View Full Version : "SOunding Like" vs. "Ripping Off" bands


Judas Chongo
05-04-2004, 08:10 PM
whats the difference? is there a thin line or not?

Fathoms (unadored)
05-04-2004, 09:24 PM
Yeah, probably is a thin line. I think if a riff or melody is directly lifted from another song it qualifies as a rip off (ex: Offspring Why don't you get a job- Beatles Ob-bla-di). There is more of a grey area if your songs are original but your sound borrows heavily from another group. (Blind Melon- Led Zeppelin). I think its really a subjective matter in the latter case.

Judas Chongo
05-04-2004, 09:26 PM
so that would be to say i am at risk of being called a rip off because i play the same 3 chords as some other band that i have NEVER heard before?

Fathoms (unadored)
05-04-2004, 09:32 PM
Yeah. It's not your fault though. Anything you could possibly do with a guitar has been done before. I imagine most songs have parts in them that sound exactly like parts in obscurer songs that few people of heard.

if you are
05-04-2004, 10:16 PM
no i totally disagree with that.. people who sound like other bands simply aren't creative or innovative people in their music, it's just as simple as that. i remember when i was 13 and i picked up my first guitar, and even THEN i didn't sound like any other person on this planet. people use this "influences" thing as an excuse to not be musically good.

now yes, probably every single musician has influences which show to some degree in their music.. this happens to me with the pumpkins, but you would never say "that sounds like such and such pumpkins song!" or "that could be a pumpkins song!" you'd just say "i can tell he kind of likes what the pumpkins did."

99% of bands around today aren't creative or original, so they sound like other bands..... and those bands suck.

Judas Chongo
05-04-2004, 10:26 PM
but what if the musician is making the kind of music the he likes to hear? which in this case would be very similar to a band that influenced him to play like that in the first place.

if you are
05-04-2004, 10:44 PM
well in the case of.. let's say local bands made up of young people. most of these kids aren't going to do anything very original, they're just going to go play shows and have fun and look cool. that's fine. it's just that they lack innovation and creativity... some people also think creativity is overrated or doesn't matter. but if i want to listen to a band, i'd like them to sound original.

another thing is, creativity is like a fingerprint.. we're all different. if you ask people to draw something or write a song even about the exact same event, they'll all be different. even if you use the same chords, it will still be different. so when a band sounds like another band, it means they're copping someone else's style and not using their inner creativity.. personally i think it's lame, but if they're having fun.. whatever, ya know

Liquid-J
05-04-2004, 11:26 PM
interesting tidbit: there's this band that's broken up. they were called cyclefly. but before they were called that they were called dogabone. and they had this demo of like 1,000 copies that no one cared about in like 94 or 95. and there is this song called lifeboy, and the solo is practically note for note the same as a third eye blind solo- THAT WAS WRITTEN LIKE 3 YEARS LATER!!!

/story that no one cares about, but is on topic

Isle
05-05-2004, 03:49 AM
i recently wrote an angry article about this for a local newspaper. i have not been flamed thus far.

in short, people have to stop being fussy bitches and always expecting something "original" because it's not only just impossible to keep coming up with new ideas, it's wasteful and selfish: its just drying up the well of inspiration even faster, like someone in the desert trying to hog the oasis.

i have no problem with bands sounding like others, so long as they are listenable and they don't totally murder the sound they have "borrowed". i think there should be new standards by which to judge ripping off too- it will be tricky, but moderation is moderation. suppose you've got one band that sounds like another then- eg, Hum who sound like SD era pumpkins (arguably). they've got the sound but what if they start using the same or similar riffs? you'd have to judge two things- the likelihood that they'd stolen the riff, which could be judged by how well the "ripped-off" band are known, and likelihood that the band or musician would actually steal said riff. suppose for example Hum's record sounded SDish but they had a riff which sounded quite cherub rockish. that might be crossing the line if Hum are big pumpkins fans, but if they're not and they come up with a riff that sounds like one from a very obscure pumpkins song, there's less chance they would have intentionally used it.

in any case, this is a mind-racking business. i say business, because ripping-off and copyright all comes down to one thing at the end of the day- money. to cut a long story short, if everyone keeps complaining that they've been ripped off, the music world will very shortly end up like that south park episode where everyone sues everyone else for harassment- completely farcical.

if someone uses your riff or lyric and you complain it's because your worried that it will benefit their sales and their record. tough beans, you'll just have to write a better song and be a better band/artist so people will stick to your records, or go get a real job. music is dog-eat-dog and all-against-all.

i hate to say this, but the music world will collapse very shortly. there's just too much damn competition and not a whole lot you can do about it, so looks like all you can do is do your best to fight internet piracy (which i'm glad to say i dont partake in, downloading illegally etc), get the recordd companies to lower the prices of cds so more people will buy them, and go kill whoever you think is ripping you off because that will help thin the herds.

fight, fight, fight.

Sacred Age Of Innocence
05-05-2004, 04:08 AM
Originally posted by if you are
no i totally disagree with that.. people who sound like other bands simply aren't creative or innovative people in their music, it's just as simple as that. i remember when i was 13 and i picked up my first guitar, and even THEN i didn't sound like any other person on this planet. people use this "influences" thing as an excuse to not be musically good.

now yes, probably every single musician has influences which show to some degree in their music.. this happens to me with the pumpkins, but you would never say "that sounds like such and such pumpkins song!" or "that could be a pumpkins song!" you'd just say "i can tell he kind of likes what the pumpkins did."

99% of bands around today aren't creative or original, so they sound like other bands..... and those bands suck.

You can only do so much with music. It is pretty much a known fact that ANYTHING you can think of or actually create, has been done by atleast one person elsewhere. Face it, there is no way of getting around it.

ravenguy2000
05-05-2004, 06:14 AM
Originally posted by Sacred Age Of Innocence


You can only do so much with music. It is pretty much a known fact that ANYTHING you can think of or actually create, has been done by atleast one person elsewhere. Face it, there is no way of getting around it.

Um, yeah, exactly. A lot of stuff I hear that has been labled "innovative" now adays has been done 100 years ago.

Why not just be a good songwriter and not care who you sound like? Why not just make connecting with your audience your number one goal instead of concentrating on a bunch of bullshit like this?

if you are
05-05-2004, 07:22 AM
Originally posted by Sacred Age Of Innocence


You can only do so much with music. It is pretty much a known fact that ANYTHING you can think of or actually create, has been done by atleast one person elsewhere. Face it, there is no way of getting around it.

excuses, excuses, excuses. excuses for people not doing their own thing, and ripping off what other people created.

there's this quote i read one time.. it was like "if you allow your own personality to come through your songs, it will be impossible for it not to be original." the bands i listen to don't sound like any other bands. not even ONE other band. this means they're creative. like i said, it's like a fingerprint.. we all have different personalities, so no one can be themselves in their music and sound too much like you (they might sound like you to a certain small degree). it's really not that complicated.

oh and i know for a fact that the "everything has been done under the sun" argument is just an excuse, because i picked up my first guitar at 13 and EVEN THEN without knowing shit about music or chords or anything, i was playing shit that didn't sound like anything else i've ever heard. it's not because i'm "better" than anybody, it's just because i allow my creativity to shine through to a bigger degree than many other people. i believe anybody can do it, regardless of lack of musical talent.. it's just that most people have a "wall" in their minds. they're too worried about just being themselves.

ravenguy2000
05-05-2004, 07:41 AM
Originally posted by if you are


excuses, excuses, excuses. excuses for people not doing their own thing, and ripping off what other people created.

there's this quote i read one time.. it was like "if you allow your own personality to come through your songs, it will be impossible for it not to be original." the bands i listen to don't sound like any other bands. not even ONE other band. this means they're creative. like i said, it's like a fingerprint.. we all have different personalities, so no one can be themselves in their music and sound too much like you (they might sound like you to a certain small degree). it's really not that complicated.

oh and i know for a fact that the "everything has been done under the sun" argument is just an excuse, because i picked up my first guitar at 13 and EVEN THEN without knowing shit about music or chords or anything, i was playing shit that didn't sound like anything else i've ever heard. it's not because i'm "better" than anybody, it's just because i allow my creativity to shine through to a bigger degree than many other people. i believe anybody can do it, regardless of lack of musical talent.. it's just that most people have a "wall" in their minds. they're too worried about just being themselves.

You, sir, are amazingly full of shit.

if you are
05-05-2004, 07:56 AM
i would guess that if you're a musician yourself, your stuff isn't very interesting. and you don't have to be so rude to me just because i have a different opinion on it than you.

Isle
05-05-2004, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by ravenguy2000


You, sir, are amazingly full of shit.

plus one.

Judas Chongo
05-05-2004, 09:08 AM
i was just thinking about that last night and made a thread..i didnt realize it would get all this shit started

RopeyLopey
05-05-2004, 09:24 AM
Originally posted by Fathoms (unadored)
There is more of a grey area if your songs are original but your sound borrows heavily from another group. (Blind Melon- Led Zeppelin). I think its really a subjective matter in the latter case.

Now I can't decide if Blind Melon were ripping off or only sounding like Led Zeppelin. Either way, they were great.

Judas Chongo
05-05-2004, 09:33 AM
what about the Melvins?

ravenguy2000
05-05-2004, 10:49 AM
Originally posted by if you are
i would guess that if you're a musician yourself, your stuff isn't very interesting. and you don't have to be so rude to me just because i have a different opinion on it than you.

At one point in my life I was a professional trombone player. I was actually paid and trained to play music written by <i>people other than myself</i> which, from your previous opinions, leads me to guess you probably think that's just the lowest of the low.

PS. I'd like to hear about these bands that sound like NO OTHER band.

Crono
05-05-2004, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by if you are
i would guess that if you're a musician yourself, your stuff isn't very interesting. and you don't have to be so rude to me just because i have a different opinion on it than you.


You don't just have a different opinion, you're insulting everyone who doesn't share your opinion. And, oh, by the way, when I first picked up a guitar I made a lot of fucked up noise, too. It also sounded like shit.

Isle
05-05-2004, 11:18 AM
hey, If You Are An Asshole:

no more excuses, post some of your superfandango original music and tell us about these ultramegacoolandhip alternative bands you listen to. how dare you say that musicians who sound like others aren't creative or innovative, that's complete bullshit- everyone is influenced by someone else, whether conciously or subconciously, because every musician likes music by other people and it is only natural that that music will rub off on them. you say yourself that you are influenced by the pumpkins- for someone to say "ok i can tell he likes the pumpkins" shows that you too have been influenced and therefore DO sound another band. if you don't dare to post some of your rad music i don't think i single person here will believe a word you've said about it.
i call your bluff.

Sacred Age Of Innocence
05-05-2004, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by if you are


excuses, excuses, excuses. excuses for people not doing their own thing, and ripping off what other people created.

there's this quote i read one time.. it was like "if you allow your own personality to come through your songs, it will be impossible for it not to be original." the bands i listen to don't sound like any other bands. not even ONE other band. this means they're creative. like i said, it's like a fingerprint.. we all have different personalities, so no one can be themselves in their music and sound too much like you (they might sound like you to a certain small degree). it's really not that complicated.

oh and i know for a fact that the "everything has been done under the sun" argument is just an excuse, because i picked up my first guitar at 13 and EVEN THEN without knowing shit about music or chords or anything, i was playing shit that didn't sound like anything else i've ever heard. it's not because i'm "better" than anybody, it's just because i allow my creativity to shine through to a bigger degree than many other people. i believe anybody can do it, regardless of lack of musical talent.. it's just that most people have a "wall" in their minds. they're too worried about just being themselves.

You said it yourself, you were playing shit you never heard before but that doesn't mean it hasn't been done. Do you know how many youngsters pickup a guitar for the first time each day & just play without knowing much & just make noise? I mean get real, your arguement is so ridiculous, it is laughable.

It is impossible to make something that hasn't been done by atleast one person somewhere in this world before.

Fathoms (unadored)
05-05-2004, 08:23 PM
Originally posted by Sacred Age Of Innocence


You said it yourself, you were playing shit you never heard before but that doesn't mean it hasn't been done. Do you know how many youngsters pickup a guitar for the first time each day & just play without knowing much & just make noise? I mean get real, your arguement is so ridiculous, it is laughable.

It is impossible to make something that hasn't been done by atleast one person somewhere in this world before.

Unless your music is just a bunch of dial tones and notebooks being flipped through, and even then I have my doubts. With a guitar? I don't know, maybe if you replace the strings with re-enforced dental floss and plucked the strings with a miniature harmonica that would be original.

Isle
05-06-2004, 02:05 AM
Originally posted by Fathoms (unadored)


maybe if you replace the strings with re-enforced dental floss and plucked the strings with a miniature harmonica that would be original.

hey i might just have to steal that

ZackZ
05-06-2004, 03:16 AM
Tom Petty's "American Girl" vs. The Strokes "Last Nite". It's copied nearly note for note. At least the first 2 minutes. Fucking gay.

mxzombie
05-06-2004, 07:50 AM
Originally posted by ZackZ
Tom Petty's "American Girl" vs. The Strokes "Last Nite". It's copied nearly note for note. At least the first 2 minutes. Fucking gay. not really, but i'll give you that they're really similar for about 30 seconds to a minute at most.