COREY TAYLOR Weighs In On ED SHEERAN's Copyright Suit, Absurdity Of Music Ownership

May 25, 2023

In a new interview with the 94.3 The Shark radio station, SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR frontman Corey Taylor was asked if he has ever written a song, only to realize that the idea might have been ripped off from another artist. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Cryptomnesia. It's a very real thing. And we just saw it play out in the courts with Ed Sheeran.

"The thing that I love that [Ed] proved is that chord progressions are going to be similar going all the way back, going all the way forward; it's what you do over the top of them," he continued. "And that's one of the reasons why — and a lot of people won't know this — music cannot be copywritten [sic]. Now, lyrics and melodies can, because that is the stuff that truly changes and shapes, which is one of the reasons why, if you can show that the melody and the phrasing is the same, then you have copyright infringement. But if the music feels similar, there's nothing you can really do about it, because those chord progressions have been the same for years, going all the way back.

"I have a very long memory when it comes to that stuff," Taylor added. "Obviously, I try to avoid anything that sounds similar anyway. 'Cause that stuff doesn't interest me. So I really go above and beyond to really try and make sure that everything I do sounds different, feels different. And if it does start to sound a little too similar, I rein it in and I break it down and restructure it from scratch. I've started whole other songs before and just gone right back to the drawing board. 'Cause I'm, like, I don't want anyone to come in and say that I stole this [and] I stole that. 'Cause I've gotten in arguments with people before who have tried to tell me that I've done it. And I'm, like, 'You're an idiot. I'm gonna put these two songs right together. You show me on the doll where these songs are the same. And if not, you kiss my ass, man.' And it's very satisfying."

Earlier in the month, a New York jury found that Ed Sheeran did not copy Marvin Gaye's 1973 song "Let's Get It On". The lawsuit, filed by the heirs of the song's co-writer and composer Ed Townsend, claimed the pop superstar unlawfully employed the "heart" of Gaye's song — that is, "harmonic progressions" and "melodic and rhythmic elements" in his 2014 hit "Thinking Out Loud".

Sheeran had repeatedly denied that he had taken from Gaye's song, telling "Good Morning America" that the jury believed that he did not copy "Let's Get It On" because it was "101 songs with the same chord sequence, and that was just, like, scratching the surface," he said, adding that the jury "was very quick to see that and be, like, 'Oh, yeah.'"

During an appearance on "The Howard Stern Show", Sheeran reiterated what he had argued in court: "Yes, it's a chord sequence that you hear on successful songs, but if you say that a song in 1973 owns this, then what about all the songs that came before?

"No one's saying that songs shouldn't be copyrighted," he added, "but you just can’t copyright a chord sequence. You just can't."

Corey's second solo album, "CMF2", will arrive on September 15. The LP follows up Taylor's 2020 solo debut "CMFT", which featured the No. 1 Billboard mainstream rock single "Black Eyes Blue" and streaming sensation "CMFT Must Be Stopped" (feat. Tech N9ne and Kid Bookie). The LP hit No. 6 on Billboard's U.S. Top Rock Albums chart.

"CMF2" is Taylor's first album for BMG and the first on his own label imprint, Decibel Cooper Recordings.

Jay Ruston (ANTHRAX, STEEL PANTHER, AMON AMARTH),who produced STONE SOUR's 2017 "Hydrograd" LP as well as "CMFT", returns for Taylor's second full-length.

In support of his new album, Taylor has announced his 2023 tour featuring special guests WARGASM, OXYMORRONS and LUNA AURA on select dates. Produced by Live Nation, the 28-city tour kicks off on August 25 at Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, making stops across the U.S in Detroit, Orlando, Dallas and more before the final headline show in Los Angeles at The Wiltern on October 5.

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