The members of rock group Garbage have filed suit against Universal Music & Video Distribution, Universal Music Group (UMG), MCA Records, Almo Sounds, and Radioactive Records, alleging that UMG is

The members of rock group Garbage have filed suit against Universal Music & Video Distribution, Universal Music Group (UMG), MCA Records, Almo Sounds, and Radioactive Records, alleging that UMG is using "wrongful, monopolistic, and strong-arm tactics" in its attempts to keep the act with the company, Billboard Bulletin reports.

In a suit filed Monday (Jan. 29) in California Superior Court in Los Angeles, the group says it had a "key man" clause with Almo Sounds founder Jerry Moss, and that once the executive was no longer part of the company, the band was free to terminate its contract.

Moss retired after UMG acquired a controlling interest in Almo, according to the suit. The filing also states that after Garbage notified UMG in October 2000 of its intent to leave the label, the company denied that Moss was no longer chairman.

Furthermore, the suit says, UMG stated that Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson is bound to the company because of a contract she signed with UMG-distributed Radioactive in 1993 as a member of the group Angelfish. When Garbage's career took off, Radioactive allowed Manson to perform with the band and negotiated for a share of the royalties.

Garbage seeks a declaration that the Almo and Radioactive agreements are unenforceable and, therefore, the act is released from its obligations. The group has been working on its third studio album for some time; its previous set, "Version 2.0," debuted at No. 13 on The Billboard 200 in May 1998.

A UMG spokesman says, "The case is meritless.""

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print