Hot WA band Tame Impala 'stung for $500,000'

Simon Collins Music Editor
Tame Impala's Kevin Parker.

A record label boss is being sued for allegedly ripping off Perth rock band Tame Impala of more than $500,000.

German music giant BMG filed documents in a New York court last month claiming Sydney-based label Modular Recordings owes Tame Impala at least $US450,000 ($588,150) in unpaid royalties for US sales of their self-titled EP and two albums.

All the songs were written by band frontman Kevin Parker, except two written with bandmate Jay Watson.

Parker hinted at the unpaid royalties on online message board Reddit in April.

"Up until recently, from all of Tame Impala's record sales outside of Australia, I had received zero dollars," the Fremantle musician said in a question and answer session with fans.

"Someone high up spent the money before it got to me."

BMG, Parker's publisher, is suing Modular, parent company Universal Music and Steve Pavlovic, who founded the label in 1998. In a statement yesterday, Universal Music Australia rejected the claim by BMG.

The major label said a separate US company owned and operated by Mr Pavlovic, who is no longer employed by Modular Recordings, was responsible for licensing Tame Impala's recordings for sale in the US.