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OFF BEAT: Former singer of Anthrax accuses bandmates of defamation

Posted On: Nov. 11, 2011 12:00 AM CST

NEW YORK—Members of the legendary thrash-metal band Anthrax have gone from being “Caught in a Mosh” to being caught in a lawsuit.

According to a New York Post report, Dan Nelson, the band’s former lead singer from 2007 to 2009, has accused drummer Charlie Benante, bassist Frank Bello and guitarist Scott Ian of defaming him in “numerous interviews,” claiming that Mr. Nelson abruptly left the band after falling ill in July 2009, forcing the cancellation of the band’s remaining tour dates that year.

Mr. Nelson denied the reports in 2009, issuing a statement to several music news outlets that he had neither been sick nor resigned from the band. He filed suit against the band’s founding members in a Manhattan federal court on Thursday, seeking $2.65 million in damages resulting from lost income and reputational harm, according to the Post’s report.

The lawsuit also alleges that Mr. Nelson co-wrote several songs on the band’s latest album, “Worship Music,” but hasn’t been given writing credits or a share of the album’s profits. According to blog posts penned by Mr. Ian, the band began working on the album while Mr. Nelson was still in the band in 2008.

New York-based Berdon L.L.P., the band’s accounting firm and a co-defendant in the case, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.