Last year Ian Watkins, the singer for alternative rock band Lostprophets, was sentenced to 35 years jail for child sex offences. While everyone quickly agreed to hate him, debates sparked up amongst the fans of the band. Is it still acceptable to listen to them? Can they move past the thoughts that come with listening to the music? I took to the internet to ask fans of the band how they felt towards the trial, and their thoughts towards the music now.
For many people, Lostprophets was the soundtrack to their teenage years. The lyrics managed to speak out to those going through the stereotypical rough “emo” phase that most teenagers are faced against, and help guide them through it. Extensive touring from the band made sure that a large part of their fanbase would get the chance to see them perform live. Oftentimes the band would make an appearance after the show, for free meet and greets to the fans waiting around the stage doors, and some fans (such as 19 year old Siobhán Broad from East London) still have pictures of them with Watkins. “I still really like the music, but sadly I can’t listen to them anymore without being completely grossed out” she explains.
Self proclaimed biggest Lostprophets fan, 16-year-old Nuelle Ahn from Germany, met the band nine times. She explained how she refused to believe the rumours when they started circulating at the end of 2012. “I’m very, very disappointed. He’s done so much for me, and saved me so many times. When I listen to their music I feel the same way as before, but sometimes I’ll start to cry because I realise I won’t be able to hear Ian’s wonderful voice again. I lost my idol. In my opinion he deserves those 35 years in prison.”
Lewis, 17 from France, said: “I was sure he was guilty for about five months but I could still listen to the music, up until the trial when he got his sentence. I haven’t managed since.”
Some fans, such as 18-year old Jameson from Washington State can still listen to the music and enjoy it. “The songs are very meaningful and it seems that Ian was able to separate his music and personal life from each other, so the songs still mean a lot to me,” he explains.
However, it’s understandable that just by listening to the songs will force the listener to think about what happened. After all, Watkins is the singer of the band, so there is no escaping hearing him when listening to the songs. “I can’t look at him the same way, but I can listen to the songs. It’s just hard to ignore it when he was the front man” explains 19-year old Anthony Osoba, from Romford.
Watkins’ behaviour in the trial led many to believe that he didn’t care too much about his actions, as he was quoted to saying, “it was all just megalolz” as an explanation. He also recently applied for permission to appeal for less time, instead of his current 35-year sentence, which is made up of 29 years custodial term, plus six years on license. Basically, that sick bastard gives no fucks.