Back You are here: Home News Parker, Pav, and Tame Impala's Missing Millions

Parker, Pav, and Tame Impala's Missing Millions

Back in May, Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker turned a few heads when he revealed during his Reddit AMA he has seen practically nothing of his overseas album sales. Not that long ago, such a comment would have gone unnoticed, buried perhaps beneath the reveal of a new song, ‘Disciples’, from upcoming third LP Currents. But artist rights and the cost of music is a salient topic currently, driven by the mass proliferation of streaming services and piracy concerns, and so it is that Parker’s offhand comments have opened up a Pandora’s Box of sorts.

How best to start untangling this messy web of money, labels and lawsuits? German music behemoth BMG owns the rights to Tame Impala’s music. They sold a subsidiary license (known as a mechanical license) to Modular Recordings, allowing for the reproduction of Impala’s music on CD and vinyl on the condition of quarterly royalties being paid. Well, that’s likely the money that’s gone missing, so BMG are suing the founder of Modular Recordings, a Mr. Steve ‘Pav’ Pavlovic, for almost $600 000 in damages. As co-owners of Modular, Universal Music Australia has also been roped into the lawsuit, which has been filed in a New York court.

However, UMA and Modular Recordings both completely deny suggestions of wrongdoing, claiming that Pavlovic entered into an agreement with BMG through “a totally separate US-registered company” not affiliated with UMA or Modular. This is seemingly corroborated by UMA’s claim that they’ve not yet seen any documents relating to the case or been contacted by BMG. UMA also states that Pavlovic has apparently confirmed UMA and Modular’s innocence in the matter, but then they would say that, wouldn’t they?

This isn’t the first time Pavlovic has skirmished with UMA and Modular- they are currently locked in a convoluted and lengthy copyright battle in Australian courts. And it also seems this isn’t the first time Pavlovic has had his hands in the till. UMA has subsequently claimed that Pavlovic also “wrongfully retained for his own benefit” an advance repayment by another Modular artist. Modular has formerly boasted Australian acts such as The Presets, Cut Copy, Wolfmother and Architecture in Helsinki. It’s not clear who this supposed second batch of cash came from, though.

It’s indicative of the times, though, that such an issue is receiving such widespread coverage. Jay Z’s controversial streaming service, Tidal, has done more than most to drive debate on artist remuneration, and it’s something that is often disagreed upon even amongst artists themselves. But ignoring what’s fair for the artist, it’s definitely not fair for some corporate fat-cat to funnel money away from a great modern Australian band like Tame Impala. It’s why UMA, Modular and Pavlovic will continue to hot-potato the blame: whoever is responsible will lose a lot more money than they ever gained through lack of business and industry suspicion. I hope they (probably Pavlovic, but still a little early to say) get what’s coming.

Subsequent developments have acted to almost crowd out Kevin Parker from events. But we should all take the time now to congratulate him on handling a less than ideal situation with grace and a healthy sense of perspective. Kevin Parker has once again shown he is one of the most forward thinking musicians of our generation, by simply espousing the basics: love, collect and treasure music in any way and as much as possible.

Related Articles

Our Community

  • Facebook
  • instagram
  • Twitter
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Google+

Contact Us

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.