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Getting Exiled from Local Scene Just the Motivation Creep Needed to Finally Make Big Move to L.A.

LOS ANGELES — Singer/guitarist John O’Neill is finally motivated to move to Los Angeles after being blacklisted from Seattle’s punk scene for predatory behavior toward women late last year, according to the artist.

“It really makes it hard to put a band together when everyone just won’t talk to you,” O’Neill said from the living room of his loft space in West Hollywood. “And I got kicked out for what? The word of dozens of women, who had no incentive to corroborate each other’s stories?”

O’Neill, who witnesses say frequently touched women on the small of their backs when talking to them at shows, described his creative frustration. “I love music more than anything in the world. I just didn’t know what to do with myself without it,” he said. “Sometimes, you gotta take these messages from the universe and just run with them. I’ll miss Seattle, but I won’t miss all the uptight people there.”

Several women claimed they stopped going to shows altogether to avoid O’Neill, who frequently greeted them with “European cheek kisses.”

“For a while, we ignored it, because he told us he was from Canada or something… but then he started kissing people right on the mouth,” said one Seattle bassist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Also, turns out he was born in fucking Yakima. Such a prick.”


For his part, O’Neill sees the whole experience as a net positive. Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, he formed a three-piece with fellow social outcasts Tyler Ludlow and Jay Tran, who described their meeting as “the joining of fellow lost souls.”

“We all heard the universe talk to us — like, ‘Hey, dude, this place isn’t for you anymore.’ That voice doesn’t give you a reason why; you just gotta bounce,” said Ludlow, who left Boston after several accusations of sexual misconduct of his own. “And, man… all the women here are really choice. Much better than back home.”

O’Neill’s new band, aptly named The Castaways, is reportedly in talks with several major record labels after some buzz generated by their EP. They will be headlining The Casbah in San Diego this Friday night.

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Article by David Tyler @david_d_tyler.