As a result of recent sexual and emotional abuse allegations towards Hookworms frontman, Mathew Johnson, the band have announced their break-up.
The accusations came via Twitter on Wednesday 30thOctober, when an ex-partner of Johnson, Alanna McArdle, claimed to have been approached by another woman (referred to as ‘L’ for anonymity) who had involvement with Johnson in 2016. Within the accusation, ‘L’ was open with Johnson about a past of previous sexual and physical abuse, to which ‘L’ claimed that Johnson responded to with, ‘joking about raping her, mutilating her body, and punching her in the face’. Since then, L claims to have received texts from Johnson apologising for his actions.
Being the first response towards the allegations, Hookworms announced their break-up just over a day after the allegations went viral. Claiming to be unaware of Johnson’s alleged behaviour, the band stated, ‘We’re deeply shocked by the allegations that came to light yesterday regarding MJ, and them very seriously. As a result, we have cancelled all upcoming Hookworms shows and can no longer continue as a band’.
Responding to allegations himself, Johnson denied the allegations stating; ‘to be clear, I deny and always will deny the allegations that were posted yesterday’, and further went on to claim ‘she (L) asked me to characterise some of my actions towards her as abusive to assist her, she said, with her ongoing recovery from historic sexual abuse that occurred prior to us knowing each other. I regret now accepting any blame’.
As the frontman of Hookworms, Johnson was well respected around the UK independent music scene, releasing five albums with the band since 2013. The band were also open about their social and political standing, openly supporting the ‘me too’ and ‘believe her’ campaigns.
At the time of writing there has been no court case or judicial involvement.
Words by Will Metcalfe. Photos courtesy of Hookworms and Mathew Johnson’s social media.