The scandal that was Slapshock lead singer Jamir Garcia being accused of unauthorized cash withdrawals from the band’s royalties from digital sales of songs, as well as misappropriation of talent fees belonging to Slapshock guitarist Jerry Basco, has led to the band’s breakup and a lawsuit filed against Garcia.
When the Daily Tribune broke the news of the band’s breakup and Basco suing Garcia, many people were in disbelief. Some had the gall to call it fake news.
On 21 October, Slapshock bassist Lee Nadela reached out to the Daily Tribune, sending a statement to set the record straight regarding the incidents that triggered the band’s breakup.
A few days earlier, 18 October, Daily Tribune asked Garcia, through his Facebook Messenger, if he would like to comment or give his side of the story. He has not replied.
Roughly on the same date, Garcia posted on his Facebook page something from the Holy Bible: “Proverbs 12:23.”
What the Bible says about Proverbs 12:23 is: “The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.”
Below is the full text of Nadela’s statement:
“When news of our disbandment broke out in the media, there was deafening silence from the band members. I think the Slap Armies have the right to know what really transpired.
“Almost all bands have personal differences among their members, but we have learned to live with whatever conflicts we’ve had. That’s why Slapshock lasted 23 years.
“Honestly, the friction among its members had been brewing for years. The pandemic brought a lot of challenges and taught us a lot of lessons. Friendships, loyalty, intentions, and our sense of brotherhood were tested.
“On May 16, 2020 we released a single called “Sana Pag Gising.” Jerry Basco and I did not record our guitar and bass parts, respectively, on this track. This was the first time that Slapshock has released a song without Jerry playing guitar and I playing bass. I understood, because I thought, maybe, it was because of the pandemic.
“But Jerry and I appeared on the song’s music video. Yet, I did not suspect that Jamir Garcia, Lean Ansing and Chi Evora were laying the ground for total control of the band.
From day 1 of the first album to the last one, we always shared everything equally. We divided our band’s income and royalties equally, and shared album credits as a band as well. We always worked as one unit.
“But the three–Jamir, Lean and Chi–wanted to change everything. Jerry and I found out that they had finished recording a six-song EP that was already in the mixing and mastering stage. They deliberately did not let Jerry and me record our guitar and bass parts. That was unfair, because, in the first place, they never informed us about the whole thing, not even bothering to ask if we were agreeable with the setup they wanted.
“And then they committed the grave mistake of withdrawing band royalties from our account in Tunecore without our permission. Royalty money is a sensitive issue for artists. It is a basic right and every band member is entitled to receive it.
“Jamir, Lean and Chi admitted to me and Jerry that they took and withdrew the royalties all for themselves. To add insult to injury, they reiterated that they were the only ones entitled to it.
“The issue here is not about receiving equal shares of royalty. The point is that they were telling me and Jerry that we would no longer receive any royalties. They wanted to deprive us of that right. They were justifying that, since Jerry and I were not part of the songwriting and recording, then we were not entitled to receive any royalties.
“But how can we be part of the songwriting if they did not inform us at all that they were doing new songs? So, it was crystal clear that Jamir, Lean and Chi wanted full control of Slapshock, and if Jerry and I disagree with their ‘new rules,’ then we can leave the band.
“It was Sept. 14 when we discovered the unauthorized cash withdrawals they made in Tunecore. The next day, Jerry, Lean and I personally met to settle things. Jerry and I told Lean that we have solid evidence against the three of them. We told him that Slapshock would never be the same again. All the years we worked as a unit, like brothers with mutual respect, were gone. We can never work with them again since we cannot trust them anymore.
“Jerry and I proposed that it was time to retire Slapshock and we wanted a graceful exit. Lean agreed, but his hesitation was that we still have a one-year obligation to our major corporate sponsor.
“Jerry and I, in good faith, proposed we will all just sign a Disbandment Agreement now, and then put the validity date effective a year later. That allows the three of them to fulfill Slapshock’s obligation to our corporate sponsor.
We even told them that they can get Jerry’s and my remaining shares of income from our corporate sponsor, so that they can pay the session musicians that they might need when the sponsor holds an event for Slapshock to perform in.
“Before Jerry, Lean and I parted ways, we agreed that the Disbandment Agreement should be confidential. Since we wanted a graceful exit, we would not be telling anyone about it.
“We signed the Disbandment Agreement on 28 September, 2020.
“But something disturbing happened after that. We started hearing stories from common friends and from fans and Armies — they heard that I quit Slapshock and that I influenced and brainwashed Jerry to join me and leave the band.
“Jerry and I cannot accept this version of the story because this is a total lie. Jamir, Lean and Chi are trying to put the blame of the disbandment of Slapshock on me and Jerry — when, in fact, Jamir, Lean and Chi instigated this whole thing. When they took the royalties for themselves, it was like they pressed the disbandment button. The Disbandment Agreement that we signed was a formal ending of our partnership as Slapshock.”