Keish de Silva, founding member of Sydney punk outfit the Hard-Ons, has been accused of sexual misconduct, with allegations being put forward via social media this week.
The Hard-Ons have issued a statement to Rolling Stone Australia, which can be read in full below:
“An incident allegedly occurred some time ago. Neither Ray nor Blackie was there and they have no direct knowledge of what actually happened.
“When we were alerted to the allegations we immediately spoke to both parties and heard what each had to say. We then encouraged them to pursue the matter through the appropriate channels.
“If something did happen – and we just can’t know – we really feel for the woman and what she must be going through. Ray and Blackie are respectfully asking everyone to let due process take its course.
“The Hard-Ons will keep on playing, just not with Keish.”
The Hard-Ons were first formed in the Sydney suburb of Punchbowl in 1981 by de Silva, Peter “Blackie” Black, and Ray Ahn. The group quickly became regarded one of the country’s most prolific punk groups, finding fame overseas thanks to a relentless attitude toward touring, and even going on to be considered “Australia’s most commercially successful independent band”.
Temporarily breaking up in 1993, the group reformed in 1998 before de Silva departed in 2001 on account of having “lost interest”. de Silva rejoined the band in 2016, stepping forward as the group’s vocalist and leaving percussion duties to Murray Ruse. The group’s last album was 2019’s So I Could Have Them Destroyed.
On Thursday evening, the official Facebook page for the fan-funded documentary, Hard-Ons: The Most Australian Band Ever, announced that the project would not in fact be going ahead – just weeks after announcing its official trailer.
“Development and Production of the film will not be going ahead,” a statement on the Facebook page read. “Anybody who contributed via DAF will receive a refund from them, as they administer those finances.”
Meanwhile, a message sent to fans who had submitted funds to the project noted that “due to extenuating circumstances with members of the band, this project will not be proceeding”.