The Canadian musician Chilly Gonzales hosts a YouTube series called Pop Music Masterclass, in which he parses out everything going on in a popular song. On his latest episode, though, he took a fellow musician to task, claiming that Hozier ripped off Feist’s “How Come You Never Go There” on his own monster adult-contempo hit “Take Me To Church.” Gonzales is a friend of Feist, and they’ve collaborated a bunch of times, but he makes a compelling enough argument. Still, Hozier isn’t having it. And now he’s suing Gonzales for publicly making the claim.
Entertainment.Ie points out a Sunday Times report that Hozier, whose real name is Andrew Hozier-Byrne, has filed a defamation suit against Gonzales in Ireland’s High Court. Caroline Downey, Hozier’s manager, is quoted as saying that the claims were “groundless.” Gonzales has since taken his video down, but one of his lines in the video was, “Maybe Feist should take him to court.” Looks like that might’ve come back on him.
Honestly, though, isn’t it enough that musicians are suing each other all over the place lately? Suing for accusing you of ripping someone off? That comes off as being way, way too overly defensive, and it doesn’t exactly refute the ripoff claim.
UPDATE: Both Gonzales and Hozier have issued statements on their respective Facebook pages that effectively put the whole issue to rest.
I would like to fully retract any and all implication of copyright infringement in last week’s Pop Music Masterclass “Take Me To Church” and sincerely apologize to Hozier whose work I respect. Chilly Gonzales
There has been some talk in the press of legal action and I’d like to clarify my position and the goings-on of the past week for fear that gossip runs unchecked, as it often does. What was sought from my end was an apology and redaction of an unfair inferral. This has been issued by Jason Beck (Chilly Gonzales), which I very much appreciate. I will continue to follow and respect his work and look forward to moving on from this issue. Jason Beck has been co-operative and understanding, and there are no hard feelings on my part.