Axl Denies Ripping Off Ulrich Schnauss

Amrit Singh | October 6, 2009 - 5:16 pm

If Coldplay has allegedly taught us anything, it’s that you go to unlikely sources when you allegedly rip people off. So I’d say Axl Rose had allegedly taken good notes from one of the world’s biggest bands in allegedly ripping off German electro-gaze composer Ulrich Schnauss crafting “Riad N’ The Bedouins,” if Axl Rose hadn’t been working on Chinese Democracy for the better part of the past two decades. (Nothing alleged about that.) Here’s the meat of Schnauss’s claim:

Via Reuters:

Guns N’ Roses and Universal Music Group’s Interscope-Geffen A&M label were sued by British label Independiente and the U.S. arm of Domino Recording Company, who own the licensing rights to songs by German electronic musician Ulrich Schnauss.

Singer Axl Rose and Guns N’ Roses band members and album producers copied portions of two of Schnauss’ songs — “Wherever You Are” and “A Strangely Isolated Place” — for a song used on the band’s last album called “Riad N’ the Bedouins,” according to the lawsuit.

They’re only seeking $1MM in damages because only three people actually bought Chinese Democracy. We have the relevant Axl and Ulrich sound samples your intellectual property policing pleasure:

Ulrich Schnauss – “Wherever You Are”

Ulrich Schnauss – “A Strangely Isolated Place”

Guns N’ Roses – “Riad N’ The Bedouins”

GN’R manager Irving Azoff’s response (via megaplatinum.net):

“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.”