Lord Graham Pyre Addresses Dispute With Stuka Squadron
Bassist and founder of Stuka Squadron, Lord Graham Pyre, publicly addressed the current dispute with former members stemming from his split with the band. The band formerly known as Stuka Squadron changed its name to Iron Knights and will release the album "New Sound of War" on November 26, 2012.
Pyre has assumed the official website and is set to launch the sequel to the first Squadron album "Tales From the Ost" (See Metal Underground.com's review at this location) entitled "Project Vulcan." The album is expected through Iron Crown Records soon.
The statement regarding the ongoing dispute (found here), reads as follows:
"Dear legionaries, vampires and metalheads
"As some of you will know I am in dispute with some members of the band formerly known as Stuka Squadron. I do understand that some of you will also be angry because of allegations representatives of the band have made on public forums. I will now endeavour to explain and answer some of these points.
"I founded the band which became Stuka Squadron in late 2007, inviting James Duke Fang to join me on what became the 'We Drink Blood' EP. We later took the decision to form a band. From the beginning the band's concept and direction was entirely based around my ideas. These were not joint ideas and, in fact, I was resisted at every step. I created the look and stage show and went on to write all of the songs on the first album - songs that many of you like. Almost all of the lyrics and the riffs were written by me. On the few occasions I had help from other band members this is indicated in the album credits.
"I also paid for the vast majority of the recordings and other things out of my own pocket when they were needed - for example the red 'We Drink Blood' shirts, patches not to mention this website. I also turned down several very highly paid jobs to concentrate on the band. This influence continued until the recent album - where I devised the concept and ideas such as the 'First Legion'. In terms of commitment, for two years I drove from Holland to London, sometimes every weekend for rehearsals and gigs.
"A long time prior to the recording of the recent album (which I wasn't happy with either in terms of the music or the studio) it became clear that elements within the band and management were intent on forcing me out of the project that I had started, which had been directed and managed by me for years and which I had spent vast amounts on. For this reason I trademarked the name.
"I was eventually forced out of the band on spurious grounds (not being up to their standard - get over yourselves guys, THAT is ridiculous) via a brief email message. I requested a meeting with the band to ensure that my songs and ideas would be protected but they failed to meet me and my messages were ignored. I did not think it was fair that the band should still be using my ideas and songs if they could not even be bothered to contact me, nor that they were taking money for things I had paid for myself without paying me a penny, while also libeling me on the internet. Because they were ignoring me I was forced to engage a lawyer to advise me.
"The band have stated that I tried to prevent the release of the album, which is untrue. They have also stated that they have been forced to change their name to 'Iron Knights' - actually one of my lyrics. I also offered to let them continue with the 'Stuka Squadron' name, but they elected not to do so.
"I would like to point out that I was devastated on leaving the band, and that I am now sad to see that Stuka Squadron is no more - which I think was avoidable. However I think that changing the name was the right thing to do as the current act is playing a different style of music and has increasingly little in common with the Stuka Squadron of old.
"For me the worst part of this dispute is that it has affected the fans' enjoyment of the project, so I would like to apologize to them on behalf of everyone involved. To make it up to you I intend to present you with a sequel to 'Tales of the Ost' which sounds more like the original band and which features at least FIVE new songs. Because this is for YOU - the fans - I cordially invite ANY former Squadron members to assist me in this task with the sole stipulation that neither ADL Management nor Metalbox Recordings are involved in any way.
"I have a few more legal issues to address, but am confident that these will be resolved shortly. As soon as this is complete I will cheerfully offer Iron Knights my full support, particularly James Duke Fang and Gravedigger Cox, due to our long standing former friendship and long years of joint service to the cause of METAL.
"I salute you all and will return shortly."
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