Better Noise Music has sued Tommy Vext, ex-lead singer of Bad Wolves, for copyright infringement. It’s the latest turn in the legal battle between Vext and his former recording company, the outfit that helped create and continues to promote Bad Wolves, and it comes weeks after Vext filed suit against the head of the label.
Vext is accused of infringing on the label’s intellectual property by allegedly posting unreleased recordings and videos related to Bad Wolves without the company’s permission, according to ThePRP and CMU; he’s also accused of trying to hamper the Bad Wolves trademark. Related Better Noise business entities Five Nineteen Music Publishing and 10th Street Entertainment are also named as plaintiffs in the case. (Its details are available online for Law360 subscribers.)
The plaintiffs say Vext, “motivated by greed and his oversized ego,” has “claimed that he owns Bad Wolves and has a right to block the remaining members from recording and releasing music under the name.”
They continue, “Vext‘s retaliatory conduct is getting worse by the day. Now, he is promoting his own ‘tour’ using the confusingly similar name ‘B@D W8LV3S’ in a blatant attempt to confuse concertgoers.”
Last month, Vext sued Allen Kovac, the CEO and founder of Better Noise, for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty to the tune of $10 million. The vocalist, who parted ways with Bad Wolves at the start of 2021, claimed there was a conspiracy to get him kicked out.
Vext, who is Black, contended that Kovac, who was identified as a Bad Wolves co-founder in the suit, told him he was not “Black enough” to be in the band due to his political ideologies and support of former U.S. President Donald Trump. Vext further indicated that Kovac had used racial slurs around him. The singer’s racism charges emerged after he suggested racism doesn’t exist and is “manufactured” by the media.
Kovac called Vext’s claims “categorically false. In 40 years in the music business, I have never made any derogatory racist comments, been accused of doing so, or been sued by an artist. [Vext is] a self-proclaimed QAnon supporter, has dragged us into a ridiculous, unfounded narrative that falsely paints him as a victim.”
The music executive added, “Bad Wolves has always been a collaborative effort between its members, its management and our label, and no single member is responsible for the creation of its art or its success. Putting this distraction aside, Bad Wolves is continuing to focus on its music and will release its best record yet in October with new lead singer Daniel ‘DL’ Laskiewicz.”
Appended to the Kovac’s statement was a corroborating comment jointly ascribed to Bad Wolves drummer John Boecklin and lead guitarist Doc Coyle. They said, “In all our dealings with Allen Kovac, he has never used any derogatory racial slurs. Tommy is making all of this up.”
Coyle has subsequently said that Vext has turned some Bad Wolves fans against them. In April, Vext was served with a two-year restraining order after an ex-girlfriend, Whitney Johns, accused him of abuse.
In 2012, Deadline reported on Kovac’s involvement in a lawsuit with Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler’s lawyer over a botched American Idol contract that Kovac said lost his company their client and commissions. Tyler, who was not named in the lawsuit, then came forward alleging “verbal abuse” and “rude” behavior at the hand of Kovac.
Better Noise is the current name for the rock label formerly known as Eleven Seven. Until 2019, the outfit traded as Eleven Seven Label Group, with Eleven Seven, Better Noise and Five Seven as imprints.
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