Nickelback Fire Back At Texas Singer Over “Rockstar” Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

As previously reported, a singer from Texas named Kirk Johnston recently filed a lawsuit against Nickelback, Roadrunner Records, Warner Chappell Music, Inc. and Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. after claiming that the band’s song “Rockstar” was a rip off of his song “Rock Star,” which he wrote for Snowblind Revival in 2001. Now, Nickelback have officially commented on the allegations.

The band said that “the two songs sound nothing alike,” while also adding

“Johnston failed to identify any specific lyrical similarities between the works at issue; he could only conceivably point to the titles of the two works and ‘lyrical themes’. Titles are not protectable by copyright, and their similarity cannot give rise to an infringement claim. Nor does copyright protect the commonplace lyrical theme of imagining being a rock star.”

“As for the music, it is evident to an ordinary observer that the sound recording of [Johnston’s song] has a steady, driving guitar beat, whereas [NICKELBACK’s ‘Rockstar’] does not and is obviously slower. The two songs are not in the same key; [Johnston’s song] is in a major key, whereas [NICKELBACK’s ‘Rockstar’] is in both major and minor keys. Further, the styles of the two works are different. Even [Johnston] acknowledges that his band SNOWBLIND REVIVAL and NICKELBACK play different genres of music: ‘Unlike NICKELBACK’s hard rock sound, SNOWBLIND REVIVAL would be considered an alternative rock band with more indie/eclectic roots.’ And most importantly, the melodies of [Johnston’s song] and [NICKELBACK’s ‘Rockstar’] sound nothing alike.”

The group went on to say that Johnston “provides no details” regarding “the names of the record label representatives with whom he allegedly met, where the meetings took place, or even when the meetings took place.” They continued:

“[Johnston] has failed to allege any means by which [his song] could have ended up in the hands of the individual members of NICKELBACK who composed ‘Rockstar’. None of these allegations describe a chain of events that links [Johnston’s song] to the creation of [NICKELBACK’s ‘Rockstar’].”

Johnston previously claimed that master recordings of Snowblind Revival’s “Rock Star” and three other songs were sent to various record labels, including Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, of which Roadrunner Records, Inc. and Warner Chappell Music, Inc. are wholly owned indirect subsidiaries. He also said that he believes these labels gave Nickelback access to his track and that they plagiarized it.

He went on to say that “a substantial amount of the music in [Nickelback’s] ‘Rockstar’ is copied from [his] original composition ‘Rock Star’,” including “the tempo, song form, melodic structure, harmonic structures, and lyrical themes.” He is now seeking damages for copyright infringement and an injunction against further infringement.

Due to the evidence that was provided, Magistrate Judge Susan Hightower submitted a recommendation to Judge Robert Pitman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas saying that Nickelback should face a copyright suit. She also added that the complaints against Live Nation should be dismissed.

After listening to both songs, Hightower also said that it’s possible for a juror to see that the two pieces share protectable elements. However, it is still unclear if Johnston will be able to come up with enough evidence to prove that similarities are “substantial” or “striking,” considering Nickelback’s level of access.

[via Blabbermouth]

Man Files Copyright Lawsuit Against Nickelback Over “Rockstar”

According to Blabbermouth, a man named Kirk Johnston has filed a lawsuit against Nickelback, Roadrunner Records, Warner Chappell Music, Inc. and Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. Johnston made the move after claiming that the band’s song “Rockstar” was a rip off of his song “Rock Star,” which he wrote for Snowblind Revival in 2001.

Master recordings of Snowblind Revival’s “Rock Star” and three other songs were sent to various record labels, including Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, of which Roadrunner Records, Inc. and Warner Chappell Music, Inc. are wholly owned indirect subsidiaries. Johnston claims these labels gave Nickelback access to his track and that they plagiarized it.

Johnston says that “a substantial amount of the music in [Nickelback’s] ‘Rockstar’ is copied from [his] original composition ‘Rock Star’,” including “the tempo, song form, melodic structure, harmonic structures, and lyrical themes.” He is now seeking damages for copyright infringement and an injunction against further infringement.

Due to the evidence that was provided, Magistrate Judge Susan Hightower submitted a recommendation to Judge Robert Pitman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas saying that Nickelback should face a copyright suit. She also added that the complaints against Live Nation should be dismissed. Hightower commented:

“Johnston has alleged facts sufficient to raise his right to relief above the speculative level, which is all that is required at the pleading stage.”

After listening to both songs, Hightower also said that it’s possible for a juror to see that the two pieces share protectable elements. However, it is still unclear if Johnston will be able to come up with enough evidence to prove that similarities are “substantial” or “striking,” considering Nickelback’s level of access.

For their part, Nickelback said that “the works at issue are not substantially similar to an ordinary observer.” They also added that the dissimilarities in the two songs cancel out Johnston’s copyright claim.

Nickelback Working On New Album

During an interview with Tulsa Music Stream, Nickelback bassist Mike Kroeger confirmed that the band are working on a new album. However, release details are still pending.

Kroeger said the following:

“That is happening right now. Music is being composed and recorded up in Canada. We were out there, and something came up and our producer had to take some time off. So I took that opportunity to [return home] to Los Angeles with family and spend a little bit of time at home. But I’ll be headed back up there in a couple of weeks to pick it up again.”

He continued when asked about release plans:

“Release dates are primarily arrived at by business interests, like record labels and whatever. We don’t have one of those. We’ve been managing ourselves for about a year. So, the answer is no. We’re doing it on our schedule, at our own pace, and it’ll be done when it’s done. ‘Cause we’ve blown up deadlines in the past lots of times. Because we feel that you can make a good record and be late, but you can’t, or you shouldn’t, make a shitty record to be on time. So we won’t be pressed for time. And in this case, we don’t have to worry about that, ’cause we’re on our own schedule. We’re doing what we wanna do when we wanna do it. We’re paying for everything. Nobody can tell us what to do. We just have to decide when we wanna go on tour. It turns out we’re booking a tour for next summer. So we’ll have to get some stuff squared away and out there to the people in advance of that.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Nickelback Team Up With Google Photos For “Photograph” Parody Ad

Nickelback have released a parody version of their song “Photograph” as part of a new ad for Google Photos. The clip is called “Look At Your Photographs” and it can be seen below. Chad Kroeger commented:

“Fifteen years ago, we had no idea that the photos on our mobile devices would become such a ubiquitous part of all of our lives. When Google approached us with the idea about marrying the song with Google Photos we felt like it would be a fun and nostalgic way to give the song a lyrical refresh and share some of our favorite memories.”

Nickelback Premiere Animated Video For Cover Of The Charlie Daniels Band‘s “The Devil Went Down To Georgia“

Nickelback have released a cover of The Charlie Daniels Band‘s “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.“ The track features Dave Martone and you can find an animated video for it below:

Chad Kroeger commented:

“Charlie Daniels seamlessly fused country, southern rock, Western swing, blues and bluegrass into a sound and style all his own. More importantly, his ability to tell compelling and relatable stories through his songwriting has stuck with me to this day. None more so than ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia‘.

I was only five years old when that song came out and it remains one of my all-time favourites. A few years ago, we recorded a rough take during a studio session with our good friend Dave Martone. It was a fun song to tackle and brought back so many good memories for us all. When Charlie passed last month, the world lost a music icon. I hope our version will bring half as much joy as his did for me and so many others.”

This news comes after Korn and Yelawolf recently released their own cover of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.”

Nickelback To Release “All The Right Reasons: 15th Anniversary Expanded Edition” In October

Nickelback will be releasing a 15th anniversary expanded edition of “All The Right Reasons” on October 2. The two-disc set will feature a remastered version of the original album, b-sides and audio from the band’s August 8, 2006 show in Sturgis, SD.

“All The Right Reasons: 15th Anniversary Expanded Edition” Track listing:

Disc One:

01. “Follow You Home”
02. “Fight For All The Wrong Reasons”
03. “Photograph”
04. “Animals”
05. “Savin’ Me”
06. “Far Away”
07. “Next Contestant”
08. “Side Of A Bullet”
09. “If Everyone Cared”
10. “Someone That You’re With”
11. “Rockstar”
12. “We Will Rock You”
13. “Photograph” (Acoustic)
14. “Too Bad” (Acoustic)
15. “Someday” (Live Acoustic)

Disc Two (Live at Buffalo Chip, Sturgis, SD):

01. “Intro”
02. “Animals”
03. “Woke Up This Morning”
04. “Photograph”
05. “Because Of You”
06. “Far Away”
07. “Never Again”
08. “Savin’ Me”
09. “Someday”
10. “Side Of A Bullet”
11. “How You Remind Me”
12. “Too Bad”
13. “Figured You Out”

You can stream a remastered acoustic version of “Photograph” below:

My Chemical Romance, Slipknot, Tool, Guns N’ Roses, Etc. Received Pandemic Assistance Loans

Earlier this year, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Treasury launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to give loans to businesses to help them pay their employees amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to a new report, $660 billion was given out to 600,000 companies including ones owned by Slipknot, Green Day, Tool, My Chemical Romance, Guns N’ Roses, Disturbed, Eagles, Nickelback, Papa Roach, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Cheap Trick, and more. One of the aforementioned artists, My Chemical Romance, told Rolling Stone the following about their decision to take a PPP loan:

“Like most tours that were happening this year, My Chemical Romance’s world tour was cancelled. MCR received PPP money to ensure their crew is funded in these times of uncertainty until we are able to be out on the road again. We are so grateful to these skilled, dedicated people – some of them are parents, others caretakers, still others who simply have rent to pay – and this money helps them take care of themselves and their families.”

Nickelback Cancel “All The Right Reasons” 15th Anniversary Tour

Nickelback have cancelled their “All The Right Reasons” 15th anniversary tour due to the coronavirus pandemic. The trek, which also featured Stone Temple Pilots, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, and Switchfoot, was supposed to kick off next month.

Nickelback commented:

“The ability to make music, tour and share memorable experiences with everyone across the world is all that we could have ever possibly imagined and hoped for throughout our career.

Over the past few months we have been in constant communication with our team, tour industry professionals, medical professionals and everyone that could help guide us collaboratively on a safe path forward. The health, safety and well-being of our amazing fans, the Artists on tour with us, our collective touring crews, venue personnel and the communities in which we perform are our number one priority.

While we all hoped for a different outcome, we regrettably cannot move forward and must cancel the All The Right Reasons Tour this summer.

So many have been affected by this and that is not something we take for granted. The right thing to do is ensure that our fans have access to refund options during these challenging times. For details regarding refund options, visit livenation.com/refund or reach out directly to your point of purchase.

We would like to send Stone Temple Pilots, Switchfoot, Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown and their respective teams our gratitude and best wishes for being incredibly patient and supportive. We hope to see you all back out on the road soon and wish you continued success!

We will keep you posted as soon as we have an idea on when we can get back out on the road and play for you again. We look forward to that day more than we could ever put into words. Thank you for your patience, understanding and continued support.

In the meantime, please stay safe and well.”