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Former Kyuss Members Battle Over Band Name

Who has the right to use desert rockers’ name?

John Garcia at Hellfest.
Dalle/Ravel /Landov
March 10, 2012 10:45 AM ET

Desert rockers Kyuss fall into the Velvet Underground category of band trajectories: they didn’t sell a whole lot of records during their first go-round (1988 through 1995), but have influenced many subsequent bands over the years, particularly those of the stoner rock variety. Sensing that there was still a huge demand for the group, three former members – singer John Garcia, bassist Nick Oliveri, and drummer Brant Bjork – reunited last year for live shows (with guitarist Bruno Fevery replacing original guitarist/current Queens of the Stone Age leader Josh Homme), under the "Kyuss Lives!" banner.

Now, a year later, Homme and another former Kyuss member, bassist Scott Reeder, have filed a federal lawsuit against Garcia and Bjork that "alleges trademark infringement and consumer fraud by Kyuss Lives!" Homme and Reeder released a statement today via public relations firm Nasty Little Man:

"It sucks. To think we went to a meeting in January solely to help them with their request to continue Kyuss Lives! With open arms, we made every attempt to help them continue Kyuss Lives! respectfully. Only to discover while they looked us in the eye, Kyuss Lives! management and band had filed federal documents in 2011 in an attempt to steal the name Kyuss. This is desperately what we were trying to avoid. It's a sad day for us and for John – but most of all for the fans. What a needless mess."

Interestingly, Reeder played a handful of European live dates with Kyuss Lives! last year, as a fill-in for Oliveri. 

Garcia and Bjork responded that they were "shocked and saddened that our friend and onetime bandmate has chosen to file a lawsuit against us, especially after having positive discussions since our reformation. We look forward to resolving this private matter behind closed doors and moving forward with work on our new album and connecting with our amazing, loyal fans."

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