Noise-pop duo Black Dresses break up due to 'extended invasion of privacy and harassment' from fans on TikTok
Black Dresses have officially disbanded after Devi McCallion received two years of abuse after going viral on TikTok. Bandmate Ada Rook stands by the decision
Black Dresses has announced that they are breaking up. The Toronto-based noise-pop duo, comprising Devi McCallion and Ada Rook, explained that the decision stems from "extended harassment" by social media users over the past two years. In a statement shared by Pitchfork, the band noted that "after some consideration," they will "no longer exist following Devi’s extended harassment through her involvement in this band, not just recently but escalating over a period of time," although there is no specific mention of the events that led to their decision.
Alluding to "hurtful and frightening behavior" from online users which has taken a toll on McCallion's health, the duo noted that they are "simply doing what we have to." The statement also talks about 'IN MY MOUTH', their track that went viral on TikTok from their 2018 debut album 'WASTEISOLATION'.
"There is a lot of false information going around. 'IN MY MOUTH' was NOT the song that set this all off, contrary to what has been reported. It's honestly irrelevant which song it was," they noted. "Entitled fans have been behaving in a very hurtful and frightening way towards Devi including extended invasion of privacy and harassment for some two years now, only going to further and further extremes," they added.
The statement continued, "When we released 'WASTEISOLATION', we had almost no audience, didn’t know what TikTok was and didn't think we would get any attention for such a personal album. Following its popularity, we did our best to write about less personal subject matter on subsequent albums, but 'WASTEISOLATION', which includes songs about both of our experiences with childhood sexual assault, remained very popular. Unfortunately, that popularity has now culminated in Devi's harassment, so we have decided to disband."
Black Dresses went on to expound on the levels fans' behavior can reach, and spoke on their interactions with fans, both positive and negative. "Fans can be kind. Fans can be creative. Fans can be alive and inspired and full of goodness. We are music fans too! However, 'Fandom' often involves the culture of acting like you own a person and feeling entitled to them. Fandom frequently feels within its right to try and punish or destroy the object of its fascination if it does not cater to the fandom’s perception of what it should be," they said.
The duo added, "We do not hate our fans—we've had many positive interactions with them—but recent events have been far too strenuous on Devi's health, so we are simply doing what we have to." Additionally, Rook explained she is "somewhat more detached from the situation but obviously want Devi to be safe, so I stand with her on this decision completely."
She said, "I am still very proud of what we accomplished on 'WASTEISOLATION' and it’s a deeply special album to me. We are grateful for the support we have received over the years." The statement concluded with the request, "Please do not spread unfounded rumors or gossip or ask us for further clarification" and "We are simply doing what is best for us. Thank you." If fans want to listen do Black Dresses as of now, streaming choices are limited as the band tweeted that all their music will be removed from all streaming services except Bandcamp.