Who He Was
Lorin Ashton, better known for his alias Bassnectar, was once a king among the EDM scene. Admired for his ability to embrace elements of extreme bass, dubstep, breakbeat, and other styles, as well as shifting tempos and contrasting dynamics that go from gentle to bruising and back during the course of his sets. With growing popularity, he began curating a collection of events such as Bass Center, Deja Voom, and NYE 360; high energy shows that would sell out in a matter of hours, leaving music enthusiasts anxiously awaiting their opportunity to witness the artistry unfold in front of their very eyes. Bassnectar had carefully reached the pinnacle of his career, securing residencies at the hottest festivals and producing albums that dominated the charts. Along the way, he developed an extreme following, a colossal group of individuals who would follow him to the end of the earth, nicknamed “bassheads”. This wasn’t just any following, these fans were a loyal assemblage of individuals who practically worshipped Bassnectar, considering him a sort of god to the electronic world with his music comparable to scripture. As the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility,” a phrase applied to those in a position of superior status. Unfortunately, not all who acquire the social power use it for good, and in some cases, the line of morality quickly becomes blurred.
The EDM world was stunned in June of 2020 when allegations that Bassnectar had sexually abused underage women surfaced on social media. Originally promoting a message fostering a sense of community, Bassnectar became an assailant of the very words his brand was preaching. A month later, he announced that he was “stepping back” from the industry because he wanted to take “responsibility and accountability” for his actions. He said, “the rumors you are hearing are untrue, but I realize some of my past actions have caused pain, and I am deeply sorry,” denying the claims that set the Twittersphere on fire.
— Bassnectar (@bassnectar) July 3, 2020
On April 5th, 2021, Rachel Ramsbottom and Alexis Bowling filed a claim against the producer, as well as his label, management, touring and charitable giving organizations. The claim entailed allegations of sexual abuse, human trafficking, grooming, and the manufacture and possession of child pornography. The victims allege Bassnectar initially contacted them via Twitter when they were underaged, and over time engaged in sexual abuse with them as minors. Also, they assert that he solicited explicit photographs of them, and that the companies named engaged in “a human trafficking venture”.
Bassnectar completely denied the claims. His attorney, Mark Schumer, stated, “These outrageous claims – which were clearly designed for the media, rather than for the courts – are completely without merit, and we eagerly look forward to proving so.”
Details continued to emerge as Jenna Houston and an anonymous plaintiff eventually became a part of the ongoing lawsuit, officially accusing Bassnectar of sexually abusing and grooming them as minors, causing them extreme psychological and physical damage.
According to Rolling Stone, Houston was first targeted by Bassnectar when she was just 16 years of age. He contacted her via direct message on Twitter, which escalated to him flying her to his concerts all across the country over a 3-year period. After these events, Houston explained multiple instances involving Bassnectar paying cash for intercourse.
Due to elements transpiring in the case, the anonymous plaintiff has since removed herself from the claim after the court asked for her name to be released to the public. Furthering Bassnectar’s plea of innocence, his attorneys stated, “The dismissal of this anonymous accuser from this litigation is a first step toward Lorin’s complete vindication.”
Where He Is Now
Forwarding to present day, Bassnectar has remained silent to the world. A few claims have been made by his supporters via Reddit, stating they had access to new unreleased tracks, but such is not confirmed. The Bassnectar court case is in full swing. Discovery for the suit began back in April of this year, according to bassnectarcourtcase.com, a site designed to follow the case. By the 31st of this month, amended pleadings of the individuals involved will be due, allowing either parties to update their claims. Discovery, which is the formal process of exchanging information between parties about the witnesses and evidence they will present at trial, has a due date of January 18th, 2023. Dispositive motions are due by May 1st, 2023. When all is said and done, this case is set to begin trial around September 1st, 2023.
In the era of #MeToo, advocating for sexual misconduct survivors is at the forefront of our minds as a society. No matter the social status, an individual will never be exempt from facing the consequences of their malicious actions. Truth is powerful, and it always prevails.
Follow the ongoing case at bassnectarcourtcase.com