Update: GnR’s manager Irving Azoff responded to the issue: “The band believed when the record came out and still believes that there are no unauthorized samples on the track. The snippets of ‘ambient noise’ in question were provided by a member of the album’s production team who has assured us that these few seconds of sound were obtained legitimately. Artists these days can’t read the minds of those they collaborate with and therefore are unfortunately vulnerable to claims like this one. While the band resents the implication that they would ever use another artist’s work improperly and are assessing possible counterclaims, they are confident this situation will be satisfactorily resolved.”
Well it’s been quite a while since we’ve heard from good ‘ole Axl Rose and the rest of his Roses. After last year’s ill-fated release of Chinese Democracy, which had virtually no publicity or tour to back it up (until recently), fate has dealt another blow to the former Los Angeles bad boys of rock. According to reports from Rolling Stone, Axl & Co. have recently come under fire and are now being accused of copying portions of German electronic musician Ulrich Schnauss’ compositions for the song, “Riad N’ The Bedouins”. The report, according to Reuters, explains that two separate independent record companies are suing the band and Universal Records for these accusations:
Independiente and Domino’s lawsuit against Gn’R says that the band’s “Riad N’ the Bedouins” used parts of Ullrich’s “Wherever You Are” and “A Strangely Isolated Place” without permission. The labels are seeking $1 million in damages.
While this may seem plausible, the case seems like it’ll be a tough one to call:
“The Schnauss lawsuit focuses on 45 seconds of ambient soundscapes at the beginning of “Riad N’ the Bedouins,” before the song breaks into full guitar assault that shares no resemblance to Schnauss’ body of work.”
In defense of GNR however, Rolling Stone goes on to state that most of the recordings on Chinese Democracy existed for the better part of a decade, whereas Schnauss’ compositions came out during the early 2000′s. Could this get as big as the Coldplay/Joe Satriani battle? Who knows at this point. It’s not like there’s much being used, either.