Former Panic! at the Disco bassist Brent Wilson has had nearly three months to decide exactly what he would do in the wake of his abrupt departure from the band he helped form.
And apparently, he’s decided to sue.
On Monday, Wilson and his lawyer began legal proceedings against his former bandmates, mailing Panic! a letter that gave the group 14 days to pay the ousted bassist the royalties he believes he’s owed from sales of the band’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out album. If Panic! does not comply within the two-week deadline, Wilson said, he will take the case to court.
“Basically, I want to get what I deserve: my fair percentage from the album,” Wilson told MTV News. “We sent them the letter as a way of saying, ’Look, if you decide to give me the money I deserve — as it’s written out in the contract we drew up — then, great. If not, well, we’re prepared to go to court.’ ”
While he confirmed the legal action, Wilson declined to tell MTV News the name of his legal representative and said he was amazed that he is already receiving calls for comment on the letter.
“We just started this whole thing, like, three days ago, and honestly, I don’t want my lawyer to be flooded with phone calls he wasn’t expecting,” he said. “But I can promise you that he did send them a letter. We’re just preparing for everything that’s [occurring] right now, because I want all of this to happen the right way.”
A spokesperson for Panic! at the Disco said the band has no comment on the matter, and added that this was the first anyone within the group’s camp has heard about Wilson’s letter.
Wilson said that after he parted ways with Panic! in May, he took several weeks off to let the whole thing blow over — and even after his former bandmates made accusations that he never played a note of music on Fever, he was still unsure about pursuing legal action against them (see “Panic! At The Disco Split Gets Nasty: Band Alleges Wilson Did Not Play On LP” ). But now, Wilson said that enough time has passed, which apparently also means that it’s high time for him to refute the band’s claims.
“I don’t understand why they would say I didn’t play on the record,” he said. “I was there every day at the studio, and I wrote things and I showed [Panic! frontman] Brendon [Urie] how to play certain sections. We had a contract that said that each member got paid individually, so legally I am due my 25 percent from the record.
“I don’t care what people think of Brent Wilson,” he continued. “I honestly don’t care if my reputation has suffered from what they’ve said, or will suffer because of this suit. All I care about is the fact that my supposed friends have f—ed me out of what’s legally mine.”