GNR Responds To Copycat Claims

The manager for Guns N’ Roses has responded to claims the band illicitly sampled another group’s work, saying the sounds in question “were obtained legitimately.”

Last week Brit record label Independiente and the U.S. arm of Domino Recording Company filed suit against Axl Rose & Co. for allegedly swiping portions of songs from recordings made by German electronic musician Ulrich Schnauss for a track on GNR’s long-awaited Chinese Democracy album released last year.

Photo: Greg Allen
New York’s Madison Square Garden.

At issue is the first few seconds of the GNR track “Riad n’ The Bedouins,” which Rolling Stone described as “45 seconds of ambient soundscapes.” The lawsuit claims the band sampled two Schnauss recordings – “Wherever You Are” and “A Strangely Isolated Place” – for the track.

On Tuesday GNR manager Irving Azoff issued a statement denying the infringement allegations.

“The band vigorously contests these claims and intends to respond accordingly,” Azoff said.

“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.”

Azoff also said legal reps of the band and production team would soon respond formally.

Click here to read more about the lawsuit.