Ill Niño Vocalist and Guitarists Say They Haven’t Left the Group, Begin Legal Battle for Band’s Name

  • Axl Rosenberg

Congratulations to Ill Niño, who today join a fine lineage of distinguished bands — including Entombed, Gorgoroth, Queensrÿche, and L.A. Guns — whose members have gotten into a legal dispute over who owns the b(r)and name.

You may recall that yesterday, a revamped version of Ill Niño released a new song, “Sangre.” That version of the band included longtime members Dave Chavarri (drums), Lazaro Pina (bass), and Daniel Couto (percussion) along with with new singer Marcos Leal (Shattered Sun) and new guitarists Jess Dehoyos (Sons of Texas) and Sal Dominguez (ex-Upon a Burning Body). The group remained vague as to why frontman Cristian Machado and guitarists Ahrue Luster and Diego Verduzco had left the fold, although the language they used suggested it was less-than-amicable: “Being in a band is much like being married, and sometimes people grow apart, and no longer see eye to eye, and a separation becomes inevitable.” 

Now Machado has released a statement to Blabbermouth saying… well, here, read for yourself:

“To all our family, friends, and fans, contrary to what you may have heard, Ahrue, Diego and I have NOT left Ill Niño and remain very dedicated to the band and all our fans. We’re excited to be working on new music, partnerships, and opportunities. We will have more info for you all soon.”

Blabbermouth goes on to report that the band members are now embroiled in a legal battle over who can and cannot call themselves ‘Ill Niño’:

“Public records indicate that Machado, Luster and Verduzco — comprising the majority of the band’s company, Ill Niño LLC — filed a trademark application on November 6, 2018 in the United States to gain protection for the Ill Niño name. One week later, Pina filed a request for express abandonment ‘without the authorization, knowledge and consent of the LLC.’ According to Machado, Luster and Verduzco, the request for express abandonment was submitted in bad faith with the purpose of assisting Chavarri claim sole ownership of Ill Niño. Chavarri had filed shortly after the LLC a separate application alleging that he alone is the owner of the mark Ill Niño. Machado, Luster and Verduzco have since petitioned the director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to withdraw the express abandonment filed by Pina and reinstate the LLC’s original application.”

It will likely take a minute for our wonderful U.S. legal system to resolve this matter. In the meantime, we could end up in a situation where we have not one but two Ill Niños. What did we ever do to be so lucky?

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