Bassist Eric Stacy leaves Angels In Vein citing problems with singer Chris VanDahl
Back in late May 2016, the formation of the new “supergroup” Angels In Vein was announced. The Angels In Vein line-up consisted of Chris VanDahl (vocals), Todd “Taz” Anthony (guitars), Stacey Blades (guitars), Eric Stacy (bass) and Troy Patrick Farrell (drums).
The website Decibel Geek posted yesterday what it describes as a press release from former Faster Pussycat bassist Eric Stacy announcing his departure from Angels In Vein.
The following are excerpts from the Decibel Geek article:
“When Eric originally spoke with Stacey Blades about the possibility of working with Chris VanDahl and joining the project, Eric made one statement/demand: “As long as Chris wants to do a BAND, I would love to be part of this project, but I am not interested in being an employee of the Chris VanDahl project”.
At that time, Stacey assured Eric he had spoken with Chris, and was told in no uncertain terms that Chris absolutely wanted a “full band situation, with 5 equal members”. With over 35 years as a professional musician, and a respectful amount of success with Faster Pussycat (which Eric was a part of taking from a club band in Hollywood to an international million selling act), Eric strongly felt that through all his professional experiences he brought a lot to the table being a knowledgeable, positive asset and band member. He knows how to nurture a band from the beginning.”
The Decibel Geek article goes on to give examples of some events that led to Stacy‘s decision to leave Angels In Vein. The following are further excerpts from the Decibel Geek article (without the bullet points):
“With great hopes that this was the beginning of a new BAND, the guys went to work filming two videos, shooting a photo shoot, and answering calls from the press for their many interview requests. However, from the beginning there were differences and disagreements on proposed ideas which should have been collective band decisions. Instead they were being made by VanDahl with no input from the band. Eric had agreed to join on the premise The Band was to be a collective effort with five equal members; it didn’t turn out to be the case. Eric felt strongly that he had everyone’s best interest in mind with his concerns and suggestions. Unfortunately, Eric felt VanDahl was trying to take full control over all decisions and creative direction. Eric had brought this to the band’s attention on several occasions. At one point when Eric tried to discuss with Stacey his concerns, Stacey replied, “I trust Chris implicitly”. So, as it turns out, this was not to be a collective effort, much to Eric’s frustrations. Here are some examples of what drove Eric to make the decision to leave AIV:
The Band’s first attempt to write together was a song Eric had been working on since 2007, which everyone really liked. After recording a demo version and sending it to Taz to mix and master, Eric was very frustrated when the “finished mix” was played for the guys. Gone was the heavy guitar part which served as an intro, as well as a bridge from the choruses back to the verses. The song was now just two parts over and over, it lost its heaviness and attitude.
A merchandise deal was entered into solely by VanDahl without any knowledge or input from the band. And furthermore no ledger or sales have been disclosed to the band to this date.
On many occasions Eric had brought up how the band needed a manager and also needed a contract between the 5 band members, verifying on paper how the shares were going to be split evenly. Although VanDahl agreed to an even split on all but songwriting, any contracts were always put off until “another time”.
When Eric mentioned to Chris that he felt like all the earlier demos recorded by himself and Taz should be rerecorded as a band, with real drums and more of a band feel, les of a generic, digital sound…which would also serve to have any record released be a true recording by Angels in Vein, Chris’s response was “Why? Why spend money on something that’s already done?”…Maybe because it will sound better, more like a band.
One week prior to the launch of the video, the band was asked by Chris to sign a “Talent Release” for the video “1973”. It was a legal document between VanDahl INC (the “Creator”) and the “Talent”. One thing this release was definitely succeeding in was to enforce the idea that VanDahl INC was the company, and the band members were employees. The release was poorly written and didn’t clearly define that this release was only for the video. The point though that needed to be fixed or amended, before Eric felt comfortable to sign the document, was under the section titled “Waiver Assignments”, in Section C) it stated that “The Creator” (VanDahl Inc) had no obligation to pay “The Talent” (The Band) any monies or royalties on any recordings. Eric tried to explain to both Blades and VanDahl that without better defining the word “Recordings”, as it was written, The Creator did not need to pay The Talent for any works done. Since, at this point, the word “Recordings” could have applied to anything, records, DVDs, live albums, digital usage, EPs, etc.. Unfortunately, Eric received back accusations asking: “Do you think someone’s trying to rip you off?” and “”What are you trying to say?”
The final straw was when, through a friend/contact of Eric’s, he arranged for a photo shoot, originally offered to him and only him, for The Grammy’s Program and Auction, to be done of Angels in Vein. The deal was Eric’s contact would get 2 pictures for the Grammy’s, and then the band could use the rest for publicity shots. Like so many other things, before long the locations and specifics of the shoot were done, when Eric next spoke to his friend, she assured him the band had all been spoken to on all the details. When Eric told her the band had never been asked about any of it, she was pretty amazed at the story she was given. I’ll leave the rest up to the reader except to say that when Chris told the band we all needed to sign a release, giving the photographer all rights and ownership of the pictures, due to Chris’s own deal made with the photographer, Eric was done, and it was time to go!”
You can read the entire article at Decibel Geek.