Forced by court order to change its name, a made-for-TV rock band featuring Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee made its commercial music debut on Thursday as Rock Star: Supernova — the title of the CBS show that spawned it.
The new group, which also includes former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted and onetime Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, originally had planned to call itself simply Supernova.
But a lesser-known band that has claimed that name for 17 years filed a trademark infringement suit last month, and a federal judge in San Diego this week ordered Lee’s band to find another name pending the outcome of the case.
Thus, a day after Toronto native Lukas Rossi was plucked from obscurity and crowned the band’s lead singer on the finale of “Rock Star: Supernova,” the quartet issued its first two singles under its lengthier, somewhat awkward, new moniker.
“It’s going to be Rock Star: Supernova. That’s their actual name,” said Natalie Geday-Sorem, a spokeswoman for the group’s label, Epic Records.
The first two songs — “It’s All Love” and “Be Yourself & 5 Other Cliches” — were made available for digital download from the online music store Yahoo! Music Unlimited (www.music.yahoo.com).
Epic Records plans to release the group’s debut album on Nov. 21, with the foursome slated to launch a 28-city North American tour in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve.
Geday-Sorem added that the label, a unit of Sony BMG Entertainment, was counting on more than just one album and tour from the band.
“It’s a permanent thing,” she told Reuters. “Once they get off their tour, they’re going to go right back into the studio and start to write more material.”
For now, the name Supernova will belong exclusively to the Southern California trio best known for contributing the song “Chewbacca” to the cult film “Clerks.”
That group, consisting of Jodey Lawrence, Art Mitchell and David Collins, has recorded four albums since forming in 1989.