Beach Slang split up as James Alex is hospitalised amid abuse allegations

Beach Slang's James Alex
(Image credit: Total Guitar Magazine)

Philadelphia punks Beach Slang have split up after singer/guitarist James Alex was hospitalised amid allegations of abuse. 

The news comes days after former band manager Charlie Lowe accused the frontman of abuse, tweeting, "I endured constant emotional, psychological & narcissistic abuse from James Alex for years. I have learned he sells his too-kind-to-be-true persona to hide that he is truly the most selfish horrible person I will ever meet. I was diagnosed with C-PTSD from how he treated me."

Alex's family have now taken to Instagram to say that he has been admitted to "an inpatient facility after attempting to take his life."

"James is not perfect, and never claimed to be," reads the statement. "After a lifetime of suicidal ideation, Beach Slang was simply intended to be an outlet of positivity in rock and roll, and an attempt to heal himself and any sad or broken friends he met along the way. His 'fake music persona' wasn’t some facade derived with malice to dupe or harm anyone, it was a coping mechanism created to overcome his struggles. 

"Yes he had moments of compulsiveness, emotional instability, and chaotic relationships, but none of his actions were intentional or meant to hurt or harm anyone, certainly not those who cared for or believed in him."

The statement continues, claiming that Alex was a victim of childhood trauma and abuse, and that he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder.

"James is not a monster," the family conclude. "He is a flawed and complex human being. He is also a father, a son, a husband, and a friend to those still willing to believe in him. He never intended to cause anyone pain. And all parties involved were aware of and could recognise his issues and tried to help him to the best of their abilities at the time. Unfortunately, the help he needed was beyond the scope of family or friends with good intentions. He just wants to stay alive."

The family finishes by saying that the band have now broken up.

Lowe responded to the family's statement with a tweet that read, "PSA past trauma isn’t a blank check to perpetuate more trauma. Thanks for, again, another manipulation tactic RE the BS “statement” on IG".

She continued, pointing out that the statement, "contains no apology whatsoever nor does it mention me at all, effectively silencing me as the victim and putting the spotlight right back on James for sympathy."

In 2016 Beach Slang parted with guitarist Ruben Gallego after allegations of sexual assault were made against him relating to an incident that occurred before he joined the band, who said they could not “in good conscience” continue working with him.

At the time, Gallego told Pitchfork, "James [Alex] and Ed [McNulty, guitarist] are the sweetest most caring people I’ve ever known and I feel they did the right thing and I will always support them."

McNulty left Beach Slang in 2018. 

If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this article, you can visit SANEWomen’s AidVictim Support or The Survivors Trust for help and advice.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.