Smalls singer quits mid-tour due to alleged homophobia and abuse from her own band (UPDATE)

According to recent reports, Ashley Cadwallader, singer for Californian pop-punk act Smalls, quit the band in the middle of their summer tour with On My Honor and The Sheds and flew home last night because her bandmates, who she recently came out to as a homosexual, had allegedly been abusive toward her for the entirety of the tour.

Cadwallader has yet to release a statement of any sort, but one of the singer’s close friends has spoken up about what is said to have happened. You can read her statement below.

If this really happened, we’re very sorry this happened to Ashley. Nobody deserves to be on the receiving end of such hatred, especially when it’s coming from people you consider friends. We’ll keep you in the loop as more details on this story come to light.

UPDATE: Ashley has released a statement, in which she states her ex-boyfriend (the band’s guitarist) became very aggressive with her and often said he hated her, and that the rest of her bandmates started hanging out without her after she came out of the closet, but denies they are homophobic. You can read the entire thing below, under the initial statement made by a friend.

UPDATE #2: Two members of the band (Brittney Rosales (drummer) and Billy Miranda (ex-boyfriend, guitarist)) have also released statements on the events that lead up to Cadwallader’s departure. Those have been added into the post as well.

“As it has come out, my best friend, Ashley Cadwallader has quit her band Smalls tonight after her Long Island show.

Ashley has talked to me the past two months about this tour, often worried that things wouldn’t go as well as she’d hope after her coming out as gay to her friends, family, and bandmates. One bandmate being her ex. At points she was done, she was going to get up and quit the band because she just couldn’t do it because she was so upset at how her ex was treating her after the break up because he just couldn’t believe she was gay. I told her many times that things would be okay, that she has an amazing opportunity getting to do this tour with two really great and talented bands, and that she should try and stick it out. Ashley took my advice and went on the tour and has toughed it out the past two and a half weeks across the US.

All this made me question the advice I had given my friend. I would often get frantic phone calls in the middle of the night with her on the other end saying she was done, but I continued to tell her to keep going at least until she got out East.

Lots of people, even today, have to shelter the fact that they are gay. Often times by making themselves be in unhappy relationships in order to not lose the people close to them. It’s an incredibly hard step for many and to be told you’re not really gay and just confused is a huge slap in the face of the person that has come out. The same argument that is often used by religious fundamentalists is what was used against Ashley. Being told that you’re just confused about being gay just so someone can keep you around for their own selfish reasons is completely wrong. Even one of Ashley’s bandmates called Ashley’s current girlfriend an “experiment” as well as calling two non-heterosexuals in my band “poser gay.”

If you planned on going to one of the last dates of the current tour, please still do so as our good, good friends in On My Honor (who are one of my favorite pop punk bands and all around amazing musicians) are still playing and could use the support.”

Ashley Cadwallader’s statement, via Property of Zack:

“Hello friends, i would like to take the time to clear up some rumors that have been floating around. Last night In long island i made the hardest decision of my life and decided to depart from my band smalls. Now I’ve read a lot of crazy things on the internet this morning from both sides and I’d like to clear some things up. Not once did I ever say my former band mates were homophobic. I take that extremely seriously and I don’t want anyone calling them that. All I said was I quit I’m going home, and then a friend’s statement was taken and posted out of context on almost every social media blog. Smalls is not homophobic.

I however am highly offended to be told “you’re not really gay” “you’re confused” “Are you sure it’s not just a phase?”. As if its an exclusive club that you cant join past 20 years old.

I grew up as a very confused child and into an awkward adolescence. I’ve always liked girls and have struggled with this due to being raised in a Christian home. I used to pray to God to make me “normal” and tried to force myself to have “normal healthy crushes” on the opposite sex. I would cry a lot and beat myself up a lot. Those who know me from childhood knows this, my own mother knows this.It worked for a while and for the longest time I dated guys. I never really cared for anyone, but never knew why. I would secretly lust more after the cute girls that played in bands with me then I ever did with any boyfriend I have ever had. I was never comfortable with these boys. I thought my low sex drive was just a side effect of 8 years of being on and off depression medicine. I lost my virginity at 22 and have only had one steady sexual relationship in my life. I forced myself because I thought that’s what being in love I was so numb I couldn’t feel anything.

Things got pretty bad, I started starving myself, started drinking heavily and heading down a bad road.

I was miserable. So I started to search deep down inside as to why I was so unhappy. Along the way I met a girl and fell deeply in love with her. At the moment everything became clear. Everything felt right, I had realized I had been lying to myself and depriving myself out of my true self. To be told by not one but two of my own band mates that i never had an interest in girls is extremely false and that I’m not gay is offensive and to call my girlfriend an “experiment” or to ask me if I’m just going through a phase is ignorant when you don’t know me at all.Love is the greatest thing in the world and if you experience it for the first time at 16 or 26 it doesn’t make it any lesser or greater.

Now to what was published earlier. I never said my band mates were homophobic and neither did my friend. That was taken out of context. All of what he said did happen and is true. I was dating a member of my band before this band took off. It was just me and him and to be honest this band kind of blew up without us thinking we’d ever leave our state. From the beginning i have been threatened by him that “if i ever broke up with him smalls would be done” because he “just cant handle being friends with his ex’s”. I still have texts i still have every terrible message.It was a very toxic relationship and that’s not my business to put specifics on the internet but he is a very short tempered person and we have had problems with him and other bands and promoters. I was afraid of losing my band if I ever left him so I stayed. It got so bad that I couldn’t take it anymore and we would fight constantly on small tours/local shows. I would get text messages saying the most awful things even going as far as to telling me “take your band and go fuck off” “I regret ever day starting a band with you” nothing but negativity.I wanted to leave him a year ago but never had the courage to, i did still care for him but not in that way.When I met my current girlfriend I was still with him and opened up to him. It’s very hard to come out to your boyfriend and to tell him that you met someone it’s even more difficult to tell him you don’t like his gender. He took it bad as expected, I just couldn’t stay with him I couldn’t lie to him or myself anymore.I just wanted to be happy, I didn’t want to lie anymore and live in denial. I love who I love and I thought he would understand but he didn’t the first and only words he told me were “what am I going to do now ” “I’m going to look so stupid”. He began telling me I was confused and that I “wasn’t really gay there was no way I could be”. Grown gay men in their 40s have kids why can’t I come out at 23?

I thought he would understand and be happy for me.

He began to become very aggressive with me telling me he hates me and that negative energy flowed into our band. They started hanging out without me they would take his side whenever I would mention how uncomfortable I was. Saying I was over reacting. The first day we recorded our music video for tired he blew up on me and had me in tears. In a crowded room of people and not a single person said a word until I left and threatened to quit. That’s a very good description of how this band was after I broke it off with him. He would continue to harass me and send me vulgar texts over random Facebook posts I made that had nothing to do with him. I tried to talk multiple times to my band about how I felt and it all fell on deaf ears. In their own words no one cared. I felt utterly alone. Up until tour I kept getting angry text messages telling me “after this tour this band is done”.

I didn’t want to do this tour I forced myself because I didn’t want to let down the bands or anyone who was planning to come to these shows. I was terrified and felt like everyone hated me because no one would talk to me.So i decided to be polite and just keep to myself so i dont argue with anyone. I talked to them before tour and they addressed their issues with me and I took them to heart and began to try a little harder and even asked them how I was doing. During tour no one said anything to me not once did they mention they were unhappy with me I would ask them how they felt and if there was anything to do and all I got was a smile and a nod. After I woke up in long island i saw a Facebook post bashing me from the night before and confronted them about it and they admitted it was about me but didn’t want to apologize or admit to it. You don’t post issues with your band mates on your personal Facebook behind their back and then not say anything to them in person and act like everything is ok. I was severely heart broken because I thought we were over everything after bonding after a short week. I confronted everyone outside…. (there were no fans outside it was one kid from a local band) after telling them I want to leave and being told with a smile “this is great news” I knew I had to leave. They began to attack me over the silly internet presence I have. I don’t think I’m famous I don’t think I’m amazing I just like music and want to make friends.

A lot of you have spoke to me in real life and online and know how sincere I am why would I make up lies just to cause trouble for myself?

I did most of this bands promoting on my own, i am accountable to half of the song writing the past 8 months booking us shows and getting us tour offers. It was never good enough. I never said they were homophobic I never submitted to any sites about why I left but now I feel like I have to explain myself . I can finally go home and be with the one I love. That’s all that matters. Believe who you want. I didn’t want this to blow up I just said I was going home. I hope now I can move on from this and away from the last toxic relationship I’ll ever have in my life. Life is too short to be angry,I am the most positive I have ever been in my life and am now happier than I ever been. Be happy if there is someone out there reading this and can relate I hope you do what’s best for you and don’t care about what anyone else thinks. Someone loves you

Ashley Cadwallader”

Statements from Brittney and Billy, also via Property of Zack:

“To clear things up, I’ve never actually been in the middle of something like this. As the only remaining female in the band I would like to clear up that we are not homophobic and it should be clear I’ve been a lesbian whose been out since I was in 7th grade. To be homophobic would be a walking contradiction. As far as the rest of the band. All the dudes have been super accepting and even hang out with my girlfriend of 7 years ( tiana Nobbs) it hurts me to hear everyone take one story and blow it out of proportion especially when they aren’t true. I wanted to touch up on that issue and straighten it out. I’m openly gay and my older brother is gay so that clearly is a lie. As far as Ashley leaving the band we gave her the option. She wanted to have a band convo in front of kids who drove hours to see us but Instead I thought it would be best to handle this like adults. We went over our options. She could leave the tour and let not only us down but every band on it the tour manager who put hard work into it and the kids who wanted to see the full band. Or we said finish the tour and well deal with this when we get home ( which is what I preferred). She went her own way and not asked us to post anything of this matter, and then I wake up to crazy post about us being homophobic and verbally a using her.

-Brittney”

“We had plenty of discussions with Ashley about where we wanted the band, where we saw the band and what we wanted out of it as far as performance. there are a lot of tools and mechanisms that make a band function. Her leaving the band was a professional break. It had nothing to do with my past relationship with her, or who she is as a person. I’ve always expressed nothing but love, and respect to not only her but the people around me. I grew up with a home with a mother who taught me well; love others unconditionally. it doesn’t matter who they are. evil, Christian, gay, atheist. there’s absolutely no room for homophobia , sexism, or racism not just in the punk rock community but in this world. it’s extremely hurtful to hear someone who we backed so hard and stood behind for the past 2-3 years turn the way she did. ashley was never bashed. we never “verbally abused” her. as a band always voted on the thing we wanted to do and if things didn’t go her way she would flip. this whole tour we took it as an opportunity to bond further than we ever have and instead she secluded herself from the rest of us. last night as we had our discussion on what was going to happen, she said she was done. she was going home. and that we couldn’t continue with the band using her lyrics. and if we did she would release a statement to ruin the band. as a community the defend pop punk group has something really special on their hands, they could do so much good for our music community. instead they take that and use it to bash people without knowing anything that has been going on behind closed doors. we have friends and family that know us on a personal level that know that we are not what we are being betrayed. thank you to everyone who has supported this band. with all that being said we are finishing off this tour and remaining a 4 piece till further notice

-Billy”


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47 Comments

  1. mitchattitude
    mitchattitude7/23/2014 11:21 AM | Permalink

    Such a shame!

  2. mrdisposal
    mrdisposal7/23/2014 1:23 PM | Permalink

    This story is total bullshit, and shame on dying scene for taking something hearsay from “a close friend” aka – a fucking weirdo who wears clown makeup and talks in lolcat as fact. Their own drummer is openly gay and the band has no problem with homosexuality what-so-ever. Whatever the personal conflict within the band is between them, but stop spouting out bullshit as fact when no one from the band has made any kind of statement yet.

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