Thursday, August 16, 2012 2:26 PM PT
Drummer Thumps Indie Band With $1M Lawsuit

     (CN) - The drummer for acclaimed indie band Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti says he was squeezed out in violation of the band's partnership agreement.
     Aaron Sperske says he formed an oral partnership in 2008 with multi-instrumentalist Ariel Pink, real name Ariel Rosenberg, keyboardist and guitarist Kenny Gilmore, bassist Tim Koh and non-party guitarist Cole Greif-Neill. Greif-Neill left the partnership of his own accord in 2010, Sperske says.
     The four remaining musicians write songs together and share equally in profits and expenses from tours and CD sales, Sperske claims in federal court in Los Angeles.
     Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti released the critically acclaimed album "Before Today" in 2010.
     And in August, the band will release its second album, "Mature Themes." Sperske says he and the other three band members co-wrote all 12 songs on that record, and claims he owns 25 percent of each song.
     Sperske says he performed "diligently and competently" until his ouster in May.
     Since the band tried to kick him out, Rosenberg, Koh and Gilmore have continued to use the partnership's name to sell tickets to shows, collect income and make arrangements for a national tour to begin in September, Sperske claims.
     Sperske seeks a declaration confirming that he is still a partner in Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and that he is entitled to a share of profits from royalties and performances. He demands $1 million in punitive damages.
     Bridget Hirsch and Evan Cohen are representing Sperske.