May 28 [14:00 EDT] — Trauma Records has filed suit against its distributor, Interscope Records, in a legal tug-of-war that places No Doubt smack dab in the middle of the fray.
The independent label (which counts Bush and Shaquille O’Neal among its roster of performers) claims that Interscope assigned No Doubtís contract to the smaller Trauma when the band was an unknown entity. The suit goes on to claim that once Trauma expended their own time and energy to make No Doubt’s “Tragic Kingdom,” a multi-platinum seller, Interscope balked at the previous agreement, and claimed that No Doubt was a part of the Interscope roster. The band itself is not named as a party in the lawsuit.
In the suit, Trauma charges Interscope (which also distributes Death Row Records) with breech of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and termination of the label agreement. The suit is seeking damages in excess of $100,000,000.
In supporting its claims, Trauma points to music
industry publications like the fall 1996 issue of “Pollstar” which listed No Doubt as part of the indie label’s roster. Trauma also notes numerous article in which the band cites their work with the smaller label.
“To make a long story short, we switched over to Trauma, and itís really great for us, because now we have the attention and the focus of a small indie label,” No Doubt’s Tony Kanal is quoted as saying in the December 1995 issue of the Southern California magazine “Mean Street.”