The members of Ill Niño have reached a settlement in a lawsuit over who gets to use the band’s name.
This “mutual, amicable and binding agreement” allows drummer Dave Chavarri and bassist Laz Pina to use the Ill Niño name, essentially forcing vocalist Cristian Machado, lead guitarist Ahrue “Luster” Ilustre and rhythm guitarist Diego Verduzco to move on from the band.
“No party has admitted fault and there has been no court judgment on the merits,” reads a statement from all original members. “The parties entered into a confidential settlement agreement.”
The debacle started back in January 2019 when Chavarri and Pina announced that Shattered Sun’s Marcos Leal (vocals), Sons of Texas’ Jes DeHoyos (lead guitar) and Upon A Burning Body’s Sal Dominguez (rhythm guitar) would be joining Ill Niño, releasing a new song, “Sangre,” to christen the new line-up. Said Chavarri about the split, “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.”
However, Machado, Ilustre and Verduzco denied that they had left the band, telling Blabbermouth, “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.” Two months later, the three sued Chavarri and Pina for use of the Ill Niño name, accusing them, according to Blabbermouth, “of failing to pay the band’s tour rental company and engineers, slandering Machado by spreading rumors that he has a drug problem, collecting and spending the band’s money without consulting in all of the members and refusing the members access to the group’s financial records.” Chavarri countersued, denying all of these accusations, making even more of their own and attempting to acquire sole ownership of the band’s name.
Outside of “Sangre,” Ill Niño has not released a new album since Till Death, La Familia in 2014. The band celebrated the 15th anniversary of their debut album, Revolution Revolución, in 2017.