Australian band Sticky Fingers has given its first interview since a hiatus was announced 12 months ago, after frontman Dylan Frost was accused of abuse, racism and sexism.
"I've made other people feel intimidated by me," Frost told ABC's Hack program on Thursday, in his first interview since the band took a hiatus in late 2016.
"Fucking, boys will be boys you know? But that is not what I am here to promote, I promote, you know, peace and love," he said.
Sticky Fingers announced an indefinite hiatus after multiple Indigenous Australian musicians accused Frost of violence and racism.
In a now-deleted Facebook post on her personal account, singer Thelma Plum accused Frost of racially abusing members of the band Dispossessed, getting in her face while swearing and spitting, trying to start fights, and chasing a taxi she and a friend had flagged down in attempt to leave the situation. "I have honestly never felt so unsafe in my life," she wrote.
Earlier this year, Sticky Fingers returned as secret headliners of Sydney's BAD Festival. The decision to allow the band to perform was criticised when rumours first surfaced it would be the "surprise" advertised by promoters. When Sticky Fingers did indeed show up, many were not enthused.
The Hack interview came after Frost uploaded a five-minute voice recording addressing the controversy earlier this month, in which he acknowledged he had behaved poorly when under the influence, and that he was an asshole but "not that much of an asshole."
"I admit that I have got into verbal fights," he said in the recording posted to the band's Facebook page. "These past indiscretions have probably led people to believe that the allegations against me are true."
He revealed that he had been diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia.
"It really upsets me to know that through a series of misinterpreted accounts of events I have now been seen as something I detest, a racist woman basher," he said.
Frost said that he had privately contacted people who had been impacted by his behaviour, that he had gone through a rehabilitation program and would be continuing to attend Alcoholics Anonymous.
"I accept that my past behaviour has contributed to people believing these false things about me, and that this behaviour is not acceptable," he said. "I also have to acknowledge that my alcoholic behaviour in the past has made people intimidated or feel unsafe around me — and I am truly sorry for this."
Following Frost's "boys will be boys" comment on Thursday evening, Hack host Tom Tilly asked for clarification.
"Shit happens, man," said Frost.
When asked if he was sorry for what had happened, Frost apologised.
People were not impressed with these comments.
The program's host Tom Tilley said Hack did the interview in response to requests from listeners, including one woman who said she loved the band's music but didn't want to support the music of anyone who was "reportedly racist and sexist".
The band's pianist Freddy Crabs said the band had reflected on the controversy and some members had been through rehabilitation programs.
“We’ve been seeking help and we’ve actually spoken to a lot of strong voices in the community where we’re gaining more insight into how our actions have affected other people," he said.
"The sobriety is a thing, that is really important to mention, you know we were legless a lot of the time."