I was recently contacted by the bassist of a band called Monster Dog who in the late 90s were victim to the ol’ big-signed-band-hears-cool-riff-of-small-local-band-and-steals-it story. The band brushed it off but years later when King’s X bassist made some interesting statements in a July 2014 interview for London Groove Machine the score had to be settled.
Have a peak at this excerpt from Pinnick’s July 2014 interview with London Groove Machine.
dUg Pinnick: And there is an anxiety that happens also when I sit down to write. I’m going, ‘Oh God, what am I gonna come up with?’ And then all of a sudden the floodgates fly open, because I start thinking of all the music I’ve listened to for the last 60-some years. And so I just find the things that I love, steal them, change them around a little bit, and call them my own. Basically what all of us musicians are is just plagiarists. We just write what we’ve heard. We never come up with anything original. The more information you get, the more you can make music that will fool everyone to think that it’s original. Get what I’m saying?
London Groove Mmachine: My band is ripping off King’s X all the time. I know exactly what you’re talking about.
dUg: I have no problem with that, because I have ripped off everybody I can think of [laughs].
After reading this interview with Dug Pinnick, Odie from Monster Dog had a few words to say about it to MetalSucks. It’s not always about the money Odie told me in his own email. “Kings X is a very respected band. Musicians and music fans agree. I never cared about suing for money, or damaging their career. But for them to recognize, and credit the source of inspiration of their song, Groove Machine. It’s the right, and only thing to do.”
I remember reading that interview with Dug, shortly after it was published online. That whole section made me feel uneasy. To call all musicians plagiarists, is a heavy thing to say. It’s like painting the Campbell Soup label and calling it art.
Could the two songs have been written individually, of themselves? Sure they could have. But after reading what Dug actually said. All I can say is….shame on you Dug!
I think we have to give a little grace to all parties in this situation. As I writer, I recognize what dUg said as truthful. Maybe too truthful for some. Creative people get very few original inspirations. The standard interview question for any creative is: “Who were your influences?” A dark way of interpreting that question is: “Who did you steal from?” dUg is right. We all do it. But it’s the quiet part we’re not supposed to say out loud.
Did dUg and the band misstep when recording this song without acknowledging Monster Dog? In my opinion, yes. I respect Monster Dog’s stance on this. They are not trying to make money or ruin anyone, they just want some credit. My guess is dUg heard the song one time and never realized how close the Groove Machine riff was to what he originally heard. But I’m guessing.
My point is, every creative does this. There are a plethora of legal cases to bear this out. Let’s not be too harsh in our judgements. Nobody is perfect. We all need a little grace at times. Remember. It’s love that holds it all together.