As previously reported, former Kyuss guitarist Josh Homme and bassist Scott Reeder recently filed a federal lawsuit against their former bandmates John Garcia (vocals) and Brant Bjork (drums) to prohibit the latter duo from continuing to use the Kyuss Lives! moniker for their band. On Monday, Judge S. James Otero of the United States District Court Central District of California announced his verdict, which weighs somewhat in favor of Garcia and Bjork.
Essentially, Kyuss Lives! can use their name in concert, but not for recordings. "The Court will issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting Defendants from using the Kyuss Mark in any capacity unless the word 'Lives' follows the word 'Kyuss' in equally-prominent lettering," reads the verdict. "The Court will issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting Defendants from using the Kyuss Lives Mark in conjunction with any studio album, live album, or other audio recording. The Motion is denied, however, with respect to Plaintiffs' request that Defendants be enjoined from using the Kyuss Lives Mark in conjunction with concerts and live performances."
But this ruling doesn't fully protect Garcia and Bjork from running into further troubles down the road even if they use the Kyuss Lives! name solely for concerts. "It may be in Defendants' best interest to begin re-branding under a new name," the judge wrote.
As Bjork recently explained to Rolling Stone, the lawsuit both did and did not catch him off guard. "Was I surprised? As far as Scott is concerned, yes, I was very surprised. I wasn't surprised by Josh at all. They don't want to mention that they trademarked the name Kyuss after I left the band, assuring that I had no rights in Kyuss' future.
"They're both accusing John and I of doing something that they actually did themselves. Their inner conflict is this – both Josh and Scott want control and money from Kyuss Lives!, but they don't want to participate and they ultimately don't want us to exist. The double standard is unbelievable."
In the same Rolling Stone report, Garcia added his thoughts on the subject. "Let this also be known: to say that we tried to 'steal' the name Kyuss is 100 percent ridiculous and false. Josh Homme and Scott Reeder are suing us for financial gain. They had two ways they could have chosen to go about this. One, file the lawsuit privately and without incident, or two, file it in conjunction and then simultaneously issue both a widespread press release and statements.
"Because of Josh and Scott, this is a very sad time for Kyuss fans. As I have always said, it was only out of pure respect that I decided to name the band Kyuss Lives! and not Kyuss, and it was because one of the major pieces – Josh – was not there and everyone knew that."
Rounding out the Kyuss Lives! lineup is guitarist Bruno Fevery and bassist Billy Cordell. Although they are planning on recording a new studio album, there is no word yet as to what name the band will use for the recording.