As the Calling's lead singer Alex Band and guitarist Aaron Kamin finish work on their as-yet-untitled second album, the two have been hit with a lawsuit by former members Billy Mohler (bass) and Nate Wood (drums).
The pair filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday against Band, Kamin and their management company, citing fraud and mismanagement and asking for an accounting of funds during the time they spent in the group. Mohler and Wood played on three tracks on the Calling's 2001 debut, Camino Palmero ("Nothing's Changed," "Things Don't Always Turn Out That Way" and "Final Answer"), and toured with the group in 2001 and 2002 in the U.S. and overseas.
In the suit, Mohler and Wood allege they were promised a share of the band's royalties as well as money from merchandising and touring, according to one of the lawyers who prepared the suit, Pamela Koslyn. However, they were allegedly told that after two years as hired members of the group they would only receive $700 on top of the $26,000 they had been paid for their two-year stint, Koslyn said.
Band and Kamin are the founders of the group and hired Mohler and Wood to be their rhythm section in 2001, but Koslyn said her clients believed they were members of the band, not hired hands.
"They were not told they were being brought on as session musicians," Koslyn said. "They were also repeatedly told that there were no final accounting numbers and when the tour was over, they were told they would get paid what was owed them, which was $700 each." Koslyn said she believes the band grossed more than $1 million on tour during the time her clients performed more than 175 dates with them and that the group continues to make money on merchandising of T-shirts that feature her clients' images.
A spokesperson for the Calling's label, RCA Records, had no comment on the suit.
Meanwhile, Band and Kamin are in the studio mixing their second album, due in early 2004, according to the RCA spokesperson. A video for the as-yet-unannounced first single will be shot in December, followed by a tour of Europe. Band and Kamin will be back in the U.S. in January and February for a string of dates and promotional appearances. Replacements for Mohler and Wood have not been announced.