. I don’t want this to end, so please if anybody wants to talk about this—I am here for you. Know you’re not alone.
I want to make it clear without question, Matt Barnum is no longer a part of Homewrecker. I along with the rest of my bandmates vehemently oppose his actions and do not condone this despicable behavior.
- Matt Izzi, Paul Aloisio, Dalton Edwards
Barnum served as bassist for Harm's Way on several tours following the release of the album 'Rust' in 2015. Accordingly, Bo Lueders of Harm's Way has issued a statement:
I have immense guilt over bringing someone like that with us all over the world for a few years, no doubt enabling that abuse. I can speak for everyone in my band and say that we are fucking sick to our stomachs. It’s not ok and it’s not being ignored.— bo (@bosxe) June 21, 2020
Barnum also served as tour manager and ran merch for Code Orange for several years. Reba Meyers of Code Orange has addressed the accusations by putting out the following statement:
We’ve become aware that a crewmember of ours, matt, was acting with horrible disrespect and misogyny towards women for many years. I am so disappointed and so saddened by it I can’t by any means even begin to express that in words. I don’t have the words just this painful feeling.
I am so sorry to the women affected by this. It really hurts me how society allows this dynamic to happen time and time again. The standard is so low and I’ve seen and known that for a long time. And it’s only become even easier with social media to act without thought or regard to how your words will affect others.
All I can do now is send whatever strength I have to you all affected and hope you are able to get through I will continue to attempt to be a symbol towards our strength as best as I can, and learn how to better deal with this.
i will work to be as aware as possible of the women around me and their pain and try to pay as close attention to you all and support you as best I can from the perspective I have. This type of behavior has always baffled me and disgusted me. To the women hurt by his actions, or actions in this vein by anyone towards you or your friends, I hope you are somehow able to work through this struggle and find meaningful balanced relationships in spite of it. You truly deserve that.
I’m sure you’re hurting much worse than I and my band and myself send you all the love we have.
Our next ‘you and you alone’ episode proceeds will be donated to the RAINN charity.
Members of the public seeking to support the survivors are invited to donate to the following organizations: