Original KORN drummer David Silveria sued his former bandmates late last month, claiming that his 2006 exit from the group was merely a hiatus and that he was rebuffed when he tried to return to the band in 2013. Silveria says he still has ownership interest in KORN and is asking a judge to force the band to reveal how much money they've made since he left so that he can get his rightful share.
Silveria is said to be especially upset over the fact that KORN welcomed back guitarist Brian "Head" Welch two years ago but wouldn't do the same for him. Welch left the group in 2005 and continued as a solo artist before rejoining in 2013.
Silveria's complaint, which was filed on February 26 in the Superior Court Of The State Of California, reads in part: "Shortly after recording the band's debut album, [James] Schaffer [guitar], [Reggie] Arvizu [bass], Silveria, [Jonathan] Davis [vocals] and Welch formalized the Korn Partnership, by entering into The Korn Partnership agreement dated July 5, 1994. The purpose of the Korn Partnership was to engage in the entertainment, amusement, music, recording and publishing industries, including without limitation, recording commercial records, performing personal appearances in all media and on the live stage, exploiting and merchandising the name and likeness of the partners, the KORN band, and assets owned by the Korn Partnership.
"In or around December 2006, Silveria informed his business partners and the remaining band members that he would be taking a temporary hiatus from the band. Despite Silveria's temporary hiatus as KORN's drummer, Silveria always intended on returning to the band, and under no circumstances did Silveria ever relinquish or abandon his ownership interest in the Korn Partnership, which entitled him to his percentage interest in profits derived partnership assets.
"In or around the summer of 2013, primed and ready to make music once again, Silveria personally reached out to Schaffer, Arvizu, Davis and Welch, through via video message, expressing his desire to return to the band in order to reunite all founding members of KORN, and to set aside any old grudges that may have existed in the past.
"Despite Silveria's impassioned plea, the KORN band members, through their band manager Peter Katsis, informed Silveria that while they appreciated his gesture, they would not allow him to return to the band. Upon receipt of this disappointing news, Silveria then turned to KORN fans to assist with pleading with the band to allow Silveria to return as KORN's drummer. However, to no avail, KORN's band members were steadfast in their refusal to allow Silveria to return.
"Silveria was extremely disappointed that his business partners and former band mates would refuse to allow him to return to a band that he helped build, even though a few months prior the band allowed Welch to return. Silveria's disappointment was exacerbated by the fact that despite personally reaching out to each of his former band mates, he received the news of the band's decision through Katsis.
"Through the use of the Korn Partnership property and Silveria's share of the partnership property, the Korn Partnership has obtained significant professional and commercial success.
"Despite excluding Silveria from all aspects of the partnership business, as a result of failing to respond to Silveria's requests, Davis, Arvizu, Schaffer and Welch have not compensated Silveria for his interest in the partnership property, brand or good will, or his individual property interest in the KORN trade name, trademark or service mark."
Silveria told Rolling Stone magazine in December that he felt it was "wrong" for KORN to play its self-titled debut album without him on its current tour, saying that he had "just as much of a creative input as any of (the other) guys while writing and making (the) record."
KORN has been celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first CD by performing the record in its entirety at select gigs.
After his departure from KORN, Silveria retired to Huntington Beach, California and opened a restaurant.
KORN singer Jonathan Davis told The Pulse Of Radio that he believed Silveria had lost his passion for playing music, saying, "The first two albums, I think, he really enjoyed playing drums and then after that he just lost his love for playing drums. It happens."
Silveria told fans in 2013 that KORN was not the same since he left, saying, "Until they have the real 'funky drummer' it's just not gonna groove the way it could. I've made it clear that I would come back and restore the groove."