The following article appeared in today's edition of The Edmonton Sun:
Against its record label, MP3 swappers and even a French perfume company, the monster metal band METALLICA has been involved in many controversial legal battles.
Now its sights are aimed at the Edmonton punk band called ... METALLICA.
The California former heavy metal group sent a letter to the local METALLICA through a lawyer at the Los Angeles-based firm of anatt, Phelps & Phillips, promising serious action if the Alberta band doesn't change its name by Friday.
"Your use of METALLICA is particularly astonishing to the band, given that you have admitted in at least one interview that 'you know you are not allowed to use the name,' " wrote lawyer Jill M. Pietrini, in an e-mail to bass player and singer Blair William Piggott.
Pietrini is a familiar name to anyone who followed the real METALLICA's tug of war with Napster and its users. Many fans worldwide reacted negatively.
Piggott denies the name has any immediate causal connection to the Napster incidents, though agrees it's another way the band has lost connection to its fans.
While talking to their lawyer about passing a CD along to the first METALLICA, Piggott says he was told it was against METALLICA's corporate policy to accept "unsolicited material."
"I said, 'What are you talking about, you're suing us?' There's solicitation. They were once really in touch with the sexual frustration of the pimply high school kid.
"Now you can't even get them to listen to your music!"
Before saying whether the band would drop the name by deadline, Piggott then said he had to consult a friend in L.A. "who's had a lot of trouble with the media: Axl Rose. We'll take it from there.
"Second to Jesus, he's the voice of the next generation."
"I think in most cases art reflects life, but in this instance, in this moment... life reflects art. That is clearly why we called ourselves METALLICA,'' added Rock 'n' Roll Pat, the band's guitarist.
But the California band is stern in response.
"METALLICA could recover significant monetary damages and obtain an injunction against any further acts of infringement, both in the U.S. and in Canada," the letter, sent out in an e-mail from Piggott, says.
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, meanwhile, did not comment before deadline.
"We'll get back to you," a spokesman said from L.A.