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Whittier, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Whittier, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Funk




"New Music: ViceVersa"

ViceVersa’s Funk Your Face has nothing to do with Uptown Funk and comes from a band who describe themselves as a psychedelic funk trio. This means there’s a serious focus on the bass (almost a solo, almost) as well as frazzled edges and some definite punk. Basically, hard to pigeon hole, all excellent from this LA, multi sex trio. Buy it now. - SupaJam

"ViceVersa -"Funk Your Face" Video"

Los Angeles band ViceVersa release video for their new single "Funk Your Face"

Whittier, CA. based psychedelic funk trio ViceVersa release the official music video to their new single "Funk Your Face" on February 2nd 2015.

"Funk Your Face" is the first track to be taken from a forthcoming studio album which is being recorded and slated for release later this year. The track was written, arranged, and produced by band members; Zeke Zeledon, Sarah Corza and Ariel Fredrickson, who takes lead vocals, on this highly charged and infectious track that was penned by the trio following the increasing tension and outpouring of social injustice in Los Angeles.

The band wanted the “Funk Your Face” video to capture the raw energy of their live performances and performed the track in a single take. ViceVersa are on course to solidify their influence across the urban music scene and poised to break new ground toward mainstream appeal.

ViceVersa's 2014 freshman EP title "000" consisted of four original tracks – “Love The Way,” “Get Down,” “Soulja,” and “Next One” and was released in both premium vinyl record and digital download. - News Wire

"ViceVersa's : "Head""

Relentless punk song from ViceVersa, a band that can do a lot more than just punk—get ready for one full minute of purified shreddery and then some at the song’s end! This is the lead track from their Vol. 2 EP, releasing at a party this Saturday with Thee Commons and Death Valley Girls at Da Dank in Whittier—all info here! - LA RECORD

"ViceVersa LIVE"

Teenage rockers from nowheresville with at least two Stooges records — that’s a formula that’s almost always gonna work, and this time the result is ViceVersa, a Whittier warehouse–based trio of wild-ass kids who decided to plant their freak flag between the warped mutant-funk of the “Funhouse” intro and the relentless guitar shreddery of both James Williamson and Ron Asheton. (ViceVersa also cover “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and do the Bleach version of Shocking Blue’s “Love Buzz,” as a hint at further inspirations.) As engineered by Oingo Boingo’s John Avila, their recent, self-released Da EP Vol. 2 makes them sound nice and shiny, but this is a band born and bred to blow out a house party — or the Silverlake Lounge, where they have a Tuesday residency all month. - LA Weekly

"Vice, A $2.5 Billion Media Company, Sends Cease-And-Desist Letter To Indie Band Struggling To Pay Rent"

Vice Media, a company valued at $2.5 billion whose CEO once spent $300,000 on dinner, wants ViceVersa, an unsigned Los Angeles indie band whose members are struggling to pay rent, to change its name — or else.

In a cease-and-desist letter sent to the band, a copy of which was obtained by The Huffington Post, the media behemoth says the three-piece rock outfit’s name and logo both sound and look too similar to Vice’s own name and logo.

The band, the letter argues, is “infringing on the exclusive rights held by Vice Media in the VICE® Mark” and is “likely to confuse consumers as to the source of services offered under [ViceVersa’s] mark, and wrongly implies that Vice Media sponsors, endorses or is otherwise affiliated with [ViceVersa].”

The December cease-and-desist came a month after the United States Patent and Trademark Office gave provisional approval to an application by Christopher Morales, the band’s guitarist, to trademark “ViceVersa.”

In the letter, Vice accuses Morales, who goes by the stage name Zeke Zeledon, of “unauthorized use of Vice Media’s intellectual property.” Vice argues the band’s trademark application is “clearly for Mr. Morales’ commercial profit and gain, to the great detriment of Vice Media.”

The letter goes on to make a series of demands: The band must immediately halt usage of the name “ViceVersa”; take down its website and social media pages; and stop the sale of band merchandise bearing the ViceVersa name. The letter also says the band must produce documentation of revenue earned since it formed in 2012.

If those demands aren’t met, the letter says, Morales could face “claims for injunctive relief and monetary damages.”

But Morales says it never occurred to him or his bandmates — drummer Ariel Fredrickson and bassist Sarah Corza — that they were infringing on Vice’s trademarked name and logo. In a statement, ViceVersa said it “has never claimed to be affiliated or supported by Vice Media. A name change and complete brand makeover could potentially set the band back thousands of dollars and gravely harm their growing fan base and social media presence.”

The band also released a video in which they compare their logo to Vice’s:

Asked Friday if fans ever thought ViceVersa was affiliated with Vice Media, Morales replied, “Absolutely not!”

Harry Finkel, ViceVersa’s attorney, says these kind of cease-and-desist letters are common. “You have a big company that is overzealous in protecting its mark,” he said.

Finkel says he wrote a letter back to Vice offering to change some of the language in Morales’ trademark application, so that it was clear that the band “would not be doing anything with TV shows or magazine publishing or publishing in general” that could be seen as encroaching on Vice’s territory. He says he never heard back from the company.

Instead, Vice in March filed a letter of opposition to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, asking that ViceVersa’s trademark application be denied.

Finkel said he thinks legal precedent will ultimately work in his client’s favor. Companies, he said, “can’t protect commonly used words or phrases like ‘vice,’ when used inside of another word or phrase that is unique.” It’s especially true in this case, he said, because the word “vice-versa” has “little to do with Vice itself.”

“There is clear legal precedent they’re ignoring by moving ahead with the opposition,” Finkel said.

Reached for comment, A Vice spokesperson said that ViceVersa’s trademark application “overlaps with the scope of our already existing federal trademark. This is a standard, cut-and-dry trademark matter and we are not involved in litigation with this band.”

Vice’s opposition to ViceVersa marks another instance in which Vice — which started in the early ‘90s as a small punk zine — has upset those in the indie rock community.

Billboard magazine reported in 2014 that the media company, in the process of expanding its Brooklyn headquarters, was likely responsible for the shuttering of two beloved music venues : Glasslands and Death by Audio.

Morales said Friday that his band, which can barely pay the rent as it is, has very recently started to gain some traction. Their recent release, Da EP Vol 2, was voted #1 EP for LA Record Magazine’s “Best of 2015 Reader & Contributor Poll.”

Having to change the band’s name, he said, could mess everything up.

“This is our life and dream,” Morales said. “All we want to do is rock out.” - Huffington Post

"Indie band faces order from vice media to change its name"

You might not have heard of ViceVersa, a three-piece indie band out of Whittier.

The struggling 20-somethings worked hard to get a provisional trademark, only to get served with a cease-and-desist order from the youth-oriented news organization Vice Media, which has an office in Venice.

The band said Vice Media is claiming its name infringes on a registered trademark and that it would confuse customers by making them think the band is sponsored by Vice Media.

ViceVersa is outraged.

“We’re not gonna back down just because you feel that your consumer base isn’t intelligent enough to tell the difference between the words Vice and ViceVersa,” band member Zeke Zeledon said.

A statement from Vice Media reads: “Earlier this year, ViceVersa’s lawyer filed for a federal trademark of their name, which overlaps with the scope of our already existing federal trademark. This is a standard, cut-and-dry trademark matter, and we are not involved in litigation with this band.”

The band has until the April 18 to figure out if it’s going to continue this fight. Their attorney says it’s going to be an expensive battle, likely costing in the thousands, so right now they’re trying to raise funds. - CBS News

"Vice Media Sends Struggling Whittier band ViceVersa a Cease and Desist Letter"

On a rainy Friday evening in a studio in Whittier indie band ViceVersa talk to the Weekly about the cease-and-desist letter they received over their name from Vice Media—a Canadian-American media giant estimated to be worth $2.5 Billion with a CEO who once spent $300,000 on dinner. ViceVersa on the other hand, struggle to pay their rent and their piggy-bank sized funds have rapidly depleted since this legal challenge surfaced. "It's been a crazy 24-hours." says Christopher Morales, the band's guitarist and singer also known as Zeke.

ViceVersa attracted the attention of Vice Media after Morales received provisional approval for his application to trademark "ViceVersa" by the United States Patent and Trademark Office last November. A month later a cease-and-desist letter from Vice Media arrived in the mail. Having never faced such a serious legal issue, the band sought help from their lawyer, Harry Finkle, who told Vice the band was willing to narrow the scope of Morales's trademark application. The only response ViceVersa and Finkle received was in March via a letter of opposition to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board asking ViceVersa's trademark application be denied. The band has until April 18th to respond or face legal action.

"For starters Vice and ViceVersa are two different meanings but because they wrote back in March with "that's not gonna work" that told us without a benefit of the doubt that they don't even care." Morales says "So because of that we were pretty much like..." [Morales raises two middle fingers in the air.]

In copies obtained by the Weekly, the cease-and-desist letter claims Morales's use of the name "ViceVersa" is "unauthorized use of Vice Media's intellectual property," and is "likely to confuse consumers,"—the word "Vice" being the intellectual property in question. The media behemoth argues the indie band's trademark application is "clearly for Mr. Morales' commercial profit and gain, to the detriment of Vice Media." ViceVersa barely muster 600 followers on Twitter in comparison to Vice's 1.47 million.

Vice Media also demanded the band immediately relinquish the name ViceVersa, take down their social media pages and halt any sales of merchandise with the "ViceVersa" name. The band must also produce documentation of revenue since its formation 3 years ago. Morales could face “claims for injunctive relief and monetary damages,” if he is non-compliant to Vice's demands.

According to Huffington Post, a Vice spokesperson said ViceVersa’s trademark application “overlaps with the scope of our already existing federal trademark. This is a standard, cut-and-dry trademark matter and we are not involved in litigation with this band.” Vice declined to comment to the Weekly.

ViceVersa have launched a GoFundMe account to prepare for the legal battle that may occur. "We're pretty much standing up for anybody who's independent." Morales says. "As for as fighting or battling [Vice], I don't want to know what that will entail or what that bill even is."

After doing research on Vice's roots as an alternative news source Morales says, "This [cease-and-desist letter] goes against everything they supposedly talk about and the content they do." He shares that even some of Vice's reporters sided with the band upon hearing about the case. "When we went out on the streets to interview people [about the ViceVersa name] we actually found Vice reporters and editors from Noisey (Vice's music channel) and they were like "What? That's bullshit." Morales says.

ViceVersa released a video announcement regarding the cease-and-desist letter from Vice.

All three band members previously worked side jobs to fund their dream then collectively decided to fully commit to their music. Now ViceVersas's funds are dwindling faster than expected. "We're hearing some rattles in our piggy bank definitely." Sarah Cora, the band's bassist says. "We just got a new box of ViceVersa t-shirts too—we don't want to waste that, it's not cheap to do, you know?" says drummer, Ariel Fredrickson.

The band just started to garner buzz from their recent release, Da EP Vol 2, which snagged the #1 EP title for LA Record's “Best of 2015 Reader & Contributor Poll.” ViceVersa don't want their hard work to be erased by having to reidentify themselves. "Our musical interests are all over the place," Morales says. "Case in point ViceVersa, we can play this we or we can play that and that was the idea...just to be free to play whatever we want."

Finding themselves at a standstill, ViceVersa previously had plans to go in the studio to record an LP, collaborate with Wil-Dog of Ozomatli, shoot music videos and tour. Now the band can't even respond to show promoters wondering how to print their name on flyers.

If there is any silver lining in this matter, it's the hilarious memes ViceVersa fans have created in the wake of the band's battle with Vice Media.

"I think our fans have given us the courage to do it," Morales says. "All our fans have been like, "Fuck Vice, stand up for yourself!" he says. "They've been very punk rock about it." says Fredrickson.

The group is still allowed to be ViceVersa until April 18th. The band plans to go hard and make as much noise as possible until then. "I think they [Vice] didn't expect us to respond," says Morales who thinks Vice likely sees them as just another corporate task, "Another little band to get rid of—but for us, this is our livelihood." - OC Weekly

"Interview: ViceVersa on their ongoing legal battle with Vice Media"

When Los Angeles-based indie rock band ViceVersa received a cease and desist letter from Vice Media, they were stunned. The alternative youth media empire headed by CEO Shane Smith, is demanding that the struggling band immediately shut down their online presence, and stop selling any branded merchandise. In addition Vice Media wants to see evidence of how much money the band has made over the past three years.

In our new interview, band member Zeke Zeledon tells us how he feels about the situation, how it’s been affecting the band, and what their next move will be.

It’s been a pretty hectic little while for you guys

Yes. (Laughs)

On the bright side, it seems like a lot of media outlets have been backing you up.

Yeah, I mean it’s a pretty good story, given the timing, I think is what it’s all about. The fact that they’re expanding and we’re attempting to. (laughs) I think a lot of people can relate and resonate with our side.

You made a GoFundMe in attempts to make enough to take Vice Media to court.

Pretty much what it is, is that they’re giving us until the April 18th to respond to them, which is a tactic like “you have until the 18th to respond to withdraw your application, or we will proceed with court litigations.” I think what their attempt to do, is “well we have a set of lawyers and you guys probably don’t.” (laughs) The fees essentially would be to have a lawyer on retainer, to proceed and make sure we don’t mess up somewhere.

Which is a really large amount of cash for a band struggling even to pay rent.

Yeah, it sucks. That money should go into fixing our van, or getting into a studio. It’s a crappy situation. (laughs) This whole situation has been putting us in limbo, because we don’t know if we’re going to be able to keep our name, or where exactly this is taking us. It’s been, like you can imagine, one crazy ride this past week.

As of now, do you think you’ll be taking them on in court?

I think right now, the support that we’ve been getting [has] been universal support. Everyone has been like “fight for your guys’ name, fight for the cause, don’t let them bully you,” and I think that we have a lot of leverage, even though we don’t have dough. Mainly because they’re taking a big PR hit, and a lot of people on different social channels have straight up written on our behalf. “You better withdraw this, or you’re going to lose a big time fan,” or “until you fix this, I’m going to boycott your channel.” So we’ve gotten their attention. (laughs)

If you were to be forced to comply to their demands, what would your next move be?

If there was no real option, right now since we have an audience, I would want it to be a co-operative effort, as far as “this is what’s going to happen, what do you guys think?” I feel like any artist, you have to earn your fan base and once you have, even for our level, a small base, it’s a collective effort. I would want to keep the name at all costs, but if there’s some sort of a compromise that gets reached that helps all parties, that would be cool. We’re not trying to cause any real trouble, we’re just trying to stand our ground.

How do you think the fans and following of Vice Media, a brand that was said to be an indie supporting, out-of-the-box publication, will react to this?

In my humble opinion, I think this is a little blip, that there will be a little bit of a backlash, [but] if it was covered on a more international level, that it would hit them really big. I think it really depends on what happens, as far as what they make us do, or what they decide [are] our only options. I know their PR team is like “how do we fix this? How do we come out here not looking so bad.”

The new fans that we’ve gotten, we’ve gotten a lot of private messages, we’ve heard things like “I’ve unsubscribed, I’ve told my friends to stop paying attention.” We’ve also gotten [people saying that] they’ve been on decline recently, over the past few years is what the general consensus has been. In reality, it’s cool getting the attention right now. For us it’s like how do we get back to doing what we do, which is music.

You were about to go on tour before this came to, how is this going to affect that? Do you think you’ll still be able to do that?

That’s one of the obstacles, because promoters don’t know what we’re going to be called. They’re like “so, are you still going to be ViceVersa in June, or are you going to be a different name?” When you do a tour, you have to book it in advance and there’s always marketing that goes into it, but when you don’t know what you’re going to be called, it kind of puts us in a weird spot. Otherwise, we’re going to do something really lame, like “the band formerly known as ViceVersa.” (laughs)

You’re a small Los Angeles band, living the struggling artist life, just trying to make ends meet. How does it feel when a major publication like Vice Media comes at you like that?

At first it was like “no, this is fake. What? No.” At first there’s that whole “this can’t be possible.” The first letter they sent us, it was the real deal. It had not only a three page letter, as far as what their claims were, but they also had screenshots of all our social media, of our Facebook, our Twitter. It had a lot of legal language attached to it, we were like “wow, this is the real deal.”

In December, when we got it, we were like “we can’t do anything but write back,” because we attempted an olive branch response [saying] “we’ll narrow our scope, there’s no way that we believe these two names are confusing, we offer this and hopefully that’s good enough.” When they wrote to us, they said you guys have 20-something days to respond, or we’ll hire a client to proceed with legal action.

So we met that deadline and we also gave them a deadline. “We give you guys two, three weeks to respond, so we know where we’re at,” and they didn’t say anything, they didn’t respond until March. By then, given that we started getting some recognition for our work the previous year, this is all we have left, we can’t change our name now, so let’s give them everything we’ve got. In a weird way, I think this would be a little bit more complicated if we were a lot bigger. I think right now, the absurdity of the fact that they’re asking for profit receipts, it’s like “alright, that’s it.” (laughs) It’s interesting timing, to say the least.

Yeah, on top of the Cease and Desist, they’re demanding evidence of how much you’ve made over the past three years and they’re reportedly a billion dollar company. Why do you think they would target a band struggling like that?

Me personally, I feel it’s just intimidation. I don’t really think they expected any backlash, or any rebuttal. I don’t really think they were anticipating that, because if I was a lawyer, I would have definitely worded it much differently, because they gave us ammo. So I think they made an error on their part, simply because it allows for engagement from the social community.

If you were to look at it from a completely objective, consumer perspective, can you think of any logical connections, other than the fact that you produce music and Noisey covers music for Vice Media, that you would make between the two entities?

We spent some time playing devil’s advocate, and we spent some time trying to be a Vice lawyer, and no. I mean it’s too much of a stretch, because I think midway, because we’re going to be three years in July and about a year and a half [ago] when we were like “alright guys, it’s time to really utilize social media,” we started really branding ourselves. We felt that if we were ever going to have any kind of legal issue, it would’ve been with another band called ViceVersa. We thought if we were going to have any problems, it would’ve been with another band with the same name, not an entity that has a name that they would argue is found within our name. It’s like someone saying their name is Christopher and someone with the name Chris being like “no, wait a minute.” It’s like “wait, hold up, there’s more letters.”

Before all of this, were you aware of them at all, and if you were, what were your opinions on them as a media outlet?

I started noticing them about a year ago, because their articles started popping up via Facebook and you would see them, because of the EDM movement. You’d see a lot of Vice articles and I knew Vice primarily because of a documentary I saw in passing, where I think they were in the Middle East covering some metal band and I thought that was a cool story. I saw them and thought that was cool, but I never really paid much attention to them, mainly because we don’t have a TV at our studio, we just play music.

I wasn’t a follower or a fan, I was aware of them, but never was I ever concerned that we were somehow infringing with them. One of the things about our band is that when we write music, is that if one of us comes up with a piece of music and it even remotely sounds like a song we’ve already heard, we scratch it. We wouldn’t want to have a song that you think “oh that sounds like this.” When that happens, we immediately throw that out. It’s a philosophy we have with music, so with this whole Vice Media thing, they’re stretching it.

Why do you think Shane Smith blocked the band from seeing his tweets?

(laughs heavily) It’s news to me. When I saw that, I was like “seriously?” I guess he knows about us, which is cool. I really don’t know, because we never directly tagged him. In the beginning when this happened, we thought this is probably a law firm that’s going out of their way to over protect their mark. I was thinking maybe the top dogs aren’t aware of it, because when your company gets so big, it’s hard to manage what everybody does. But, given that our story broke via the Huffington Post, I know he saw it. But did we do anything malicious, or are we saying anything malicious? No.

What I’ve been doing [is], say Vice drops an article via Twitter, a perfect example was, there was an article that said “why are 20-something year olds developing mental health problems, or mental health disorders,” then I replied to that article and I go, “are those 20-somethings’ receiving Cease and Desist letters to change their band name?” (laughs) So I’ll flip their headlines, but we’re smart enough to know that given our lack of resources, we really can’t be in a position that they might come back at us and call slander, or defamation, all kinds of nonsense. We’re smart enough to not go that route, but why would he block us? I don’t know, maybe he got tired of seeing other people tag us and tag him to a link, because we can’t control what fans and supporters do, so it might have something to do with that.

What’s your opinion on them now? You guys have been around for three years and you said you didn’t even know about them until a year ago.

I understand their logic, I guess. There’s rhetoric in any kind of negotiation, but I don’t think this was a negotiation, this was “we’re demanding that you guys stop existing.” Given that I’ve never really spoken to him, or had any interaction, I really can’t say and probably won’t know until we have that conversation and I don’t know, I doubt it’ll be direct. I don’t think we’re going to be like “oh hey Shane, how’s it going?” It’ll be a cool story, I think there’s the possibility of pretty awesome content right now.

I do feel that it could be spinned in a very positive way. There are some commenters and fans going “aw man, they should just sign you guys, or they should feature you guys,” because it goes in the same creative realm that their in. Say if it was another news outlet, I have found out that Vice isn’t so keen with other competing outlets, say we had a name that was similar to Gawker and say Gawker sent us a Cease and Desist letter, if the tables were turned in that way, I could see Vice picking up the story and making a big deal. But I do have a big imagination.

I’ve noticed that a couple other publications have blatantly said that they’re bullying you, do you think that is a kind of stick it to Vice, from the other publications?

I have noticed just from observation that there is this growing animosity towards the company, I found out that when they moved to their New York headquarters, two venues had to be shut down because they took over the spot. So they have taken an indie hit in certain demo’s and I feel like this is the tipping point. Depending on what happens when we do have that legal conversation and if more media outlets pick it up, it’s going to be an interesting couple of days.

Earlier this year, your most recent EP was voted #1 in LA Record Magazine’s Best of 2015 Reader & Contributor Poll. What was that like?

I mean, about time! No, I’m just kidding. (laughs) It’s cool knowing that the more work we put in, we’re starting to get recognition. Because this whole band has a statement, I wish my bandmates were here with me, but it’s kind of cool that they’re not, because I get to say this. I love the fact that I’m playing with two girls, I love it. Especially in super sexist Los Angeles, because when we play shows and say people don’t know who we are, almost 100 per cent of the time, we get people saying “oh, it’s a chick band, oh it’s chick music,” or something along those lines.

Sarah and Ariel have encountered tonnes of “oh, are you here helping your boyfriend with his drums?”, or more condescending comments. As soon as we start playing it’s like holy moly, everyone does a 180, and what I really like about playing with my bandmates, is that from the get go, we said something like “we want people to recognize you guys as musicians before a female.” With Ariel I want people to say “yeah, she’s a great drummer, who happens to be a girl,” as opposed to a girl who plays drums, because that’s how it gets framed. We just really want to get back into the studio and get our LP out, we’re ready to drop our first album and in a weird way, this is kind of a good thing. I’m not naive to not be aware of that, but I’m just conscious that hopefully we make all the right decisions, because we’re ready to play for a bigger audience, that’s for sure.

It almost ties in with what you were saying. Do you think it’ll bring a different sense to the band? Because you’re already fighting sexism and with Vice tearing you down, you’re fighting with that too.

Yeah, because we understand that this is about more than just us, we understand that this is about more than just a name. We’re in a time now with social media and the internet, where we have access to all kinds of information and I feel that what we’re doing, is we’re standing up for anybody who’s independent and the whole notion that there is no such thing as too big to fail. That’s something that was passed around here in our country, “oh, they’re too big to fail.” What kind of bs is that? If someone is doing something wrong, or an entity is doing something wrong, we should have the ability to call that out.

That must be a pretty cool feeling, being relatively small and having the ability to fight for something like that, for other people.

It’s pretty badass, I’m not going to lie. I mean yeah, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but as of right now, it’s pretty cool, because this is what our band is about. Our band is about making good music, it’s about doing our homework, respecting our past and understanding where we stand and where we want to go in the future. Given how quickly the music industry is changing towards a more independent realm, for all the bad that digital downloading has done for big record companies, it’s allowed everybody with the ability to write music, to record it on their own.

I want more competing artists than I want competing companies, because when you have artists competing, you get the best out of the artist, but when you’ve got companies competing, it eventually all becomes formulaic, because they have to appease their stockholders.

Where did the name come from, originally?

When you’re learning to play and imagining your group, it’s when you’re trying to name your first baby. (laughs) “What am I going to name my baby,” right. For me, the name was really about the fact that we didn’t want to be framed into one genre. We didn’t want to just be rock, or funk, or punk. We wanted to be able to play whatever we wanted, whenever. Case and point, when we play shows, we don’t really have a set list. It really depends on the crowd and where we’re at and what people are vibing to. We could always dial in a set list that can resonate with the crowd more than with us, because we’re lovers of music. When we’re not out on the road, we’re usually listening to five or six albums a day, and we really want to have a wide palate. So ViceVersa was like “well, we could play this song, or we could play this. We could play this genre, or, we could play that,” and it really came because of that, that’s where the name origins from, if we were to give it a definition. - Aesthetic Magazine

"SoCal Band Wins 'David vs. Goliath' Battle Against Media Giant"

A tiny Los Angeles indie band fought media giant Vice in a trademark battle and won.

Vice Media, a multibillion dollar company, demanded the punk-funk trio ViceVersa change its name. But band frontman Zeke Zeledon, bassist Sarah Corza, and drummer Ariel Fredrickson, who had been playing gigs as ViceVersa mostly in the Los Angeles-area for nearly three years, took their challenge to the web after they received Vice's cease-and-desist letter.

"We are the official ViceVersa band," said guitarist Zeke Zeledon, who posted a video about the outcome here. "We're excited because people know who we are now and we got some notoriety. In a sense we accomplished what we set out to do."

Vice withdrew its challenge to the ViceVersa name last week after numerous phones calls between attorneys. Now ViceVersa can play gigs and record albums without the specter of being sued.
Southern California Images in the News

"We're glad this worked out for both parties, and we wish the band the best of luck," Vice said in a statement.

The band has played over 150 shows, released two EPs, and several music videos. On a good month ViceVersa brings in about $1,500 from gigs and merchandise.

When they got a letter from Vice, they were nervous.

"It was super stressful," Zeledon said. "Anytime you have to deal with lawyers, it sucks. I don't think they expected the kind of response they got from us."

The band, which stays in a low-rent art studio warehouse in Whittier, started an online campaign to raise money.

The band challenged Vice by posting a video online asking fans if they were confused by the name.

Vice started 1994 as Voice of Montreal and grew into a $2.5 billion international media company. - NBC News

"Vice Settles Trademark Dispute With Indie Band ViceVersa"

In April, Vice Media ordered an unsigned band to change its name. The company, which is reportedly worth billions of dollars, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Los Angeles trio ViceVersa arguing the band's name and logo were too much like Vice's. (In November, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had reportedly signed off on ViceVersa guitarist Christopher Morales' application to trademark the band's name.) Today, both parties reached a settlement over the trademark dispute. In a statement, ViceVersa's lawyer wrote: "After a few weeks of negotiations, the two parties have come to an amicable agreement. Changes have been made to the band’s trademark details as registered with the USPTO, thus narrowing the scope of their services. ViceVersa will continue using their name and logo as they please and Vice Media will go about their $2.5 billion business." Reached for comment, a Vice spokesperson said: "We're glad this worked out for both parties, and we wish the band the best of luck."

Watch the band's new music video:
. - Pitchfork


Still working on that hot first release.



Zeke Zeledon: Guitars

Sarah Corza: Bass

Ariel Fredrickson: Drums


ViceVersa is a musical trio based out of Whittier California. The all female rhythm section consist of Ariel Fredrickson on drums and Sarah Corza on bass while the band is fronted by Zeke Zeledon on guitars. Their songs fully embrace their namesake as they maneuver through genres such as funk, punk, hip hop and RnB . They say rock is dead but this band is here to prove otherwise.

The story begins in 2012 when UCI ART major and self taught guitarist Zeke Zeledon had a vision for a band named ViceVersa. Searching all over LA for the right combination he joined forces with Ariel Fredrickson: a Kansas City transplant who traveled west with $200, her drumset and big dreams to rock. They met at a record store and quickly realized they shared similar ambitions and soon found themselves jamming at a Whittier Warehouse now known as Le’Git Studios. The final piece came in the form of Sarah Corza who was a Jazz bassist that studied at the Berklee School of Music. After a few days of rehearsal the band played their first show at the El Rey Theatre on July 27 2013.

With Corza on board ViceVersa hit the ground running. Within the first 6 months the band played over 40 shows ranging from bars, backyard gigs, college campuses and the Whiskey A Go Go. In December 2013 the band teamed up with Sergio Rios of the Funk band Orgone and quickly put to tape a 4 song EP that was meant to capture the raw essence of the bands early live set. As soon as the tracks were layed down their hunger to play live led them to 2 weeks of borrowing gear and playing gigs in Guam and Japan to end the year.

After returning to Los Angeles they spent 2014 honing down their live set and shooting their first music video for the song “Next One.” Released on July 10 2014, the music video was shot in a Long Beach backyard party and found the band on a psychedelic montage that showcased the bands aesthetics. December 2014 saw the band shooting a live take for their song Funk Your Face that featured Fredrickson on lead vocals that was released in early 2015.

Ready for the next step the band teamed up with Golden Glue Management in the spring of 2015 which opened the doors to work with Producer and Engineer John Avila of Oingo Boingo fame. ViceVersa recorded their second EP titled “Da Ep Vol 2” which saw a much more polished production and who’s 4 songs expanded the bands musical palate while showcasing more mature song writing. Upon completion of the record the band played their 100th show at LA Weeklys Tacolandia and followed that with a record release at their newly opened DIY venue named DaDank on July 25, 2015. They where then chosen as Amoeba Hollywood's August homegrown artist of the month which including a live in store performance.

The record was picked up by local college radio and allowed the band to finish off strong by opening up for Ozomatli in a sold out show at the House of Blues of Anaheim.

ViceVersa opened 2016 with a number 1 spot on LA Record 2015 reader poll for their “Da Ep Vol 2.” Plans to hit the studio and record new music was put on hold however as the media giant VICE sent the band a cease and desist letter in March in opposition to their trademarking of their name. Faced with the possibility of taking down any and all of their social media presence and a complete rebranding the band took to social media to stand up the Canadian company which quickly was picked up by press outlets such as the Huffington Post and Pitchfork along with CBS and NBC. The band enjoyed almost unanimous public support and their music was exposed to a whole new audience. The public backlash forced the media company to withdraw their opposition and the band celebrated another victory by releasing a 360 degree music video for their song “Head” on June 15, 2016.

The band is currently in the studio working on their debut album.