News•September 3, 2020 11:11 PM ET•59,667 views
Miss Fortune singer details troubling relationship w/ Tyler Carter
In the wake of the sexual misconduct and grooming allegations against Tyler Carter of Issues, one eye-opening social media comment concerning Carter and Miss Fortune vocalist Mikey Sawyer was sent our way. We subsequently reached out to Sawyer for clarification and hours later received a lengthy explanation, during which Sawyer accuses Carter of predatory behavior and coercion. Earlier today Carter issued an apology for his past mistakes and claims to have reached out to those "he may have hurt or affected." Sawyer says he's still waiting for an apology. The following is Sawyer's account of his purported relationship with Carter:
I first met Tyler Carter in 2011 when we worked on our song 'The Double Threat of Danger'. I found his fake Facebook called Hogarth Hughes and shot him over a message with the song and he loved it, so he agreed to be on the song for $800 (which I paid him). He was extremely difficult to work with and nit picked the process of clearing the song, until eventually I just had to release it for free because he would get the song taken down repeatedly by Rise Records. In reality, Tyler didn't think he sounded the best on the song compared to my vocals. After the song came out, Tyler was coming to Oklahoma City on a solo tour supporting Go Radio, which I went to finally meet with this dude who was an idol of mine. At this time I was 18, as was he. Before he agreed to meet with me and put me on the guest list, he sent me some extremely sexual texts messages and photos to see if I was willing to engage, to which I told him, "I'm not gay, it wouldn't even work like that for me I'm sorry bro :( I still really want to be friends though," so he still let me come to the show where I met him for the first time. I was enamored with Tyler, there's no doubt about it. From the first time we ever spoke on MySpace, he gave me advice that has served me throughout my career to this day. That makes what I'm about to tell you even more heart wrenching: At the show in Oklahoma City, we were standing amongst a group of people and bands when all the sudden Tyler starts texting me (standing in the same circle at the time) asking me if he can please take me to the van alone claiming, "I want to s-ck you off so bad lol." to which I was like, "Ah shit, I would man but there's too many people around." I literally had no other play at that moment, at that age, and under those circumstances, I just said what I thought would be cool at the time. After the show, Tyler rode separate from my friends and I back to the spot he was staying. I remember he gave me his card to grab us something from McDonald's and I was like, 'holy shit, he trusted me with his debit card, that's his name on it Derek Tyler Carter' I was like what the fuck. That night, I was able to get a selfie and dip out before things could progress much more, but I really felt like I had a special friendship with him then. Fast forward to 2012, I'm now signed to Sumerian [Records] because we got discovered off our song with Tyler. A lot of people don't know I also made introductions between him and [music producer] Kris Crummett via email around this time. That alone should tell you there would never have been an Issues without a Mikey Sawyer, just as there would never have been a Miss Fortune without Tyler Carter. This is where things started to get passive and weird. It was Issues' first tour with Attila, Ice Nine Kills, and Make Me Famous and I got guest list for us once again at Springfield, MO date. I'd kept in touch with Tyler a little bit before this, but he was texting me for nudes before the show, and he asked if I could "f-ck him outside next to the dumpster." This is when I started sharing these texts with my bandmates. We thought it would be funny to play along and send him stock images of d-ck pics to basically fuck with him... except, he didn't understand it wasn't actually pictures of me, so he ended up getting even more excited from these Google images. We went to the show, I told Tyler we couldn't f-ck, so he ghosted me the entire night, and embarrassed me to my bandmates who were excited to meet him after he had just featured on our new song. Miss Fortune recorded our album 'A Spark To Believe' not long after Issues finished their EP 'Black Diamonds'. When I sent it to Tyler, he said "Ahhh it's good but the artwork looks too much like Sleeping with Sirens, don't want you to get shit." And things like "your vocals sound good but the runs sound improper, like they're fixed in production too much." Which I took as valuable feedback until one of my band members pointed out, "Why is he always trying to shit on you with these backhanded compliments all the time?" That's when I realized "maybe Tyler has a problem with me or thinks we're blowing up a little too fast or something." And this was eventually confirmed as they were recording their self-titled album, Issues was pressuring Tyler in the studio to maybe not sing with so much falsetto and runs. Someone in the band said, "Why don't you try to sound more like Mikey from Miss Fortune?"... I've never received such intense backlash from a fellow musician in my life until this moment, "WHY the FUCK would I be inspired by YOU? You bit my entire sound! I'm your biggest influence! You would be nothing if it wasn't for me! Why would I be jealous??" This was such a bizarre interaction that I just played it off like "Nah man, you're crazy dude nobody can do what you do. I don't know why they're acting like that man, forget about it." The final time I hung around Tyler is the absolute worst experience of my whole life, which I have only spoken about but to a few close people in recent years. In 2014, Miss Fortune was on tour with Slaves, Hands Like Houses, and Alive Like Me when we played Masquerade in Atlanta. I had DM'd Tyler about coming to the show to see us and hang with the tour. He made up some excuse why he couldn't come, but invited us to come stay the night at his house with Michael Bohn and a few roommates they shared an enormous mansion with. So, of course, we decided to go and hang out with them after playing this sold out show in Atlanta. We got there and everything was great, they offered us booze and some weed, which I was super stoked because Tyler never ever smoked with me before which was so cool he was finally hanging out with us and I was kinda proving to my friends that "yo see? I'm really friends with this guy!" Afterwards, everyone went to bed. The band had their own separate bedroom with bunk beds, and Tyler asked me to sleep in his bed with him. So I did. We talked shop, I asked him all the things I wanted to know, he bragged to me that they had the #9 record, and that if I kept doing what I was doing, I was gonna be even bigger. I told him I needed to take a shower because I just performed and we had a long drive through next day, so he let me take one in his bathroom while he waited in his bed. He asked me to sneak in the bed with him when I was done, which I did. Obviously this is the part of the story that I don't feel comfortable going into details, but effectively Tyler coerced me into letting him do things with me that I didn't want to do. He knows in his heart that I'm completely straight and only played into these acts because I was manipulated, abused and groomed by him. The next morning, I was mortified by the thought of getting caught up in people thinking I was gay, or that I wanted Tyler because of his fame in music. I DID want to keep working with Tyler, I DID want our bands to tour, I DID want him to like me and be a friend to me. But I did not want what happened to me to get out, and I knew after that night he would be done speaking to me. I knew he tainted my name with his band members, and with people around me in my circle trying to paint me like some closet weirdo who was just clout chasing. I was even told by people on the Beautiful Oblivion tour that when asked about me, Tyler would clown me and say that I s-cked his d-ck because I'm such a fan, etc. These lies were very hurtful to me, and damaging to my reputation in friend groups who now would look at me with a side eye. I was forced to stay quiet because I didn't want to fuck things up for my band, and Tyler was protected by higher ups in the music business, people who have made millions of dollars knowing what Tyler was into back in those days. I know several guys in bands who have similar stories, but I'm only speaking on this because my name has been brought into this without my consent. I'm speaking my truth to finally set the record straight on this. Since people have been asking, no I'm not gay in the slightest bit. I know I should have said something much sooner, I shouldn't have went along with it, I shouldn't have stayed silent while he continued doing this to other straight men. They say you should never meet your heroes, but being a singer from a family who never quite understood me, I looked to influences like Tyler and Jonny Craig whose performance on records was part of my very DNA as a singer, and as a person. I became so affixed with trying to follow that example that I lost what was so great about me, which is something I will always feel sorry about. This is my story. I wasn't going to make any statement about this because it's obviously super sensitive information and I'm only addressing it because of the statement Tyler made this morning where he claims he's reached out to everyone and assured them he meant no harm. I've received no such apology.
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