Tame Impala at centre of lawsuit over unpaid royalties

Band's former label Modular Recordings reported to owe over £290,000

Modular Recordings and Universal Music Australia are among a number of record labels being sued over hundreds of thousands of unpaid royalties owed to Tame Impala.

Steve Pavlovic, founder of Modular Recordings, is named in reports regarding rights management organisation BMG’s lawsuit. It is claimed that the Australian band are owed over $450,000 (£295,000) in royalties.

SEE MORE: Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker On Swapping Psych-Rock Licks For Daft Punk-Ish Dance On New Album ‘Currents’

Pavlovic is being sued for allegedly witholding the royalty payments as well as “ignoring legal advice to cease and desist selling operations with regard to Tame Impala’s recordings in the lead-up to finally being served with papers filed with the New York Southern District Court early last month.”

According to The Australian, BMG issued a “mechanical license” to Modular in March 2014, which means that Modular would be allowed to handle distribution for Tame Impala’s early EPs plus the albums ‘Innerspeaker’ and ‘Lonerism’. The label does not own the music itself under this agreement and royalties were due to be paid within 45 days of each financial quarter. However, BMG states that this never happened and are now pursuing the money through the courts.

Since The Australian published their first report Universal Music Australia have issued a statement claiming that they should never have been named in the lawsuit and that “a totally separate US registered company — owned and operated by Mr. Pavlovic — is responsible for contracting with BMG and for any mechanicals liability.”

Universal Music Australia also state that Pavlovic is no longer employed by Modular, home to artists including Cut Copy, Wolfmother and Pond in the past. The lawsuit is expected to go to court in New York later this year.

Tame Impala release their third album ‘Currents’ on July 17 following on from 2012’s ‘Lonerism’ and 2010 debut ‘Innerspeaker’. Having already unveiled a 3D video for their album’s lead single, the group have now also issued a ‘live video’ for ”Cause I’m A Man’, featuring puppet versions of themselves playing along to the song. Watch below.

Frontman Kevin Parker recently spoke to NME about the dance-leaning LP, saying, “I wanted to make something that from the sound of it could be down at the club. I just realised that I’d never heard Tame Impala played somewhere with a dancefloor or where people were dancing.”

Tame Impala will play a handful of UK and Ireland dates later this year. They are as follows:

Electric Picnic Festival (September 4)
End Of The Road Festival (5)
Glasgow Barrowland (8)
Liverpool Olympia (9)
Isle of Wight Bestival (10)

To check the availability of Tame Impala tickets and get all the latest listings, head to NME.COM/tickets.