Newsbites: Muse dismiss rock opera lawsuit
Muse have responded to a copyright infringement lawsuit by branding it “complete nonsense.” The band are accused of stealing the idea for their Exogenesis tracks on 2009 album The Resistance by songwriter Charles Bollfrass, who also claims they stole their cover art idea from his rock opera storyboards. Now a band spokesman says: “The claim is categorically denied. It appears to be based on a ‘screenplay’ the band never received or saw, produced by someone the band has never heard of. It speaks volumes that the album in question was released a full three years ago – and this is the first that has been heard of these allegations.”
Meanwhile, a New York judge has forbidden the Velvet Underground from claiming copyright infringement by the Andy Warhol Foundation over their famous banana image. The band’s lawyers say the artist’s estate had no right to license the image for use in iPhone and iPad products. But the Velvet Underground are continuing to pursue the foundation over trademark infringement.
The Wildhearts will perform for the first time in three years at London’s Kentish Town Forum on December 17 to mark frontman Ginger’s 47th birthday.
Geoff Tate has confirmed his solo album will be called Kings And Thieves and is released on October 29. The singer, who’s now fronting his own version of Queensryche while the one that sacked him exists alongside, says: “My goal was to make a solid rock album. I wanted it to be an album that I could play live – you need to create a show that has a lot of dynamics to it and takes people on a ride.”
Jack White believes festivals are a necessary evil. He explains: “They’re not my favourite place to play. There’s all these pros to them – you get exposure to people who would never come and see you and the organisers offer bands a lot of money so they can’t say no. But everyone’s drinking and lazing in the sun and walking around. That’s a fun thing for them but it’s not interesting for me.” [BBC]
BB King will release a multi-format career retrospective to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his signing to ABC-Paramount Records in 1962. The 194-track collection consists of 10 CDs with a 72-page hardback book and features unseen photos and unreleased recordings. It will also be available in cut-down 4CD set and digital formats. Ladies And Gentleman… Mr BB King is released on September 24.
Rush drummer Neil Peart says he lost 10 pounds in weight during rehearsals for the band’s Clockwork Angels tour, which kicked off at the weekend and surprised fans with the addition of eight guest musicians. Peart jokes: “Obvious business opportunity – do you want to lose weight and tone your entire body from nose to toes? Sign up now for the fabulous Bubba Drum Workout!” [New York Times]
The Union have launched a pledge drive to fund their third album, to be called The World Is Yours and set for release on February 11 next year. They say: “Whatever you pledge, you’ll receive a pre-order download. There will also be a number of rare, signed and VIP goodies on offer. A percentage of proceeds will also go to Childline Rocks.” As with all pledges, no money is taken until 100% of the target is reached. Find out more.
Yngwie Malmsteen has become a patron of Rock The House, a battle-of-the-bands style music promotion run by Members of Parliament in the UK. Bands who want to take part need to be nominated by their local MP and progress towards a showcase on the Terrace of the House of Commons. Malmsteen says: “It’s for a great cause – I’m very honoured.” Mike Weatherley MP, who founded the contest, adds: “I’m delighted. I know Yngwie personally and as an influential guitarist from listening to his work.”