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Bad Wolves settle legal dispute with former frontman

By | Published on Friday 29 October 2021

Bad Wolves

Bad Wolves – and their management team and label – have settled their legal dispute with the American metal outfit’s former frontman Tommy Vext. Following tough talking and strong allegations from both sides in that dispute, a conciliatory joint statement has been issued, which declares a settlement has been reached “with no winners and no losers”.

Vext sued Bad Wolves manager Allen Kovac and his Better Noise Music company in July, having exited the band back in January. In his lawsuit, Vext claimed that Kovac had forced him out of the band because of political disagreements. In a statement to TMZ as the lawsuit was filed, Vext added: “Allen has forced me out of my own band and is now attempting to slander and cancel me – after several failed attempts to settle amicably, I’m now forced to place this in the hands of the courts”.

Among other things, Vext claimed that, after failing to stop the frontman airing his political beliefs on social media, Kovac had used his “pull” in the music industry to stop radio stations and streaming services from playlisting his music. He also alleged racist conduct on Kovac’s part, saying that he would use the n-word around the musician, who is African-American, “with impunity” as a way to show his superiority.

Both Kovac and the other members of Bad Wolves hit back at all those allegations immediately, with drummer John Boecklin and guitarist Doc Coyle stating at the time: “In all our dealings with Allen Kovac, he has never used any derogatory racial slurs. Tommy is making all of this up. Period”.

Better Noise Music then filed its own litigation against Vext in August, claiming that the musician had become politically radicalised during the COVID lockdowns and was now an ardent QAnon supporter. That resulted in a series of increasingly contentious social media posts that caused tensions within the band, and between Vext and his management and label teams.

At the same time, the lawsuit then alleged: “Vext became unhinged. His ex-girlfriend filed for a domestic violence restraining order, claiming that Vext physically assaulted her numerous times and that she was afraid for her life. These claims were, and are, very serious, and they significantly tarnished Vext’s image and reputation”.

“This combination of negative press, public outrage and serious domestic violence allegations was bad for Vext, but it also damaged the band and its other members”, the lawsuit added. “The perception was that the other members of Bad Wolves shared Vext’s views and they were viewed as guilty by association”.

Kovac sought to help Vext during this time, the lawsuit said, but the musician ignored his manager’s advice. With the tensions reaching breaking point, it was Vext who announced he was leaving the band, initially wishing his former bandmates well. However, then Vext started to lash out at the band and its management and label.

“Motivated by greed and his oversized ego, Vext claimed that he owns Bad Wolves and has a right to block the remaining members from recording and releasing music under the name Bad Wolves”, the lawsuit added. “Vext also claimed that plaintiffs had no right to use the name Bad Wolves to market and promote Bad Wolves’ prior albums, and upcoming third album, or to otherwise market and promote the band, such as through tour promotions and merchandise sales”.

All these statements were incorrect, Better Noise argued, while also accusing Vext of breach of contract and copyright infringement by posting new music to social media and his OnlyFans account and announcing a tour “using the confusingly similar name ‘[email protected] W8LV3S'”.

However, despite both sides in the dispute filing lawsuits, out of court discussions clearly continued, and both parties have now agreed to settle. Bad Wolves will continue to release music and tour under that name, while Vext is free to release his future recordings independently or with another label.

In a statement published in Billboard, all parties state: “Bad Wolves and its co-founder John Boecklin, alongside their label Better Noise, manager 10th Street Entertainment and publisher 5-19 have collectively resolved their disputes with Tommy Vext”.

“A partnership can sometimes lead to divorce”, the statement adds. “Artists have creative differences and argue over songs, credits, and much more. However, if both sides believe in their own talents, they find a path to go their separate ways. This is a settlement with no winners and no losers; it’s beneficial to everyone in order to move on and bury the hatchet”.

It concludes: “This is a new beginning and a bright future for all those concerned. We’re all excited to get back to what’s important, and that’s the music. Bad Wolves and Tommy wish each other the best going forward, and ask that their fans respect this decision”.