Ethan Kath, Crystal Castles Founder: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Ethan Kath, Crystal Castles FounderWikipedia

Ethan Kath pictured at the Popped! Music Festival.

The founder of indie giants Crystal Castles has been accused of rape by the group’s former lead singer Alice Glass. On her official website, the former frontwoman of Crystal Castles said that she had been subjected to sexual, physical and mental abuse from Kath. That abuse, she says, led to her departure from the band in October 2014. In response, Kath issued a statement to Pitchfork saying the allegations were “pure fiction” and that he was looking into his legal option.

When Glass left the band, she released this statement saying, “My art and my self-expression in any form has always been an attempt towards sincerity, honesty, and empathy for others. For a multitude of reasons both professional and personal I no longer feel that this is possible within Crystal Castles. Although this is the end of the band, I hope my fans will embrace me as a solo artist in the same way they have embraced Crystal Castles.” Shortly after that statement was released, the group’s management said the band would continue with a new singer. In April 2015, the band returned with new frontwoman Edith Frances.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Glass Says Kath ‘Forced Me to Have Sex With Him or, He Said, I Wouldn’t Be Allowed to be in the Band Anymore’

Ethan Kath Alice Glass

GettyKath and Glass performing together in 2013.

According to Glass’ statement, Kath “Forced me to have sex with him or, he said, I wouldn’t be allowed to be in the band anymore.” Other allegations include Glass saying that Kath curtailed her financial freedom. In a statement through his lawyer, Kath replied saying, “I am outraged and hurt by the recent statements made by Alice about me and our prior relationship. Her story is pure fiction and I am consulting my lawyers as to my legal options. Fortunately, there are many witnesses who can and will confirm that I was never abusive to Alice.”

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Glass’ statement concludes with:

Leaving Crystal Castles was the single most difficult decision I’ve ever made – that band was everything to me. My music, my performances and my fans were all I had in the world. I gave that up and started over not because I wanted to but because I had to.

As difficult as it was, I knew that leaving was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It has taken me years to recover from enduring almost a decade of abuse, manipulation and psychological control. I am still recovering.


2. Kath & Glass Formed the Band After Meeting in Toronto in December 2003

Kath and Glass formed Crystal Castles together in Toronto in December 2003. In her statement accusing Kath of rape, Glass says, “I met Ethan Kath (Claudio Palmieri) when I was in the 10th grade. The first time he took advantage of me was when I was around 15.”

Prior to joining up with Glass, Kath performed in a hardcore bands Jakarta and Kill Cheerleader as a drummer and bass player. Not to mention a period Kath spend in a folk group with his friend Pino Placentile. Kath said in an interview about this band, “We both played acoustic guitars and wrote songs for years and just as we were about to record our first album he passed away. He died in his sleep of an aneurysm, brought on by medication he was taking for Rheumatoid Arthritis. I miss him so much, I still think about him every day.”


3. Kath Threw Shade at Glass When She Left the Group Saying ‘She Didn’t Appear on Crystal Castles Best Known Songs’

In releasing his first song since Glass’s departure in April 2015, Kath was accused of throwing shade at the group’s former singer when he said:

I think it can be empowering for her [Glass] to be in charge of her own project. It should be rewarding for her considering she didn’t appear on Crystal Castles’ best known songs. For the record, I wrote almost all of the lyrics in my former band and the vast majority of the vocal melodies.

Glass responded, according to Pitchfork:

I was a founding member of Crystal Castles and shaped the sound and aesthetic from the very beginning… manipulative statements about my contributions to the band only reinforce the decision I made to move on to other things.

Since Glass quit the band, Kath, along with new singer Edith Frances release an album, Amnesty (I), in August 2016. Throughout the summer of 2017 and into the fall the band has been on tour in North America and Europe. SF Gate reports that in the wake of the Glass allegations, the band canceled a performance in the San Francisco-area.

Glass released her first solo EP in the summer of 2017.


4. Kath Is Married to Artist Au Vyst; Who Is 18 Years His Junior

Au Vyst Facebook page

Facebook/Au VystAu Vyst and Ethan Kath pictured together in September 2016.

According to the blog, Crystal Fake Castles, Kath is married artist Au Vyst. The blog says that at the time of their marriage, Kath was 39 and Vyst was 21. The post adds that they first met when Vyst was 15 years old and that Vyst was known as a Crystal Castles’ devotee on Tumblr going by the moniker Katzekind.


5. Glass Showed Her Passionate Advocacy for Sexual Assault Victims During a 2012 Interview With Spin

Alice Glass Crystal Castles

GettyGlass performing at Lollapalooza in 2013.

During an interview with Spin Magazine in November 2012, Glass showed her passionate advocacy for sexual assault victims. The reporter notes that through email, Glass ignored his initial questions and instead responded with this statement:

America is still not doing enough for human trafficking within itself. The [FBI] estimates 50,000 women will be trafficked into America every year, that number is probably higher than reported… There is a lack of shelters for victims, many victims are placed in juvenile treatment facilities.

In the state of Missouri there are only 25 available beds for girl victims in these facilities… One in 12 children in America will be sexually assaulted… In America, the greatest threat to women’s health and safety is domestic abuse, yet there is little funding to inform and support women.”