Sunday, November 14, 2004
The lead singer of the socially conscious punk-metal band Amen (left) has apparently fired his bandmates—or they quit, it’s not clear—after they asked him to sign a contract under which he (a) would promise not to cause or threaten physical harm to themselves or audience members, and (b) would give them shares of the band’s merchandise sales. The contract was apparently too crassly commercial for leader Casey Chaos, who refused to sign.
Ex-guitarist Matt Montgomery had been with the band two years and had been paid only $2,800 during that time. "All that was ever asked from the band," he said, "was a band agreement that would split any profits from gigs and [merchandise] evenly so we could survive. That was apparently too much to ask."
According Chaos (a/k/a Casey Chmielinski), the proposed contract "is the antithesis of what this band is about." He accused his Montgomery and the other bandmates of being interested only in the money.
The text of the obnoxious contract (from Blabbermouth net, which also is collecting fan reactions):
"The following will constitute the terms of agreement dated April 6, 2004 between Casey Chaos p/k/a 'AMEN' ('Casey') on the one hand, and Rich Jones, Matt Montgomery, Scott S. Sorry and Luke Johnson on the other hand (individually and collectively, 'Band Member(s)'), with respect to Band Members rendering their services in connection with live performances. For good and valuable consideration of which the parties acknowledge, the parties hereto agree as follows:
"1. Subject to the terms below, the Band Members agree that they shall continue to render services as performers with respect to all live performances and other promotional activities (collectively 'Tour') in connection with the band 'AMEN' as currently scheduled.
"2. Casey agrees that:
"(a) At no time during the Tour will he cause or threaten to cause any physical harm to the Band Members, himself, the crew or any audience member, unless for purposes of self-defense. In the event that such breach occurs, each Band Member will have the right to immediately stop rendering services in connection with the Tour and AMEN.
"(b) 'Net receipts' in connection with sales of AMEN merchandise earned during the Tour will be split equally among the Band Members. In the event that the Band Members stop rendering their services pursuant to a breach by Casey hereunder, then they shall be entitled to such 'net receipts' earned up to the date of such resignation with a minimum total amount equal to Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000). As used herein, 'net receipts' shall mean gross proceeds actually received by AMEN from sales at live performances less any applicable venue charge and other costs and expenses incurred in connection with such tour sales (e.g., tour sales employees, costs of manufacturing, third party royalties, third party commissions, etc.).
"3. This agreement contains the entire understanding of the parties hereto relating to the subject matter hereof and cannot be changed or terminated except by an instrument signed by both parties. All remedies, rights, undertakings, obligations, and agreements contained in this agreement shall be cumulative and none of them shall be in limitation of any other remedy, right, undertaking, obligation or agreement of either party. The parties hereto specifically acknowledge that they have been advised to seek their own independent counsel concerning the interpretation and legal effect of this agreement and each party has either obtained such counsel or has intentionally refrained from doing so and has knowingly and voluntarily waived such right.
"IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this agreement to be executed effective as of the first date appearing above.