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Better Noise Music sues former Bad Wolves frontman

By | Published on Wednesday 25 August 2021

Bad Wolves

Better Noise Music has hit back at the former frontman of American metal outfit Bad Wolves, who sued the label and its founder last month. In a new lawsuit filed with the courts in New York, Tommy Vext is accused of copyright infringement, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

In his legal action last month, Vext claimed that Better Noise boss Allen Kovac – who also manages Bad Wolves – had forced him out of the band earlier this year 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”.

Both Kovac himself – and Vext’s former bandmates – quickly denied all the allegations in Vext’s lawsuit and media statements last month, including additional claims that Kovac regularly used racist language and had utilised his position in the music industry to hinder Vext’s career.

The new legal filing sets out Kovac’s side of the story in more detail. It claims that, having enjoyed lots of success with the band he co-founded in 2017 – in no small part thanks to his alliance with Better Noise – Vext became politically radicalised during the COVID lockdowns. An ardent QAnon supporter, the musician started posting ever more contentious opinions onto social media.

At the same time, the lawsuit alleges, “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 adds. “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 says, offering advice on how the musician could repair his image and get his career back on track. However, Vext ignored the advice and “grew more and more paranoid and believed that ominous, unnamed forces were trying to ‘cancel’ him and he needed to fight back. This only made things worse”.

All that said, the lawsuit claims, it was Vext himself who decided to leave the band. And he confirmed his departure in a social media post that thanked Better Noise for its support and wished his former band members success for the future. However, after that conciliatory post, Vext subsequently started to publicly lash out at his former label and band.

“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 continues. “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, the lawsuit says, because of contracts Vext had signed with Better Noise and its affiliated companies. And the musician had been “represented by sophisticated counsel” when those deals were being negotiated a few years back, it adds, meaning he understood what rights had been granted to the label.

“Vext’s retaliatory conduct is getting worse by the day”, the lawsuit then claims. “Now, he is promoting his own ‘tour’ using the confusingly similar name ‘B@D W8LV3S’ in a blatant attempt to confuse concertgoers into thinking this is an approved tour”.

Vext has also breached his record contract with Better Noise by posting new music content to both social media and his OnlyFans account, the lawsuit claims, the exclusivity clauses of that contract still being in force. He has also been using existing recordings owned by the label in some of those posts without permission.

And, on top of all that, the Better Noise lawsuit adds, Vext continues to defame Kovac and his companies. For example, “on the Pardon My American podcast”, the lawsuit states, “Vext falsely and maliciously stated that Kovac ‘is basically the Harvey Weinstein of rock and roll, but instead of raping girls he rapes artists'”.

With all that in mind, Better Noise Music and its associated companies “seek declaratory relief to resolve the parties’ disputes regarding their rights and obligations under the agreements, as well as equitable relief to stop Vext’s infringements and his other illegal conduct”.