By Scott T. Sterling
The Lumineers have been hit with a lawsuit from a former band member looking for a share in the band’s sizable royalties, thanks to the breakout success of such hit singles as “Ho Hey,” which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, former Lumineers member Jason Van Dyke filed the suit on May 22, claiming that the band’s Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites promised equal partnership and co-authorship credits when he was recruited to join the group.
According to the suit, Van Dyke joined when the group was kicking around the New York area still known as “6 Cheek,” and was there when the name was changed to “Wesley Jeremiah” before finally settling on the Lumineers. He also claims that he was the one who encouraged the band to hit the college circuit and employ a manager.
Musically, the suit addresses Van Dyke’s claims to have been an integral part of the band’s songwriting process, and seeks co-authorship for nine of the group’s songs, including “Scotland,” which is currently used as the theme song for TV show Reign.
“In biographic and publicity materials that routinely accompany the numerous record releases of Schultz and Fraites’s current band, Van Dyke has been ostracized and rendered ‘invisible’ through a false narrative,” reads the lawsuit. “Schultz and Fraites promote false claims that they developed the band and its original material in Denver, with no mention whatsoever of Van Dyke’s significant involvement in developing the band and the Compositions.”
While the band has yet to comment on the legal action, they’re set to make an appearance at this year’s Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Del., scheduled for the weekend of June 19-22.