Crystal Castles Controversy & Alice Glass Allegations Explained

By Klein Felt Posted:
Crystal Castles Alice Glass

Canadian musical act Crystal Castles is blowing up on TikTok, but new fans should be made aware of the controversy surrounding the now-defunct band and allegations made by former singer Alice Glass. 

The electropunk band, which formed in 2006 and has been inactive since 2017, is making waves yet again thanks to songs like "Transgender" and "Crimewave" appearing in popular videos on TikTok.

Heralding from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the group consisted of songwriter-producer Ethan Kath and singer-songwriter Alice Glass; however, Glass left the band in 2014 and was replaced by singer Edith Frances. 

What Happened to Crystal Castles?

Crystal Castles performing on stage
Crystal Castles

New fans coming across Crystal Castles online might be shocked to find out about the controversy that looms over the band.

It all stems back to allegations made by singer Alice Glass about her bandmate, Ethan Kath, which would eventually lead to the (assumed) demise of the group. 

After three albums and nearly a decade working together, Glass took to Facebook in October 2014, publishing a post saying she was leaving the band. Saying in the post that "for a multitude of reasons both professional and personal," she could no longer work with Kath (via Pitchfork):

"I am leaving Crystal Castles. 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 CC. 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."

At the time, it was unclear why she had left the group, but she would not stay silent forever. 

In October 2017, Glass opened up about her Crystal Castles departure, accusing Kath (whose real name is Claudio Palmier) bandmate of subjecting her to sexual, physical, and mental abuse. 

"Claudio was very manipulative towards me," Glass wrote in a statement on her official website:

"Claudio was very manipulative towards me. He figured out my insecurities and exploited them: he used the things he learned about me against me. Over a period of many months, he gave me drugs and alcohol and had sex with me in an abandoned room at an apartment he managed. It wasn’t always consensual and he remained sober whenever we were together."

Glass and Kath had first met when she was only 15 years old, with Kath having been a member of the band Kïll Cheerleadër. 

The former Crystal Castles vocalist revealed the abuse started "when [she] was around 15" and continued up until she left the band:

"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. He was 10 years older than me. I came to in the back of his car extremely intoxicated (from drinks he had given me that night). We didn’t talk for months after that. He went to great lengths to find me again, stalking me and driving past my high school looking for me."

Glass closed in calling her leaving the band the "single most difficult decision [she has] ever made," adding that it has taken years to "recover from enduring almost a decade of abuse:"

"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."

In response to Glass's claims, Kath issued a statement by way of his legal team, calling the allegations "pure fiction" (per Pitchfork). 

The Fallout Of Alice Glass' Allegations

It would not stop there, as Glass' claims coming to light would end the band's 2017 North American tour early.

Following her postaCrystal Castles (fronted by the new singer Edith Frances) canceled its remaining shows, bringing an end to the band's fairly fruitful 11-year run.

Glass would again make headlines, coming forward with four women in February 2018, alleging Gath had sexually preyed on them in their teens, using his fame to take advantage of these young fans by supplying them with drugs and alcohol to coerce them into sexual acts (via Daily Beast).

Since Glass's 2017 blog post, Crystal Castles has never played another show, released any new material, or provided any updates on the band's status. 

Glass has since disavowed any work she did under the Crystal Castles name, and asks fans to no longer support the band. 

She has released a solo EP and a full-length studio album since 2014, and Crystal Castles is assumed dead. 

Alice Glass' solo music can be streamed on all major music streaming platforms.

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.