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

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Rogue masseur arrested for sexual assault in Victoria

John Heintzelman, 65, is accused of assaulting a person at his former business, James Bay Massage

Hey Amazon, the bid’s in the mail: Langford mayor

The City of Langford has officially submitted its bid to become the home of Amazon HQ2.

WEEKEND HITS: Here’s what’s happening in Sooke this weekend

Looking for something to do over the next few days. Here are… Continue reading

‘Think of me’ puts human face to speeding

Children’s illustrations deliver a plea to speeding drivers

WATCH: Greater Victoria restaurant chain stepping up after employee struck by SUV

31-year-old Khushal Rana fighting for his life in Victoria hospital

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Weekend hit list: Things to see and do in Greater Victoria

The Victoria Fall Home Expo returns, Rebels host the Cullen Cup, a gallery tour and more

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Director pledges to eat a worm for donation to Saanich sanctuary

$500 donation to Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary will see Kathleen Burton chow down on mealworms Oct. 29

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Most Read