“Vinnie Udo did not start Diatribe,” says guitarist Julius, who cofounded the influential all-vegetarian, antiwar punk band with bassist Sean in 1984. “[Vinnie] provided vocals for the band for approximately one year.… He was fired from the band in 1986. I hold the trademark to the band name, and I also composed all of the band’s songs.”
Udo, aka Vinnie Fono, recently announced he was resurrecting Diatribe, with himself as the only former member of that band. “None of the other three original members were asked if they wanted to participate,” says Julius. “I emailed him. He did not respond to my request to not re-form the band, [so] he and two of the other parties he listed as members of the new Diatribe have been served with cease-and-desist letters by me.”
Contacted via email, Fono says, “Julius is against us doing this because he has nothing to do with music or the scene.… The band broke up shortly after I was kicked out. He says he composed all the songs, but when we started, I was playing drums, developing the songs, and doing the vocals. We never had any kind of agreement. We were an anarcho band, anti–big-music corporations. When we toured, we didn’t use contracts.
“As far as him having the trademark for the name, I’ve checked and have not found any proof to that claim.… He is really being un-punk, unlike how we started out.” Fono — who later cofounded the Shitgiveits — will debut his new Diatribe at the Radio Room on February 26.
Julius says he may relaunch Diatribe himself. “It would depend on the willingness of the original members,” he qualifies, saying he’s still in touch with them. So would he ever consider a reunion that includes Fono?
“It would be unlikely.”