NEWS: Satch/Coldplay comparison video yanked

The video comparison of Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’ and Joe Satriani’s ‘If I Could Fly’ has been yanked off YouTube at the request of Coldplay’s record label, who obviously wish to downplay the similarities ahead of the plagiarism case heading to court.

Maybe Coldplay will get lucky and Satch’s legal team will forget to play the two songs to the jury.

NEWS: The boring legal stuff about Satriani suing Coldplay

Further to the ongoing Coldplagiarism scandal, the legal papers relating to the case have surfaced online. You can read them here.

There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about these documents, but I guess somebody out there is interested in the legal goings-on.

Anyway, if you want to help Satch out directly in thanks for years of kickass shredding, CLICK HERE to buy Joe Satriani’s Is There Love In Space?, the album at the centre of the controversey. Or you could take a bit more of a gamble by CLICKING HERE to buy Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, so they earn more money to give to Satch if he wins the case.

NEWS: Coldplay deny plagiarism

Coldplay has responded to allegations that they’re a bunch of copycats by posting the following statement on their website.

“With the greatest possible respect to Joe Satriani, we have now unfortunately found it necessary to respond publicly to his allegations. If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music, they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him. Joe Satriani is a great musician, but he did not write or have any influence on the song Viva La Vida. We respectfully ask him to accept our assurances of this and wish him well with all future endeavours”

So there you have it. I’m sure this whole matter will be put behind us when Coldplay releases their next album, Flying In A Purple Dream. Here’s the track listing.

“Flying in a Purple Dream”
“The Mystical Pumpkin Head Groove Thing”
“Can Slow Down”
“Headless, …Well, For All Intents And Purposes”
“Weird”
“Believe, I Do”
“Two Big Rushes”
“Small Good Sun”
“The Stealing”
“The Skype Call”
“Night at the Beach (Old Riffs from an Ancient Song)”
“Back to Stella’s Groove”
“Ride …That’s Right, We Even Stole The Title”
“The Remembered (Part One)”
“The Remembered (Part Two)”
“The Balls of Our Lawyers (Part One)”
“The Balls of Our Lawyers (Part Two)”
“Into the iTunes For Ideas”

Yeah, I know, I know, I’m not usually bitchy on this blog, but nobody disses Satch, unless it’s me bagging out the Super Colossal cover.

NEWS: Satch speaks out on Coldplagiarism

Satch has broken his silence about his decision to go after Coldplay for allegedly ripping off his song, ‘If I Could Fly,’ in an interview with the very excellent MusicRadar website (which everyone should bookmark).

Speaking exclusively to MusicRadar’s Joe Bosso (one of my journalistic heroes, by the way), Joe said “The second I heard, I knew… I felt like a dagger went right through my heart. It hurt so much. The second I heard it, I knew it was [my own] If I Could Fly.”

The article goes on to say:

As it turned out, Satriani wasn’t the only one who noticed the similarity between If I Could Fly and Viva La Vida. “Almost immediately, from the minute their song came out, my e-mail box flooded with people going, ‘Have you heard this song by Coldplay? They ripped you off man.’ I mean, I couldn’t tell you how many e-mails I received.

“Everybody noticed the similarities between the songs. It’s pretty obvious. It’s as simple as that – when you listen to a song and you say, ‘Wow, that’s a real rip-off.'” What makes the situation especially painful for Satriani is that If I Could Fly isn’t just any song. It’s a composition he’d been laboring over for well over 10 years before he recorded it. “I started writing it on the Flying In A Blue Dream tour back in 1988. But because of the way I write, sometimes songs take a while, as this one did. In 2003 I started demoing it in earnest. I played it on the acoustic guitar on a demo so I could sing the melody, then I demoed it on electric to get the sound. And the performance turned out to be so spontaneous, so right and so emotional, that it wound up being a keeper.”

Since If I Could Fly came out in 2004, Satriani has been gratified by the reaction it’s received from his fans, many of whom have called it one of his most captivating songs. “That was the intent all along,” he says. “It was a love letter to my wife, Rubina – a simple, direct expression of feeling. That’s what really hurts about this whole thing. That I spent so long writing the song, thinking about it, loving it, nursing it, and then finally recording it and standing on stages the world over playing it – and then somebody comes along and plays the exact same song and calls it their own.”

Since it was announced on 4 December 2008 that Satriani is suing Coldplay for alleged plagiarism, seeking a jury trial and “any and all profits” connected to Viva La Vida, his life has been turned upside down. “This has been the weirdest thing I’ve ever been involved in,” he says. “The media attention has been bizarre and surreal. I really can’t explain how I’ve felt over the past day or two.” “I did everything I could to avoid a court case”

Satriani stresses that his motives are ruled by artistic purity and an overriding sense of right and wrong. “Everybody’s assumes I’m trying to go after these guys in Coldplay, as if I’m doing this with malice,” he says “That’s the furthest thing from my mind. I’m just doing what I need to do as an artist, to protect what’s mine, to protect those feelings I put down in song. “I did everything I could to avoid a court case with this situation. But Coldplay didn’t want to talk about it. They just wanted this whole thing to go away. Maybe they figured this little guitar player guy will leave them alone after a while, I don’t know. “But we’re talking about a piece of art that I created, and that’s something I feel is important. I think everybody should feel that way.”

And now, Satriani’s team will ask a jury to decide.

NEWS: Satch sues Coldplay

Joe Satriani is suing Coldplay due to the similarity between his song ‘If I Could Fly’ from the ‘Is There Love In Space?’ album, and Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida.’ Read the whole article here, but the following is an excerpt:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Rock guitarist Joe Satriani has sued British band Coldplay, accusing the Grammy-nominated stars of plagiarizing one of his songs.

Satriani’s copyright infringement suit, filed on Thursday in Los Angeles federal court, claims the Coldplay song “Viva La Vida” incorporates “substantial original portions” of his 2004 instrumental “If I Could Fly.”

The 52-year-old guitar virtuoso is seeking a jury trial, damages and “any and all profits” attributable to the alleged copyright infringement.

I’m often skeptical when claims like this come up (remember when someone claimed Metallica stole the Enter Sandman riff?) but just this week Gary Moore was sued over ‘Still Got The Blues’ even though the song he was alleged to have copied was not even available on record when he did his song. And while there are a million blues-rock songs that sound like each other (not to mention the dozen or so I-V-VI-IV songs released each week), this isn’t the most conventional chord progression or most likely melody and phrasing to stumble across.

So what do you think? Honest coincidence? Dishonest copycatting? Or did someone from Coldplay hear the Satch song, and later on the same melody and chords filtered into their own songwriting subconsciously?

NEWS: Grammy nominations announced

The nominations for the 2009 Grammys were just announced, and there are some surprising choices for the more rock-based stuff. Let’s check it out:

Best Hard Rock Performance:

DISTURBED – “Inside The Fire”
JUDAS PRIEST – “Visions”
THE MARS VOLTA – “Wax Simulacra”
MÖTLEY CRÜE – “Saints Of Los Angeles”
ROB ZOMBIE – “Lords Of Salem”

Hmm… Cool to see The Mars Volta nominated, but I’m not sure who’s gonna win out of this lot. Probably Disturbed. Are Motley Crue cool enough to actually win a Grammy in 2009?

Best Metal Performance:

DRAGONFORCE – “Heroes Of Our Time”
JUDAS PRIEST – “Nostradamus”
METALLICA – “My Apocalypse”
MINISTRY – “Under My Thumb”
SLIPKNOT – “Psychosocial”

Pfft. Everyone knows the best metal performance this year has been Testament on “More Than Meets The Eye.” Looks like someone’s desperately pushing for Judas Priest to do well this year. NEXT!

Best Rock Instrumental Performance:

DAVID GILMOUR – Castellorizon
METALLICA – Suicide & Redemption
NINE INCH NAILS – 34 Ghosts I-IV
RUSH – Hope (Live For The Art Of Peace)
ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA – Peaches En Regalia

YES! YES! Zappa FTW! I can imagine the Grammy going to Gilmour instead as a kind of lateral tribute to late Pink Floyd keyboard player Richard Wright, but if ZPZ win for Peaches I’m going to be so freaking happy. By the way, Steve Vai plays on this version, thereby continuing the Grammy tradition of nominating Steve in this category every year since 1832.

Best Rock Album:

COLDPLAY – Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
KID ROCK – Rock N Roll Jesus
KINGS OF LEON – Only By The Night
METALLICA – Death Magnetic
THE RACONTEURS – Consolers Of The Lonely

I think this one will go to Kings Of Leon, who seem unable to do any wrong at the moment. Death Magnetic was a lot of things to a lot of people, but it’s well and truly metal, and Grammy voters, a great deal of whom work behind the scenes, might use their vote to send a message to Metallica that the mix of Death Magnetic was not, y’know, commercially acceptable. Anyway, Extreme’s Saudades De Rock should have been nominated.

Album Of The Year
COLDPLAY – Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
LIL WAYNE – Tha Carter III
NE-YO – Year Of The Gentleman
ROBERT PLANT & ALISON KRAUSS – Raising Sand
RADIOHEAD – In Rainbows

I think/hope/wish Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will win this one. Raising Sand is a great album and it’d totally rule to see it take out Album of the Year, even though it’d probably encourage Plant further along his current musical path, and further away from a full-blown Led Zeppelin reunion tour.

More on the Grammys at the Chicago Sun Times.