Tame Impala front man, Kevin Parker in his Fremantle Studio.   Picture: Bill Hatto  27 November 2013  The West Australian   ***  ***

Tame Impala suing record label for more than $500 000

“Up until recently, from all of Tame Impala’s record sales outside of Australia, I had received…. zero dollars. Someone high up spent the money before it got to me.”

That’s what Kevin Parker of Tame Impala told fans on his Reddit AMA about a month ago, in response to a question about people who download and stream his music for free. Now, we find out that there’s more to the story.

The founder of Australian record label Modular is being sued by BMG over the unpaid royalties for Tame Impala’s music. The West Australian says that if they win, Steve ‘Pav’ Pavlovic will fork over $588,150 to cover the costs of the sales of their self-titled EP and two albums InnerSpeaker and Lonerism in the US. An official complaint has been lodged with a New York court, stating the damages and asking for a trial.

But, is it true?

In a statement to The Music Network, the label’s owner Universal Music Australia claimed that the lawsuit had nothing to do with Modular, and was instead concerned with a different label in the US. They have denounced the lawsuit as “baseless” and said that it “will be withdrawn or dismissed by the Court.”

Here is the full statement:

Universal Music Australia is aware of media reports concerning a legal claim filed against Mr Pavlovic and certain companies, including Universal Music Australia and Modular Recordings.

No documents relating to the legal claim have been served on Universal Music Australia or Modular Recordings. It is unfortunate that Universal Music Australia and Modular Recordings were not contacted by BMG about the allegations before the case was filed. Had they been contacted, BMG would have realised that the companies should not have been named in the legal claim.

Universal Music Australia and Modular Recordings totally reject the claim made by BMG that they are in any way liable for unpaid mechanical royalties relating to the band Tame Impala. Universal Music Australia and Modular Recordings were not involved in contracting with BMG over mechanicals for sales of Tame Impala recordings in the United States.

A totally separate US registered company – owned and operated by Mr Pavlovic – is responsible for contracting with BMG and for any mechanicals liability. Mr Pavlovic, who is no longer employed by Modular Recordings, has confirmed that this matter has nothing to do with Universal Music Australia or Modular Recordings in Australia.

Universal Music Australia and Modular Recordings are confident that the claim against them is baseless and will be withdrawn or dismissed by the Court.

Tame Impala will be hitting home soil for Spendour In The Grass next month. Their upcoming album Currents will be out the week before on July 17th.