Calling out behaviors in the Scene

Eliza Hagstrom, Guest Columnist

Content Warning:mentions of sexual abuse


The alternative, pop punk and rock scene has been full of power imbalances and predatory practices since the start. Being a fan in this space now means your heart dropping when you see a band name trending on Twitter, seeing who has penned the latest ‘notes app apology’. Rarely do these allegations ever lead to a band or person losing many fans or opportunities. 

Hannah Collins, or as she is better known Scene Queen, calls out this prominent issue in her song ‘18+’ which came out on March 16. This song spotlights the abundance of abuse that occurs in the music industry. Many of the song’s lyrics made fans believe that the song is specifically referring to the band All Time Low. 

The lyric “bras hanging on the bus,” is believed to be referring to All Time Low, known for the bras that they collected at their shows. Photos of their bus full of hundreds of bras were staples of their tours. This occurred when their fan base was made up of a majority of teenage girls. There is really no other artist as well known for bras on a bus than them. 

All Time Low’s lead guitarist Jack Barakat had allegations surface last year about his interactions with fans who are underage, specifically bringing minors onto the tour bus. I am not going to go into detail about the actions of All Time Low, I described what was known about it last year in the article titled “Realizing your idols are undeserving.” Unfortunately, the anonymous accounts made to share statements about Barakat have been suspended/deleted. 

Another lyric of the song that fans assume is in reference to All Time Low is “The allegations that have been made against a member of beep, beep, beep are a matter we do not take lightly,”. Fans like to assume the band was insinuating All Time Low, as their name can fit in those beeps as replacements for words. However, many band names that have allegations against them could also be there, such as Dance Gavin Dance, Front Porch Step, Pierce the Veil and Falling in Reverse. But the fact that this song could be calling out multiple bands and band members is exactly the point.

“Pink wristbands on the guest list, bras hanging on the bus, Yea you get a lot of girls, but not one is 18+,” is the chorus to this song and is part of what was teased on TikTok before it was released. This is followed by her chanting “18+” and then “get those children off your bus” or “get those children off, you’re busted.” .

It really does not matter who the song is about when it can apply to so many people who have been able to go without consequence in the music industry. The scene is a ‘boys club’ and when Scene Queens’ album ‘Bimbocore’, which has also become a subgenre of metalcore that incorporates feminist themes, came out, she was criticized by people for being too vulgar and aggressive. 

Despite the fact that she was making metalcore, being aggressive and vulgar is almost a requirement for metalcore music in general. Some of the biggest metalcore artists include Bring Me The Horizon, Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch and it is unlikely that calling these bands aggressive or vulgar would be valid criticisms. 

Online there has been a mix of reactions to the song, it has given a lot of people the confidence to share things that adult band members have said to underaged fans that seemed normal but in retrospect are creepy and disgusting. There are also an overwhelming amount of comments basically victim-blaming teen girls for the abuse done to them, that it is normal to find 14-16 year old girls attractive no matter what age you are and that Scene Queen is lying about the experiences she is sharing about her as an underaged fan going to concerts because she is not attractive enough for these band members to want her. 

Scene Queen is also selling merch to go along with this song. A T-shirt and a hoodie, both say “The world needs less band dudes” on a star. On a sleeve is “SQ,” referring to Scene Queen, in a heart. Portions of proceeds from both the song and these items are going towards The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) which is American largest anti-sexual assault organization.  

This non-profit organization provides resources to survivors and those who want to support survivors as well. The 24/7 hotline is 1-800-656-4673. They also have a chat option on their website and an app to help provide support as well. 

The two new items made to go along with this song are size inclusive and go up to 5XL. The music video for ‘18+’ is ‘Mean Girls’ themed as she says in a TikTok that “my song not only calls out bands but booking agents, festivals, lineups, labels and press in the scene.” And despite the fact that these issues have been so widespread and well known, this is the first major song calling it out. Because this takes guts, it is rare to find someone in the scene that isn’t one degree of separation from abuse.

Eliza Hagstrom