Incubus and Sony reconcile. The label settles its contract dispute with the band by paying them a big advance for four more albums

By Gary Susman
Updated April 14, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Two months after the beginning of what could have been a nasty legal battle, Incubus and its label, Sony, have kissed and made up. The two parties have dropped their pending lawsuits against each other and made a deal for four more albums, the Los Angeles Times reports. Both sides ”have amicably resolved their differences, and will continue with their highly successful relationship,” they said in a joint statement.

The rock quintet, which has sold 7 million albums, sued Sony in February, arguing that it should be let out of its contract because it had served seven years. (While California law grants the record industry an exemption to the seven-year statute that governs entertainment contracts, musicians have been lobbying for the provision’s repeal.) Sony countersued, arguing that the band owed four more albums. The terms of the settlement, according to the Times, have the band recording at least three more albums for Sony, with an option for a fourth, with Sony paying Incubus an advance of $8 million for the first album and $2.5 million each for the next two. Sony will also eat $3 million in promotional expenses it had said the band still owed, the Times reports. The resolution mimics that of a nearly identical contract dispute last year between the label and the Dixie Chicks, and it prevents a potentially precedent-setting challenge to the seven-year exemption from coming to court.

Not sharing in the bounty will be bassist Dirk Lance (real name: Alex Katunich), who left the band just last week. He’s been replaced by Ben Kenney, formerly of the Roots. He’ll make his debut with the band when they play the revived Lollapalooza tour, which kicks off July 3 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.