Former Texas band member Michael Bannister says he was fat-shamed while in band

A former keyboard player from the band Texas said he was ‘fat-shamed’ (Matt Crossick/ PA)
A former keyboard player from the band Texas said he was ‘fat-shamed’ (Matt Crossick/ PA)

Former Texas keyboard player Michael Bannister said he was “routinely fat-shamed” during his time with the band from Scotland and compared the industry to the “wild west”.

In an interview with the Daily Record, Bannister spoke to the “toxic” culture in the music industry.

“I was routinely fat-shamed during my time with Texas and not just fat-shamed but threatened with losing my gig if I didn’t lose weight,” he said.

Bannister said the recent allegations against US recording artist Lizzo were triggering for him.

“Everyone thinks it’s rock ‘n’ roll and glamorous, it’s not. It’s full to the brim with insecure bullies in positions of power.”

He played with the band for 17 years before reaching his limits and is much happier now after a career change, where he now works as a political researcher for a SNP minister.

Bannister said people in the industry are still getting away with the bullying behaviour.

He told the Daily Record: “Texas played at Glastonbury this year but I honestly would rather have been working down a mine than be on that stage.

“I went on crazy diets before gigs to lose weight. I look back now and can’t believe I did that. I didn’t like who I was and started to question why I was allowing people to treat me the way they were, and how it affected me the way it did.

“It was a very toxic place to be and I wanted to escape that environment.”

TRNSMT festival – Glasgow Green
Texas performing on the main stage during the TRNSMT Festival on Glasgow Green in Glasgow (Jane Barlow/ PA)

The 43-year-old said he has actively discouraged his children from pursuing a career in the music industry to protect them from feeling how he did.

A PR firm who represent the band told the Daily Record that the allegations made by Bannister are “completely untrue”.

American pop singer Lizzo has recently been accused of creating a hostile work environment and sexual harassment by three former dancers.

Lizzo denies the claims, saying they are “as unbelievable as they sound” and will not let the good work be “overshadowed” by the allegations.