In 2009, Live surprised fans with news that frontman Ed Kowalczyk had been fired from the band. According to FMQB's report, guitarist Chad Taylor told fans in an e-newsletter announcing the decision that "Kowalczyk had secretly legally maneuvered control of the band's company from a majority vote to just the singer's control in 2005."
Since then, Ed Kowalczyk embarked on a solo career (he just released his second album), and Live has toured with new singer Chris Shinn.
Rolling Stone chatted with Kowalczyk about his solo career and his split from Live. Kowalczyk revealed the rift happened once the band went on hiatus in 2009 when the other four guys first sued him over the aforementioned maneuvering control over the company.
They sued me [over] this years-old publishing agreement that we had totally agreed to already. All of a sudden there was this loophole or this problem with it. I'd always been the writer, always wrote the lyrics, melodies and most of the music in Live, and I wanted to have my own publishing company and not a joint one. I wanted to move on and start another aspect of my recording career with the solo records, and they totally agreed to it back in 2006.
Kowalczyk says he has since received what he calls a "malicious program" of legal notices from the other members of Live on important personal occasions like the day his first solo album dropped, his birthday, and Christmas Eve.
A second lawsuit over trademark infringement forced Ed Kowalczyk to change the way he self-promotes. "Ed Kowalczyk of Live" is off-limits now, but "formerly of Live" is allowed.
Kowalcyzk explains he maintained his silence for so long as a means of taking the high road. He said, "Those guys were being horrible online, just vitriolic and really nasty."
Also, he points out Live's lack of transparency about their lineup, particularly concerning new singer Chris Shinn.
And they're not being real clear about who's in it anymore. They obfuscate that it's not the real band. They don't say that it's not the original [lineup]. They just kind of go out and surprise people, and it's really sort of lame.
Click here for Rolling Stone's full interview with Ed Kowalczyk.
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