Pop Punk Frontwoman Accuses Tour Manager Of Assault

24 May 2016, 15:23 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

candy hearts band
James Wilson-Taylor

By James Wilson-Taylor

Candy Hearts' Mariel Loveland posts emotional blog detailing the incident.

Updated 27/03/16 - Zach Chad has responded to the allegations, his statement has been added below.

Another day, another horrifying story of a woman in the pop punk community being disrespected and abused.

Candy Hearts

Candy Hearts leader, Mariel Loveland, took to her Tumblr yesterday (May 23rd) with a post entitled "10 Months" detailing claims of physical assault she suffered from her then tour manager who now works with the band Seaway.

I was physically assaulted and emotionally abused by Seaway’s tour manager. And I’m so sick of keeping quiet and watching every band I love and adore be all chummy with him, including people who know what happened. As a TM for a pop punk band, he has access to leagues of young girls that aren’t safe around him. People should know.

Mariel Loveland


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Mariel goes on to detail a pattern of verbal abuse she experienced from the man in question that culminated in a violent incident in full view of a line of people at a merch stand.

He started throwing things at my head and pushed me, while screaming in my face. He winded me with the stuff he threw at my stomach and I screamed louder to draw attention to him, in the way you sort of are supposed to yell really loud to scare a bear that’s about to kill you. I tried to hit him back but he is massive. I pushed him and nothing happened. I spent the rest of the tour terrified.

Mariel Loveland


Afraid to speak up, Mariel remained silent and blames the experience for her anxiety and robbing her of the "safe, happy feeling" she had being on the road.

She closes with a statement about pop punk at large.

Here’s the thing: It is never, ever, okay to lay a finger on another person, even if they’re a girl infiltrating your little circle of fun-loving bro-dudes at a pop punk show...tell me, why does no one stand up for the girls in our scene and make it almost impossible to stand up for ourselves? I’m not saying he should be fired from his job or that I want his life ruined. I’m saying he needs to be held accountable. He needs to seek help and know how he affected people. In an industry where we don’t have HR, we’re responsible for keeping it safe.

Mariel Loveland


If you are a regular reader of this website you will be aware that we often cover pop punk. For me personally, it is a joy to write about a genre of music I have been passionate about and enjoyed since I was 14. I have met many of my heroes and seen bands I admire develop beyond the pop punk label to produce inspiring albums that straddle multiple styles. The scene itself has developed, largely at the hands of women, both those behind the microphone and in the crowd spreading the word.

This is why it is so disheartening to see the outdated sexist attitudes of many of the genre's forbearers go unaccounted for, dismissed under the guise of mere "bro"-like behaviour that you should just forget about and "chill, dude". 

Meanwhile, certain lower-tier bands churn out lyrics focused entirely on bitch ex-girlfriends to staunch devotees who, despite the millions of dollars and chart success at the disposal of many of their heroes, somehow view themselves as part of an underdog movement outside of the mainstream that complainers just "don't understand". 

So they mansplain away the many band members caught up in sex scandals and call us overly-sensitive for complaining about the frontmen encouraging crowd violence, dominating any comments section with foul-mouthed rhetoric as they mobilise the trigger-happy troops against any journalist with a twitter account all in order to "defend pop punk".

Pop punk doesn't need defending. The women in the scene do. 

Mariel's words are undeniably powerful and will hopefully inspire young women in similar positions to speak out. Let's hope the day will come when we don't have to keep repeating ourselves on this issue.


Update 27/03/16: Zach Chad, the tour manager in question, has given a full statement to Alt Press denying any wrong doing.

I cannot comment on the motives of why my accuser publicly posted a story that deviated so severely from the truth but I can't ignore the repeated misinformation being spread about me...No one has asked to see facts or seem to care about what actually happened with those involved. One last thing for me to point out is that these inaccurate claims which my accuser has made are all directed towards supposed actions made by myself, and in no way do they reflect the other band I was working for at the time, Seaway. I am no longer working with Seaway as of this moment.

Zach Chad, Alt Press

He then elaborates on the nature of his relationship with Mariel and her struggles with bipolar and seasonal depression as well as addressing directly the incident set out in the blogpost.

I made every effort to walk past her as she grabbed my hands and arms in an attempt to make me stand still. It’s no secret that I’m a large male and she is a small woman, so obviously if I am walking forward and she is trying to stand in front of me, even with my every effort to dodge her, she was in physical contact with me because of her own efforts. As I finally made it past her and walked away, the last thing she screamed was “You can’t get away with this, you just touched me! You assaulted me! Look at you, look at me. They will never believe you.” Everyone who saw me after that moment can attest that I reiterated that exact statement to them because it resonated with me.

Zach Chad, Alt Press

Read Zach's full statement to Alt Press here.


You can read Mariel's original post below: