Last week, it emerged that The Offspring’s former bassist Greg Kriesel has sued the remaining members of the California band. Now, more details of the dispute have surfaced in a response by vocalist/guitarist Bryan “Dexter” Holland and guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman, in which they claim “Kriesel’s arguments have no basis in fact”.
The bassist – who with Holland was one of The Offspring’s original members – was no longer with the band as of November 2018. He sued his former bandmates in June this year, alleging that Holland and Wasserman “devised a scheme, and entered into a conspiracy with each other” to push him out of the band “without fair compensation” and “seize the business, business opportunities, and assets of the [band’s] Partnership”.
Holland and Wasserman denied all of Kriesel’s allegations in a cross-complaint filed the same day as the lawsuit. It reveals that the bassist apparently was asked and agreed to leave the band after “differences developed between how Kriesel viewed the band’s present and future, and how Wasserman and Holland envisioned the band’s present and future.” Read the document, which was acquired by Forbes last week, in full here.
The cross-complaint also claims that after Kriesel’s departure, Holland and Wasserman also attempted to negotiate “in good faith” with him to buy his shares in “Offspring, Inc.” and “provide to him his aliquot share of the remaining undistributed assets of The Partnership: the trademark ‘The Offspring’ and certain music royalties”. Kriesel apparently terminated those negotiations and filed the lawsuit.
Holland and Wasserman also take issue with how they say Kriesel has characterised The Offspring’s partnership. They claim the bassist asserts that The Offspring is an “oral, ‘permanent’ partnership which required Wasserman and Holland (but not Kriesel) to perform in perpetuity” as a band – and that Kriesel must continue to be paid, even as his former bandmates perform without him.
“He further claims that Wasserman and Holland must continue to perform for the express purpose of compensating Kriesel!” the cross-complaint reads.
There are “obvious legal arguments that there could be no such thing as an oral, permanent partnership,” the cross-complaint argues, “or a partnership which required two people to perform in perpetuity, or indeed that anybody could be compelled to perform music publicly with anybody else for a single performance no less for an endless string of performances.” Those arguments aside, “Kriesel’s arguments have no basis in fact,” the cross-complaint reads.
The Offspring have yet to make an official statement about the lawsuit. Before news of the legal dispute broke, the band had teased a new album, which Holland says “sounds like their old shit”, for an autumn 2019 release.