Claiming it owns the recording contract to hugely successful rock act No Doubt, Trauma Records has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Interscope Records, its distributor. Trauma also seeks to have its joint-venture agreement with the potent label terminated.
In the 18-page complaint filed Tuesday in L.A. Superior Court, Trauma asserts that Interscope is attempting to “disrupt and harm” its business and paints a picture of a David vs. Goliath battle, with Trauma getting pushed around by the powerful Interscope.
“The lawsuit was filed because Interscope reneged on a prior agreement on hindsight after seeing how successful a band has become,” Trauma attorney Skip Miller told Daily Variety. “Interscope didn’t want the band and we have the agreement assigning No Doubt to Trauma confirmed in all kinds of correspondence.”
Interscope, run by Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field, has become a powerhouse label thanks to its success with a wide variety of artists. Iovine could not be reached for comment.
Though best known as the distributor of controversial rap artists from its deal with Death Row Records, Interscope has been successful in most genres and is about to bow a gospel act that has the industry buzzing over its potential.
Among the lawsuit’s 10 causes of action, Trauma asserts breach of contract, fraud and extortion, among other claims, most of which revolve around the recording contract of No Doubt that Trauma says it was assigned in 1995 when Interscope didn’t know what to do with the band.
The Buy-Sell provision of Trauma’s deal with Interscope would also be adversely affected if No Doubt was not considered a Trauma act.
The extortion claim centers on Trauma’s claims that Interscope threatened to deny the existence of a modification of its joint-venture pact and cut off funding if a lawsuit was filed.
No Doubt has sold nearly 10 million copies of its third album “Tragic Kingdom” as a result of what Trauma claims was its “time, energy and creativity to performing A&R, promotion and marketing for the album.”
Trauma, which also boasts Bush on its roster, has sold more than 21 million albums over the past 30 months.