Enjoy Your Pumas, meet Metro Station; Take Me To The Pilot, meet Kings of Leon.
Sometimes I wonder if these two bands listen to their own songs, and the radio, and notice parts of their songs have extreme similarities to top 40 hits.
Take Me To The Pilot - Tonight vs. Kings of Leon - Use Somebody
(listen for the oh-woah-oh-oh-woah-ohhhhs)
Enjoy Your Pumas - Weight of the Circles vs. Metro Station - Shake It
(the “shake, shake, shake it” refrain)
Now, I’m no copyright lawyer (I couldn’t get one to make time for an interview for this post), and granted, other than these parts, the songs are fairly different from each other. But artists have been sued in the past for similarities of guitar riffs, vocal melodies and lyrics, and I’m wondering if these two local bands will have problems down the road, especially as they seem to be gaining in popularity.
The precedents are endless:
- In October 2010, Paramore was sued by a band called Tenspoke Indies for similarities between one of their songs and The Only Exception.
- In February 2010, Men At Work were found guilty for plagiarizing the flute riff from their mega-hit Down Under. The riff was found to originate in the folk tune Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree written in 1934.
- In 2008, Avril Lavigne settled a lawsuit claiming she had ripped off portions of her single Girlfriend from another artist.
- Also in 2008, The Hives were sued by a songwriter claiming the band had ripped off one of his vocal melodies.
I personally think it’s a bit tenuous to claim ownership over a vocal melody — thousands of songwriters are making them every day and there is bound to be duplicates. And I don’t think major bands like Kings of Leon will sue a small band from Winnipeg. Unless Take Me To The Pilot gets signed and the song blows up. As for Metro Station, well… I actually wouldn’t be surprised. The one-hit wonders can’t live off royalty payments forever.
Anyways, please bands, change these songs, because when I watch you live, all I can think of is another band’s song, and I think the last thing you want from audiences.