Ryan Adams & Abuse in Music

I suppose many people have been following the Ryan Adams stories in the news lately. Sexism, Misogyny, Manipulation, Abuse – does it exist in the Music Industry?

There is no reason to think that music would be any different to any other industry in this regard. We live in a patriarchal society – and therefore the culture that both men and women grow up in is sexist…

Women strive to get ahead in this environment but invariably are often abused, manipulated and face sexism on a daily basis.

Personally I am very lucky to be working with a band who embrace the feminine in everything they do. 7 men and 1 woman make up Kila and while the music may seem tribal and primal at times, when you listen you hear the female voice as much as you hear the male voice. All credit to Dee Armstrong and to Brian, Rónán, Colm , Rossa, James, Dave and Seanan for creating a musical environment in which that can happen.

I have always been a massive Ryan Adams fan. When I read some of the articles recently about how he treated his wife in particular, I am not sure I will ever listen to a Ryan Adams song again.

Misogyny exists in music , abuse exists in music, sexism exists in music and manipulation exists in music. But does that mean all male musicians are a part of this? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

But there is a minority out there that are enabled by their friends who do not speak up about the abuse they witness. They rationalise it and put it down to artistic temperament, or another statement I regularly hear – ‘he’s hurting and is so misunderstood..he means no harm…’

I am certain Mandy Moore when she married Ryan Adams thought she was marrying a misunderstood rock star. Yet he tried to break any musical creativity she may have had. These personalities exist in the music industry, and as an industry that has relatively less formal rules than more streamlined industries, we all need to speak up if we see this kind of abuse. It is a silent less visible form of abuse, but if it wasn’t enabled it is unlikely it would be able to exist.

Today is World Social Justice Day and the words of Martin Luther King resonated with me today:

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King

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