How ROB ZOMBIE 'Accidentally' Ripped Off THE SWORD's 'Freya' For 'Virgin Witch' Song

March 28, 2023

Guitarist/vocalist John D. Cronise of Austin, Texas metal luminaries THE SWORD says that he was "shocked" when he found out that ROB ZOMBIE "ripped off" his band's song more than a decade ago.

Earlier today (Tuesday, March 28),Cronise tweeted out a link to Revolver's list of "20 Greatest Rob Zombie Songs", which includes "Virgin Witch" from Rob's 2010 effort "Hellbilly Deluxe 2", and he included the following message: "Not sure how to feel about this, but I also wasn't sure how to feel when he ripped off our song…"

When one fan asked Cronise to clarify if he actually co-wrote the song, he responded: "No but I'm credited as a co-writer because it sounds so much like [THE SWORD's 2006 track] 'Freya'. It's weird".

Cronise went on to say that "it was a shock to us when ['Virgin Witch'] came out. Our management at the time sucked and the best they could do was get me a co-writer credit."

John added that he has "never met Rob Zombie or John 5".

Back in 2010, shortly after "Hellbilly Deluxe 2" was released, Rob actually addressed the similarities between the two songs in an interview with, explaining that his then-guitarist John 5 "accidentally" lifted the main guitar riff.

"If there's one thing I can guarantee, it's that John 5 is so phenomenally talented he's not out there stealing riffs from other bands," Zombie said. "But even he admits that you hear things that get locked in your head sometimes. He totally admitted, 'Ah, fuck. That sounds just like it. I don't know how that happened.'

"So we contacted that band [THE SWORD] immediately," Rob added. "We're not gonna bullshit people. You know, you write hundreds and hundreds of songs and you have so much music in your head that it happens all the time. It happened the other night, too. We were writing something and John was all excited about it and I was, like, 'John, I gotta tell you, that sounds exactly like this WHITE ZOMBIE song from 15 years ago.' So I played it for him and he's, like, 'Oh my God. It does.' You try your best not to copy things, but sometimes it happens. You can't get around it."

Back in 2009, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich performed "Freya" with THE SWORD at Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany.

First conceived in 2003, THE SWORD hit its stride about a year later, when Cronise joined forces with guitarist Kyle Shutt, bassist Bryan Richie and drummer Trivett Wingo for a much-raved-about appearance at Austin's famed SXSW festival. National touring stints with everyone from CLUTCH to indie rock darlings ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD followed, and by 2006, THE SWORD released its debut album, "Age Of Winters". From there, they went on to release five further studio albums; tour with the likes of METALLICA, LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM, KYUSS LIVES! and OPETH; and see their music reach millions through placements in the Guitar Hero video game series ("Freya") and the cult classic film "Jennifer's Body" ("Celestial Crown").

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