Quinn Allman, a founding member and former lead guitarist for The Used, an alt-rock band with origins in Orem, is suing his old band and bandmates, contending they owe him touring, album and merchandise proceeds that occurred before his dismissal from the band in 2015.
He is also seeking damages for late and irregular royalty payments due him, saying his finances and credit have been hurt by alleged unlawful tactics intended to get him to accept unfavorable terms in a proposed termination agreement.
Allman founded The Used with Jeph Howard and Branden Steineckert in Orem in 2001. They later recruited lead singer Bert McCracken. (Steineckert left the band in 2006.) The band became one of the most buzzworthy acts of the early 2000s, with MTV News saying, “In less than a year, The Used have gone from total obscurity to budding rock stars.” Their sophomore album, “In Love and Death,” peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200. Several albums have achieved platinum or gold sales status.
In 2015, more than a decade after he founded The Used, Allman said he was kicked out of the band, several months after he requested a personal break from touring when his father-in-law died and his mother was assaulted.
Two years after Allman’s departure, the lawsuit alleges the band continues to profit “primarily from Allman’s work and contribution” without adequately compensating him.
LaShel Shaw, an attorney with the firm Parr Brown Gee & Loveless, which is representing Allman, said in a phone interview that the guitarist’s precarious financial situation, due to the band’s failure to make payments owed him on a regular basis, has hampered his ability to move forward with other music projects.
“Quinn is a very talented musical artist, and just from looking at his résumé, you can see he’s able to do really interesting things in the industry,” Shaw said. “This will finally free him up to pursue other ventures.”
She declined to specify how much Allman was seeking, but noted “it’s a significant amount.” The lawsuit states, “Allman has been harmed by these actions in an amount to be proven at trial, but in no event less than $250,000.”
When he left the band in 2014, the members publicly announced that they were “hopeful for the time he rejoins us on the road,” according to the suit. Justin Shekoski, a guitarist with the alt-rock band Saosin, began to tour with The Used, at Allman’s recommendation.
According to the lawsuit, when the band played an April 2015 show in Salt Lake City, where Allman lives, McCracken told Allman in a text message he wasn’t welcome to attend. The next month, McCracken told him, “We don’t want things to go back to the way they were before.”
Allman said when he asked the band’s manager if he was being kicked out, the manager said, “I think so.”
Shekoski was subsequently named a permanent member of the lineup, and in September 2015, Allman said he received a termination agreement to sign away his membership in the corporate entities the band operates through The Used, LLC, and Burning Touring Inc.
He didn’t sign it, he said, because it didn’t include severance or allow him control of his royalty payments for his 13 years with the band.
It also failed to acknowledge that, as the lawsuit states, “Allman’s creative and business contributions were critical to the band’s success.”
Allman wrote many of the songs performed on that tour, in addition to songs recorded for the October 2015 album, “Live & Acoustic at the Palace,” from which he hasn’t received authorship royalties. The lawsuit states he also has not received payment for the 2015 tours and merch sales that occurred while he was still a member of the band.
Allman also contributed to filming the band’s DVDs, creating music video and album cover designs.
When he receives royalty checks, they come sometimes months or weeks after fellow former band member Steineckert receives his. The lawsuit alleges the erratic payments are meant to put “financial pressure” on Allman to sign the termination agreement.
Allman is suing for an order to dissolve The Used, LLC, in addition to damages caused by his exit from the band. The complaint was filed Monday in Utah’s Third Judicial District Court. A court date hasn’t yet been scheduled.
Requests for comment made to the band, its management and its publicity team were not immediately answered.