Eminem song composer: New Zealand ad is ‘blatant rip-off’

Eminem song composer: New Zealand ad is 'blatant rip-off'

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The composer of the opening guitar riff for Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” says the soundtrack of a New Zealand political ad is a “blatant rip-off.”

Jeff Bass told the High Court in Wellington on Tuesday that the song titled “Eminem Esque” that was used by the ruling National Party during its 2014 election campaign sounds like “Lose Yourself Lite.”

But, he added, “It doesn’t taste so good, though.”

Eminem’s music publishers Eight Mile Style sued the National Party over its use of the song. The judge-only copyright infringement case started Monday and is expected to last about six days.

The party has previously said it purchased the soundtrack for its TV ad from an Australian-based music supplier and doesn’t believe it has infringed anyone’s copyright.

Bass, who lives near Detroit and travelled to New Zealand to testify, picked up an acoustic guitar and strummed the famous riff that opens the Oscar-winning 2002 song in front of eight lawyers and a judge in the courtroom.

He said he wrote the song with Eminem and Luis Resto over 18 months.

“I picked up a guitar and started playing that opening guitar chord,” he said. “At that time, I didn’t know if it was a song or not.”

He said Eminem, aka Marshall Mathers III, put together a drum track but then they got stuck.

“It took him a number of months to author the perfect lyrics that were just right for the beat,” Bass said.

He said they finished as Eminem completed work on his film “8 Mile.”

“It really developed in a little studio we had set up in his trailer,” Bass said. He said Resto replaced some of the guitar elements with keyboards in order to remove some of the rock feel of the song without losing the hip hop tone.

Defence lawyers argue the musical composition of the song isn’t particularly original. One of them asked Bass if he considered the soundtrack Eminem Esque to be musically inferior.

“Being that it’s a blatant rip-off, yes,” Bass responded.

The lawyer asked if it was weaker because it was different. “It doesn’t feel like ‘Lose Yourself”’? the lawyer asked.

“It doesn’t feel like me playing ‘Lose Yourself,'” Bass said.

The lawyer asked Bass if he’d agree that the Led Zeppelin song “Kashmir” has a similar chord pattern.

“No. None whatsoever,” Bass responded.

Judge Helen Cull asked Bass if the guitar strum he’d performed in the courtroom was common.

Bass said that while he’d heard those chords played before, he’d never heard them in that particular rhythm. He said that by putting an accent on the third beat it was as if he was playing guitar and drums at the same time.

“The intention was to create a tense, hypnotic feeling,” Bass said. “It starts playing, and never goes away. Along with that drum beat, it actually will hypnotize you, where you are feeling that something’s going to happen.”

Nick Perry, The Associated Press

Just Posted

DBS Energy Services supports KBRH Emergency Department Campaign

Funds will support the Mental Health Room in the new Kootenay Boundary ER

Lost sheep returned to the fold — stolen sculpture reappears

The Castlegar Sculpturewalk sculpture was reported missing Tuesday.

Genesis of a Trail mural

Toews is planning to begin painting the mural next week

Trail Kidney Walk followed by a rafting trip

Endless Adventures from the Slocan Valley will be guiding two trips down the Columbia River

Trail bus line readies to takeover Kelowna run

Silver City Stage Lines must have a booking site up by Sept. 30; two vehicles activated by Oct. 26

64 cats seized from ‘bad situation’ now in BC SPCA care

The surrender is part of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation with BC SPCA Special Constable

Are you feeling lazy? That’s OK – it’s just science

UBC study shows that humans are hardwired to prefer being sloth-like

LETTER: Who do we blame for the tragedy of Marissa Shen’s death?

The B.C. girl was killed in a Burnaby park last July

Competition tribunal to hear B.C.-based case on airline food starting in October

The competition commissioner argued Vancouver airport authority had exploited its market position

Seek compromise with U.S. on cannabis at border, lawyers urge Ottawa

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency sent tremors through Canada’s burgeoning cannabis sector

Trudeau says Canada wants to see ‘movement’ before signing revised NAFTA deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is back in Washington in search of a way to bridge divide

Young people need us to act on climate change, McKenna tells G7 ministers

Catherine McKenna led off the three-day Halifax gathering Wednesday

East Kootenay town considers public smoking ban ahead of cannabis legalization

Under the proposed regulations, anyone caught smoking or vaping in public will face a $2000 fine

B.C. woman facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog seized

Kira, a Rottweiler, had kidney and bladder infections

Most Read